Everyday Ways To Support The Women In Your Life
In honor of International Women’s Day.
Today is International Women’s Day.
It’s also coincidentally daylight savings, which means an hour will be taken away from a day intended for women.
Anyways, International Women’s Day is focused on creating awareness of women’s equality and rights. It’s been celebrated since the 1900s and observed in many countries around the world.
Each year has a theme. This year is #EachForEqual.
The theme is about what individuals can do to change stereotypes, fight against prejudices, and celebrate the achievement for women.
And though I personally believe we should strive for this kind of behavior every day, International Women’s Day is the kind of mass awareness most people need.
In honor of the day, I want to talk about simple ways you can show women respect and celebrate their achievements. Sure, there are marches and charities you can donate to.
But I believe in the power of changing an individual’s actions.
These ideas are easy to implement in your everyday life and coincidentally similar to the common decency you’d show anyone.
Move Over On The Sidewalk
Do you know what’s a scary feeling? Walking alone as a woman at night.
Men, I won’t fault you for not understanding. You most likely feel like you can hold your own in a fight.
But for women, our reality is different.
Every day we’re catcalled and demeaned by strangers. You may think we should instinctively trust people, but that’s not how the world works for us.
So when you see a woman walking down the sidewalk, make her feel a bit safer and move to the side a bit. A bit of safety goes a long way when we’re walking to the grocery store.
Remove Sexist Phrases From Your Vocabulary
Sexist phrases include:
- “Like a girl.”
- “Don’t be a pussy.”
- “Act like a lady.”
- Anything else that implies being a female is less than
Gender stereotypes are the whole reason we’ve gotten into this equality mess in the first place. Please don’t perpetuate them.
A great way to support women is to remove the above from your vocabulary. They’re demeaning to women and instill the idea in young girls that they aren’t as capable as men.
Ask For Consent
When it comes to celebrating women, there’s nothing better than respecting someone’s autonomy!
You may think that sex is part of the equation, but that’s never the case.
You might argue, “but asking for consent kills the mood!” But if the mood can be killed by a simple question, then I don’t think that’s what you should be worried about.
Whether you’re on a date or with your partner, try not assuming sexual activity is part of the equation. Ask for consent; it’s the new sexy.
I know this may be shocking to hear, but women aren’t walking around for your viewing pleasure. So please don’t whoop or whistle as we pass by.
Like I said before, women worry about their safety all the time. You may think a honk of your horn is harmless, but it’s jarring for us.
And honestly, what are you trying to achieve anyway? I’m not sure of the statistic, but I imagine the success rate for catcalling is close to 0%.
Give Female Employees a Raise
Do you have female employees? Consider a raise!
What better way to show your hardworking female employees that you appreciate them than a raise? Perhaps take a look at what you pay your employees. Is there a disparity between certain people of the same job title? Level it.
I know it’s a Sunday, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind receiving this gift a day later.
Don’t Ask Us to Smile
I don’t totally understand the phenomena of men asking women to smile.
I never hear of people asking men to smile. Yet, I need two hands and my toes to count the number of times a man has asked me to smile.
You may have innocent intentions, but the fact is that our faces don’t exist to make you happy. It’s sweet you enjoy the beauty of a woman’s smile, but enjoy it when it comes freely.
Encourage Female Friendships
As an adult, I realize how hard it is to forge female friendships. Sure, it comes easily to some, but to many of us, it doesn’t.
When a man walks into a party, they think about what kind of food there is and if they like the music. For women, we automatically scan the room for other women; a lot of the time, comparing themselves to each other.
All too often, women feel pitted against one another. So if a woman in your life has a female friend, encourage that friendship. Support women that support other women.
Respect Our Emotions
Don’t dismiss us a crazy, and please, for the sake of your safety, don’t ask if we’re on our periods.
People tend to minimize women’s emotions. It’s detrimental to our struggles and is only going to create distance between you and the women in your life.
Instead of writing off a woman’s emotions, practice the art of validating a person’s feelings.
Really, women want to be treated with the same respect you’d show your friend or dad. You don’t need to walk around, afraid of making a mistake.
Just be a good person, consider some of your actions, and work to making women feel at home in the world.