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Women’s empowerment vs. Trump + how we’re going to win

Women’s empowerment vs. Trump + how we’re going to win

Remember back in 2015 when life was normal? 

Sometimes I think about life during the pre-Trump/Republican/Populist takeover of the world and I’m like, “wow, I used to think life was hard back then.” Just with my normal life problems like relationships, work and the stress of what should I be doing with my life?

Now I wake up in a world where not only am I still dealing with all of that, I’m also waking up to news about grown men cheering about the destruction of the planet and human welfare worldwide. 

To say that I believe our current administration is wrong feels hollow. There just aren’t enough emotionally descriptive words to describe the anger I feel when Paul Ryan talks about “healthcare for all,” or when Elizabeth Warren recounts being told by Mitch McConnell to “shut up” on the Senate floor. 

It’s not fair, it’s gross, and like millions of other Americans I wish karma would hurry the fuck up and wipe the smug faces off all those arrogant politicians who patronize and disenfranchise the rights of others.

Yet however painful it is to watch blatant injustices on a day-to-day basis, today I’m writing to share with you that while it may feel as if there are no real consequences occurring, powerful ripples of justice are already forming. 

Take this blog post for example.

Two years ago I wouldn’t have dared to blog about politics. Not wanting to rock the boat or “offend anyone,” I’d keep my political opinions to quiet; Sticking to neutral, albeit still empowerment-related subjects like self-worth and how to handle criticism. (“There’s already so many political opinions out there, does the world really need to hear mine too?”)

The 2016 election changed everything. The political is now so far beyond personal that when it comes to opinions, HELL YES they matter.

My opinion matters. Your opinion matters. Everyone who thinks their opinion “isn’t needed” or doesn’t matter, matters.

I saw a woman on Fox News talking about how she doesn’t want to call herself a feminist because she doesn’t need to “get loud” or do the whole “rah rah, I hate men” routine.  

Fair enough, that’s her definition of feminism. But it’s not the “be all,” and it’s certainly not mine.

To me, feminism has nothing to do with hate.

Rather the opposite, it has everything to do with love and respect of women as equals, which is why all of the important men in my life have no issue referring to themselves as feminists.  

And while there is definitely a spectrum of how vocal one can be in their support of feminism, when it comes to women’s empowerment, the foundation of She’s Amazing and what the 2016 election sadly, but fortunately, put back on the map, the beauty is this:

No matter what you believe, identify with, or call yourself, when you’re truly empowered in who you are, you’re free. 

Seriously. Empowerment = FREEDOM.

Freedom from the sting of judgement.

Freedom from irritation about what “they” think.

Freedom from the need of approval or permission to be, do, think, or say whatever the hell you please. 

I had a friend who came to me a few months ago complaining about getting called a snowflake by conservatives.

I looked at her in confusion. At the time I actually hadn’t heard the term “snowflake” yet, and as she began to explain to me its meaning (for those of you unfamiliar, “snowflake” is a right-wing insult that essentially frames compassionate liberals as “weak as specks of snow”) I finally had to stop her and say,

“Girl, why do you care?”

She looked at me in frustration. “Because it’s not true! Compassion and weakness aren’t the same thing!” 

I nodded my head in agreement. “Yeah I know they aren’t. So what?”

If my response feels blunt, that’s actually the point. I see #snowflake trending on Twitter all the time now and I’m not the least bit fazed. You wanna know why?

I don’t care! The word doesn’t even enter — in the words of Dane Cook — into my periph.

I know who I am, and if I get called one derogatory insult or another, I take full responsibility for ignoring it.

A skill which is, ironically, a consequence of having self-compassion.

Yet prior to the rise of alt-right conservatism and the 2016 election, I wasn’t fully able to do this. I used to take far too many things personally and was often seething in irritation when someone labeled me as something I felt was untrue. 

Not anymore.

Call it the final straw — no longer having the energy to fight whatever judgments people want to throw at me for being a Millenial, a feminist or a “spiritual type,” having a child for a president showed me just how childish it was on my part to ever care what anyone thought of me. 

(Additionally, realizing just how much work we have to do as a country also showed me that there is literally ZERO time to be wasted fighting trivial matters like what someone said about you on social media.) 

But it’s not just me who’s going through this evolution. 

Every day I see and hear more and more girls — girls who didn’t used to care about politics or feel the need for “empowerment” — speaking out and standing tall in who they are.

Unafraid to call out the backwards, patronizing or factually incorrect comments of their family members, coworkers and friends. Completely detached from whatever criticism those people may say about them. 

(“Uh, I’m so tired of her Facebook shares.” “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” “Could she please just stop?”)

This is what I mean by justice.

The rise of strong, non-submissive women who don’t care if they aren’t acting lady-like by staying quiet is exactly the opposite of what a suppressive, misogynistic regime seeks to accomplish. 

Yes, we have a man in power with no respect for a system of checks and balances, but the reason he’s there is because there’s a culture that supports his bluster — and that’s what we’re actually fighting through every comment, share, like, post and uncomfortable conversation. 

So the next time you see an infuriating headline, deflated by the thought that there’s nothing you can do, please remember:

Your words are your power. Use them!

 

Thumbnail image via: Tumblr

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