How It Feels…

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March 8th is International Women’s Day!  As a proud feminist, this is a big deal of a day for me.  And this year, I’m going to celebrate it by shedding some light on what it feels like to be a woman.

Equality for women is something that has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go. Internationally, how it feels to be a woman is how it feels to be fearful.

Every single day there are women in the world who have to fear being able to walk to their car alone at night, because they might get attacked.  There are women who have to watch which outfit they put on, because that could give off the wrong idea to a misogynist.  There are women who have to keep their faces covered, because they might get arrested.  There are women who have to keep their mouth closed and let a man take advantage of her, because if they don’t they will be killed.  Still think women’s rights don’t have a long way to go?

It’s sad that the general consensus of what it feels like to be a woman isn’t something that proves to be worthwhile.  Yet often times what us women forget, is that we have the power to break boundaries, end stigmas, and create change.  Though this may take longer in certain places in the world, in America we can start the domino effect.

In America, we are fortunate enough to not have to worry about being arrested for speaking up or showing our face; but we aren’t out of the clear.  We are still instilled with fear about going places at night, wearing an outfit that may give off the wrong idea, walking somewhere alone, sexual harassment at work, etcetera.  But, the difference is that in America we can speak up about these things and not let it define us.

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For starters, we can choose to not let people use the phrase “like a girl,” to refer to someone as weaker than a man.  The phrase “like a girl” will only ever mean like a badass to me.  We can choose to not let people use the phrase “being a pussy,” to refer to someone who’s being a wimp.  Not to get graphic but a “pussy” is capable of pushing out a child, so please tell me how that is wimpy.  We can choose to not let our “no” go unheard.  If a guy wants our name, our number, our body – we can choose to say no and say it loudly, for all to hear.

How it feels to be a woman shouldn’t ever feel like a problem.  Being a woman should feel like you have the power to dictate your own life, and that’s where the idea of feminism comes into play.  You see, being for women’s rights doesn’t make you against men; it makes you for equal rights.

So as a feminist, I choose how I want to be represented.  And for me, I choose to be strong, determined, ambitious, driven, and completely kick-ass.

So now let me ask you, how does it feel to be a woman?  Is your answer living up to your full potential?  Better yet, is your answer benefiting the women who are not able to even answer the question?  If it doesn’t, I suggest you change it.

Justice for all women is something we will only ever achieve if we work together in working on ourselves.

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Girls just want to have fun….damental rights!

 

Titles

053397b9700ce5fda7afa756b370d36aIn life we all have many titles.  Whether that be student, employee, friend, child.  Society tends to judge us based on the titles we hold.  If you’re the CEO, it’s assumed you’re living a life where you’re well off and you don’t have a care in the world.  If you have a low income job it’s assumed you didn’t go to college.  If you’re a college athlete, it’s assumed you’re arrogant.  If you’re a supporter of equal rights, it’s assumed you’re homosexual.  If you’re a woman, it’s assumed you’re not and never will be equal to men.  And if you’re a feminist, you automatically hate men.

Today, March 8th, is International Women’s Day, and I’m taking it as a day to express what a feminist really is.  Too many people fear the word feminist, or are afraid to embrace the title.  Women especially are afraid to embrace the title of feminist, because it is known that you will be looked at in a different light.  Although radical feminists feel that in order for women to get equality they must break down the men in the world; that’s not the only form of a feminist.  I associate myself with being a liberal feminist, meaning I think everyone was born equally and deserves the same rights.  I wear many titles in my life, but perhaps the one I wear most proudly is that of a feminist.

So why am I a feminist?  Even though I shouldn’t have to explain, I will.  This patriarchal society is intended to intimidate women and I refuse to be a victim.  Every woman and I deserve the same rights as any man in this world.  So hell yes I am a feminist.  Need more explanation as to why?  Because we all work the same jobs, the same hours, with the same determination and ethic.  Because we all deserve to live a life without fear, a life without worrying about being a part of the statistics.  Because we all deserve to be able to walk to our car in the dark without fear of being attacked, raped, or left for dead.  Because we all deserve to be able to dress nicely and not worry about being hit on or taken advantage of.  Because we all deserve to be respected.

When you wear the title of being a woman, you need to understand that you hold the title of being an underdog.  So use this to your advantage… fight like the underdog, finish like the champion.  Today on International Women’s Day, I urge all women to embrace the titles they hold.  Embrace the strength within each title, especially the one of being a woman.  The power for change is based on how much you’re willing to fight for.  Your title is far stronger than you think.

I am a feminist; I wear the title proudly.  Happy International Women’s Day!


33c88d72e2c3baf54f084b61fc8f6f1dSpecial thank you to all the strong women in my life who encourage me to step up my game; especially to Superwoman – my Mom.

We Are What We Believe

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Happy International Women’s Day!

I know that most people believe that simply because it is 2014 that the gender bias is nonexistent.  Well, that’s not the case.  Though I’m fortunate enough to live in America, where equal opportunities are encouraged, it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone agrees.

I would bet that just about any girl in her twenties could tell you a story about a time she felt judged simply because of her gender.  I’m a girl who loves sports, and I can sit back and debate baseball with the guys.  But has my sports knowledge been underestimated simply because I’m a girl?  Yes, it has.  And has a guy completely ignored my opinion on something sports related or otherwise, just because I am a girl?  Yes, they have.

Now although the blame can indeed be placed on the men in this society, it can equally be placed on the women.

Men, you all need to wake up and smell the roses.  Anything you can do, we can do… better.  However, ladies, you’re not all setting that example.

You allow what you tolerate.  And unfortunately I see, too often, girls that tolerate being treated poorly.  They are disrespected either by being cheated on, talked down to, or looked at as simply a piece to have.  And in those cases, most girls do not speak up and defend themselves and their gender as a whole.  Why is this?  Self esteem is the first issue, and the second is because for so long women who speak up have been stereotyped as a “bitch.”  Who’s fault is this?  Society as a whole?  Yes, partially.  But why are we, as women, accepting such nonsense?

Women spend so much time bringing other women down, simply to raise their confidence level, and it’s disgusting.  You would think that because all women share the same historical struggle that we would empower one another today, right?  Instead women are judging each other by petty things; clothes, make-up, Instagram posts.  It needs to stop.

What also needs to stop though is women’s need to feel accepted by a man.  This comes from low self esteem issues from being judged by their peers.  Do not subject yourself to be looked at as something less than an intelligent human being with equal rights.  That means don’t post photos that may be mistaken as an ad for a porno site. You’re not doing yourself any good.  You’re putting yourself in a position to be disrespected and seen as a pretty face rather than a beautiful mind and soul.  You are worth so much more than you think, don’t strive to get attention based on sexual seduction, that’s cheap.

Respect yourself.  Bottom line.  If you don’t, no one else, women peers or men, will think they have to.  Are you allowing yourself to be disrespected?  If you are, it is never too late to make a statement and change it.  You are only confined by the walls you build yourself, remember you also drive the bulldozer.  Respect yourself enough to realize you have no restrictions, especially none based on gender.

Another thing that has to happen is women need to stop fearing names.  The way I see it, a bitch is a female dog.  A female dog is a loving, caring, independent, intelligent animal, who when messed with too much has the power and tools to bark or bite.  So to some guys, because I speak up, I’m a bitch?  Sure I am; because I am independent, loyal, and caring, but if you push me – I can promise you will be pushed right back.  Go ahead, continue calling me a bitch.  I dare you.

So to my fellow women of the world, start a chain reaction.  Empower one another, examine what you tolerate, respect yourselves.  Dare to stand up, dare to be loud, dare to be called a bitch.  If we don’t allow for nonsense from one another, or from ourselves, men will get the message.  We are what we believe.  Men will have no choice to believe that we are equal and treat us as such, if we truly believe that ourselves.

For ways to achieve equality, check out Take The Lead Women on Facebook and follow @TakeLeadWomen on Twitter!

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