Empowered Women Empower Women!

International Women’s Day is coming up this week, so I wanted to take a moment to write about why it is so important for women to support each other. Sometimes it is not super obvious, but there are small everyday things, things we are told at school, things we see on TV, things we see on advertisements, that teach girls that they are competing with other girls.

The Lalalaptop Cup Of Tea

For example, something I remember watching a lot growing up was Taylor Swift’s music video for her song You Belong with Me. The music video is about two girls in high school who like the same boy. One girl is a cheerleader and wears skirts, while the other one is a tomboy and wears t-shirts. I take issue with this video for a variety of reasons, one being that this song and music video teaches young girls to dislike other girls over a crush. Another reason is that the girl who wears skirts and does cheerleading is portrayed as the antagonist. She is the mean girl, and somehow the girl that is less feminine and wears t-shirts is the better type of woman. This is problematic messaging. What you wear, the activities that you take part in whether it is cheerleading or band, do not define your character. That is not what makes a “mean” girl. There is nothing wrong with wearing skirts or t-shirts. Everyone should be able to wear whatever they want. Being a better woman isn’t about what you wear at all, but that is what this song made it seem like.

woman wearing red high heels with white socks that say girls rule

Even though we are taught to think and feel this way about other women, we need to fight back against these harmful messages. This is only one of the many ways that the patriarchy seeks to oppress women. If they divide us and teach us to fight against one another rather than with each other, we will never be strong enough to achieve equality. We face enough criticism from society, there is no reason that we should face hate from each other. It is so easy to feel jealous of other women, especially with social media influencing our every thought, but just remember that just because someone else is strong, smart, or beautiful does not mean that you are any less strong, smart, or beautiful.

Black Girl Beauty Landing Hero Image

From now on, writers, tv producers, and artists alike need to refrain from spreading the toxic ideology that women need to compete with each other. We, as a society, need to stop telling young girls that what they wear and how they look is what defines them. Most importantly, we, as women, need to support each other, stand together, and fight for one another instead of against each other. It is 2020, equality can wait no longer. We have to work together to fight for what we deserve.

Vlad Tchompalov