5 Simple Ways to be an Ally to Other Women

 

It’s hard enough to be a woman in today’s world. That’s why we, as women, should always seek to empower and support one another. We’ve got to practice being each other’s allies. Here are 5 simple ways to be an amazing ally to your fellow women:

Compliment who she is.

It’s always nice to be told we look pretty, or that our skirt is cute, but, looks fade. Does this mean that our value and our beauty fades with it? Of course not. Our beauty comes from who we are, not what we look like or what we have. So, if you really want to make your friend feel like the queen she is, compliment what makes her her. Point out what it is that makes her unique, brave, strong, and smart—let her know her worth. Focus on the strength of her character, not the shade of her lipstick.

 

Empower, don’t compete.

The media that are fed to us through magazines, reality TV, and movies are designed to make us feel insecure. We become jealous when we see another girl who we think is smarter, more beautiful, or more well-liked, forgetting that there’s room for all of us to be remarkable in our own ways. James Keller, a Catholic priest, once said, “a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” He was right: we don’t lose any part of our shine when we highlight how amazing one of our fellow women is doing. So, the next time you catch yourself putting another woman down, try instead to recognize her worth.

Respect her decisions.

Not everyone’s idea of femininity is identical. Women around you will always make decisions that differ from what you may have chosen. However, part of being a good ally to other women is respecting the autonomous decisions that each woman makes for herself.

 

Let her know when she’s making a mistake.

Although you don’t want to tell your friends what to do, you do want them to know you have their best interests at heart. It’s a disservice to your friend when you blindly support her. Sure, it’s great to have that constant, unwavering encouragement from your friends, but sometimes what your bestie needs is for you to grab her by the shoulders and say, “I care about you, I love you, and you’re wrong.” Tell your friend when you think her significant other is treating them poorly. If you notice that your friend is becoming increasingly pessimistic and negative, point it out to her. She might resent you in the moment, but you’ve done her some good in the long run.

 

Replace “Ugh, I’m so jealous!” with “Good for her!”

Considering how much doubt our society has already placed in women, we ought to be cheering each other on, not knocking each other down out of jealousy. It’s easy to get caught up in the cycle of competitiveness, especially when everyone around you is just as smart, just as capable, and just as driven as you are. But, instead of resenting each other for excelling, we ought to see every win for an individual woman as being a win for all of us. Every time a woman breaks a barrier, or a glass ceiling, we all win. So, next time another girl gets the highest grade on your bio exam, or gets the lead role in the play, trying saying “good for her.” and use her achievements as your own inspiration.

 

Remember: the next time you feel bogged down by societal norms telling you to compete, try out some of these tips. Trust us -- good things will happen.