A Slice of AnnyWorld:
“You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby.” Virgina Slims ad 1968 praising the success of the Feminist Movement.
But we haven’t come far enough!
Yesterday was #EqualPayDay. It stuns me that in the 21st century women still aren’t paid the same as men for the same work! What’s going on?
Is it because girls/women are just as likely to turn on each other as they are to support each other, and as long as we are divided, we can’t conquer?
If we look at our girls, we can see that being mean to each other starts at a pretty young age. Girls hassle each other about all sorts of things like their changing bodies, how they wear their hair, their clothes.
I wish I could blame puberty for all of the friction between us, but as we get older, many of us still don’t stick together, even when it’s in our best interest. (For ex. Phyllis Schlafly led the successful charge against the Equal Rights Amendment.)
I’ve wondered why we seem to be our own worst enemy. Here’s my theory: we are steeped in a male-dominated society that consciously or unconsciously devalues us. You get hit over the head enough times with the message that you aren’t worthy because you’re a female, and self-loathing is born. And if you’re not valuable because you’re a girl, then all the other girls around you aren’t valuable either. So Mothers devalue their own daughters, and the legacy passes from generation to generation like a virus.
I’m not interested in debating how we got here, what matters is how we change this situation asap!
I suggest we focus on passing down new messages to our girls that not only empower them, but drive them to empower each other. How do we do this?
In my roles as stepmother, aunt, and daughter here’s some of what I’m doing…embrace my body, faults and all so my girls will embrace theirs, (Hubby and I continue to rave about Madu’s curly hair for ex, which she’s finally loving herself), encourage my girls to pursue their dreams be it as a social worker, E.R. doc, or NASA scientist, tell them marriage and family is a choice not a foregone conclusion, remind them that if a boy isn’t nice to them they should move onto the next, (as opposed to my upbringing where I was told if a boy likes you he hits you, which may be true, but sets you up for bad choices later).
In my quest to empower myself and other women, I vote for female politicians who represent my interests, i.e. women’s issues that men tend to ignore, I support groups that empower girls like Girls, Inc and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, and I attempt to view all women with acceptance and compassion, not judgement.
I’m sure I could be doing even more. What are you doing to empower yourself and your girls?
Posted in Empowerment, Gal Empowerment, Girls by anny with no comments yet.