Monday, 12 October 2015

Sometimes girls are to blame*

*read what I have to say before you judge

Over the past week I've had discussions with women from across the country about self-esteem in young girls and women. We've had discussions about the objectification of women, the disposability of relationships, sexual violence, porn, sexting, misogyny, the social constructs of beauty and the threats, pressures and expectations placed upon the 21st century girl. Woaaaaah right?!

So what's the one issue that struck me more profoundly than all of these for a girl living in what could be called the 'turmoil' of the 21st century?

To an extent; us girls are to be blamed.

Ouch, you say? Maybe "blame" is too strong a word to use. I hear you.

Hear me out.

We've created and sustained a culture where it's been normalised to slate other women.
E.g. To fat/thin shame, to criticise, to bully, to inferior-ate, to judge, to bitch, to insult

Watch Cassey's inspirational video here.

Since when did this become acceptable? Since when did we believe it justified?

Maybe it was when life became all about 'self'; slating others in order to make them inferior in order to increase 'self' superiority?
Maybe it was when the purpose of making others feel insecure was in order to increase our personal security?
Maybe it was when social media kicked-off this new dimension and normality of comparison?

Well, do you know what - I've had enough. Have you?

Here's what I commit to doing, and am inspired by others doing, in order to be the exception:

1.         Encourage:

I intend on eradicating the presence of discouragement in my converse with others. I intend on eradicating negativity from my dialect.

2.         Support:

I intend on mentoring one-on-one those girls of the younger generation. Because real community needs to overcome virtual community. Because one conversation at a time, seeds of hope can be sewn. Because listening is one of the greatest gifts you can freely give someone else. Because we can't judge another unless we know their heart.

3.         Fight:

I intend on having a voice and speaking out when I disagree with the way we treat one another. Whether it's a supposed "role model" in the media or gossip behind another's back. I intend on campaigning against disunity.

I believe one of the most powerful influencers of change is awareness.

Action: I challenge you to be intentionally aware of your interaction with other women and their interaction with one another. What would it look like if we all fought, supported and encouraged one another?

Do you want to do more?: I challenge you to post a photo of you and other women with an encouraging and supportive message on social media; hashtag #weunite

Will you be the exception?

I'll keep you posted.