What is feminism?
People tend to either love or hate this term but it generally stems for a lack of common understanding.
Websters defines feminism as: the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.
If you support the idea of women’s rights being equal to men in those setting then epsfacto you are a feminist. Feminists don’t all get naked a make a scene like Femen most of us simply want the women in our lives to be happy, successful humans. We understand that equality is a God given right, but unfortunately, society forgets this, and we are here to remind them. Yes, “we” because you and I are today feminists and the ye’-old supporters of equality.
I was raised to be confident and demand equality. I am frequently surprised how many woman are not confident in themselves. They constantly need to be told they are good enough, pretty enough, special, talented.
Why do women need a confidence boost?
Is it because we call them bossy or because girls are horrible to each other by bullying? Partially, it is because as a society we allow men and raise boys to have set concepts of what a girl and a woman should be. Recently experience I’ve witnessed: Little boys restaurants call a large woman at the next table “fat”, teenage boys talking about a pretty girl woman drinks is “easy” “slutty” “cheap”, a women who is divorced being called “un-marriageable” and I even was told by an acquaintance “if I decide to marry a woman she is privileged to have me”. Girls hear these things and internalize it. Girls don’t think about why they talk a certain way, act a certain way, or dress that way until another person comments on it. We can be b*itches to each other dissing things for a myriad of reasons but when our brothers or father figures say these things it hurts in a different way. This more than woman on woman aggression (or whatever you prefer to call it) because it increases her insecurities, lowers her confidence, and can cause self-hate. It is a pattern of male comments–insecurities,low confidence, self-hate–confidence boosting (video like the above, counseling, etc are needed)–woman or woman aggression–male comments–and the cycle repeats.
Minding the Gap
The confidence gap widening hurts everyone. Whether you believe a woman can have it all or not, statistically females wage earners are the “future of the American economy” and the mothers of the future generations. Perhaps, we should be focusing on the teaching men that talking and treating women poorly is not ok, rather than making awesome videos focusing on boosting women’s confidence. When the females are the target audience of the videos above then it also means that men are not even seeing the message. It means men are still verbally and physically hurting girls and woman, so the videos are therefore just a band-aid trying to fix a woman’s already weakened confidence.
When a teen in Texas is raped, we unify as a community to support the girl #IamJada and we say #realmendontrape, but it should not take a rape to call society to action. Society should expect men to not rape. We need to rethink our empathy from the arrested predators to the victims, and focus on justice and prevention rather that making more band-aids.
We Can Change The Pattern
There are many guidelines to boost young girls’ self-esteem, but the scary thing this most of them say ““prepare her for sexism” In reality it starts with dad’s, uncles, mom’s boyfriend, etc just being there.
The Shriver Report recommends that adult male figures can take nine steps to change the pattern.
- Let her know she is loved
- Avoid “daddy’s little girl” and instead let her know you see her as strong, self-reliant and resilient.
- Teach her to problem solve
- Encourage her to break gender stereotypes
- Model respect for women
- Have an open dialogue that is not judgemental
- Set the bars high–for her education, for her to make good chooses, for her to have good friends, for her to find a good man
- Empower her physical strength, and not focus on her weight as fat or thin, but as healthy
- Constantly try to learn about what matters to her!
When men model these 9 steps, boys see how to treat woman, helping end rape culture. What are you going to do to change the pattern and stop rape culture?
*learn more about empowering women at: ShriverReport.org