Stronger Together

Recently, I was told “I don't want to know what's going on in your life and I really don't need you to know what's going on in mine" by someone that I had been friends with since the 6th grade, and I had assumed we were still friends. When she said this, I was taken aback by the way that women are still treating women, especially in this day and age. And with International Women’s Day coming up on March 8th, I thought it would be important to talk about how women should be empowering and supporting their fellow women, rather than tearing them down.

One of the biggest issues that I see today is that so many women are talking badly behind the backs of other women, even if they are supportive of them in person. It is impossible to completely empower a woman if, as soon as she can’t hear, she is being poorly talked about. And we are all guilty of this. Yes, all of us. I do it too, I won’t pretend that I haven’t. I won’t ever pretend to be perfect but I always strive to empower my fellow women because that’s what we all deserve.

Another issue is that women tend to hate on other women because of the way that they dress, or speak, or who they chose to date, and so on. So often, I hear women being called sluts and whores and this absolutely breaks my heart. We shouldn’t be judging other women based on how they chose to live their lives, especially if they differ from ours. We have to learn to accept and live with it, or at the very least ignore it BECAUSE IT DOES NOT AFFECT YOU. In no way does everyone have to love everyone. It isn’t possible for everyone to get along, but you do have to tolerate everyone, even if that means allowing them to live their life the way the chose to do so.

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Empowering women can be incredibly easy. We don’t have to make any grand gestures to show the lovely ladies in our lives that we love them (though a grand gesture will never go unappreciated). Telling a woman that you love her outfit or that her presentation was on point, are some of the simplest ways to show these women that you are seeing what they are doing and that you appreciate them. Just simply acknowledging what a woman has done and encouraging her to keep it up or to continue to follow her dreams will go such a long way. I know for me, when people validate my dreams and ideas, or compliment my writing, I am over the moon with happiness and gratitude.

Another important aspect to keep in mind when it comes to empowering women is to stop others from spreading the hate. If you hear something, say something. Simply walking away and pretending that you didn’t hear what was said is only going to contribute to the problem and make things so much worse for that person once they find out what is being said about them. And I promise you, they will ALWAYS find out what people are saying. But if they also learn that somebody stood up for them, it’ll help them feel less alone and as though someone is on their side, even if the original comments still hurt.

Women should always find themselves coming together, rather than creating divides between us all. Nobody is going to be able to support a woman like another woman can, so I highly encourage all women to make an effort to be there for all the ladies in their life, whether they are well known, or simply another classmate. Together, lets close the gap between us and stand strongly together in support and in love.

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And while empowering other women in your life is important to remember, you should always empower and love yourself too. We are our own biggest critics, which is okay, but we have to learn that tearing ourselves down is a problem. Rather than beating ourselves up over getting a bad grade, we should acknowledge that we did our best and that the next time, we are going to strive to do even better. And any time that something in our lives doesn’t go our way, we must remember that it is only because there is something so much better out there for us, we just have to be patient and wait a little longer until we reach it.

So this International Women’s Day, I encourage everyone, men and women, to show a little extra love and support to an important female in their lives. I’m sure they will be incredibly grateful. And everyone, show love to yourselves too. Because that is something we never do enough of.