Monday, September 7, 2015

Love Who You Are AND Love Who She Is!

"Deze aktviteiten bevorderen vrienschappen en gaan geweld tegen Ladiesrun 2015" by Peter van der Sluijs - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

One form of strength is being able to say, "I love who I am! I love what I do! I love my contribution to this world!" On the other hand, another form of strength is being able to say, "I love who you are! I love what you do! I love your contributions to this world!"

I'm sure we have all read more than enough articles and blog posts saying, “Women! Love and support each other! Don't bash! Don't hate!” Yet what do women continue to do? We bash, we hate, and we tear down. How many times have you heard... or said:

Why in the world would she wear that?
I can't believe she stays home all day - doesn't she want more?
Why would she have kids if she wanted someone else to raise them?
Well, she deserved what she got; after all, she put herself in (fill in the blank) situation.
What do you mean she doesn’t want to get married and have kids? What kind of woman is she?
Why does she think she can do that?? That’s a man's work!

I hope as we read these many of us inwardly flinch. These words are judgmental. More than likely, you have been or are the person about whom someone has said something similar - even as YOU are saying them about someone else.

Why are women so hard on each other? Why do we drag each other down? Why do we tear each other apart? Why do we hate those who we should love and support the most? What if someone said these things about your daughter, or your mother, or your sister, or your best friend? Well, the person that you are talking about is undoubtedly one or more of those things to someone else. 

Why have we made it a competition? We harass, we gossip, we shoot sly, judge-y looks; we call her a bitch, we call her a whore, or we make her afraid to be who she is. Why is this? Why can't we truly believe, within ourselves, and as a community of sisters, that one woman's success IS all women's success?

- Why can't we praise the SAHM and say, "Thank you so much for being my kid's room mom. She loves it when you come in. You make her day special?!" 

- Why can't we praise the workingwoman. who spent 9 hours on her feet kicking ass and taking names?!

- Why can’t we praise EVERY woman in a bikini because she can wear whatever she wants, damn it?!

- Why can we praise the little girl who just won the science fair and kicked the crap out of her competition?!

Does it have to be a contest? Why can't we look at each and every woman and ask, "Does what you're doing make you happy?" If the answer is "yes," why can't we then say, "Then you are amazing and we love and support you!" We each have gifts. We need to celebrate all of them, not degrade them. If we just stopped competing with each other for ONE year, can you imagine the positive changes that could be made in our world?!

Our daughters wouldn't hear hatefulness toward other women coming out of OUR mouths.
Our sons would not hear that women are useless, disloyal, and mean.
Our husbands, fathers, boyfriends, and male friends would see women can and do kick ass!

We can and do anything we want because women are amazing! Feminism is not bashing men - it is supporting women! So, stop bashing each other, ladies. We are only as strong as our weakest link, and we have the HONOR of raising other women up and celebrating her truth, beauty, and light! A single match can start a forest fire - let's be that match to every woman we know! Let's be that match to strangers on the street!

Complement that customer service woman!
Tell that artist her work inspires you and brings you joy!
Tell the woman jogging down the street with her baby stroller she rocks!
Reach out a loving hand to the woman who has been victimized and help her endure her pain!
Thank that stay-at-home mom who is able to be your kids' emergency contact so you can work!
Praise that woman who has just finished her degree after 6 years of night school while working full-time!
Thank that woman behind the counter at the fast food restaurant because you now don't have to go home and make dinner!

It's actually not too hard, and the funny thing is: When you spread love, you receive love back. Raise a woman's self-esteem and it raises yours. HELLO? Win-win! A simple smile can change someone's day, and possibly their life. Let your smile shine and your support of other women be fierce -  because what you are putting out could change the world for every woman. And, my dear friend, that woman is also you!

Stay strong! Stay loving! Stay Unchained!

**Elisabeth Jane

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