I am a feminist. Not even a 'I'm a feminist but don't worry...' feminist, I'm pretty much no hesitation, straight up feminist. And one thing I am seeing more and more of, but want to see more and more of still is women supporting women.
And today is Galentines Day! So here is why I think it's important that girls support other girls.
1. Cat fights are dumb. The media, especially, loves to pit women against each other. Be it career, love life or looks. It's not representative at all and we're not getting the right message. Celebrities calling it out is awesome and can help us see it when it happens. This isn't a competition.
2. Slut Shaming is dangerous. Judging other girls on how they choose to dress and what they choose to do is internalised misogyny and only serves to perpetuate terrible things like victim blaming and rape culture. Equally, supporting those who would rather live a different way is important. Women are sexualised but can't be sexual. In reality, people are different! And as surprising as it may be, being different means different attitudes and likes. We're allowed to do what we want, who we want as long as they are cool with it as much or as little as we want. Supporting that right supports safety and sexual health.
3. Conditions only exclude. We should keep putting away the idea that only one type of girl is the correct way to be. Even if we have completely different interests and ways of acting we need to support each other in our own choices and not exclude women from our definition of feminism. Whether you like wearing peter pan collars or pencil skirts, sports clothes or nothing at all - you are accepted as a feminist if you agree that men and women are of equal value in the world.
4. Our arms open wider when there's more of us. The recent and awful death of Leelah Alcorn brought to light, again, the struggles faced by trans women. One that cannot be forgotten. We have to support ALL women. We have to protect them and fight against their further discriminations.
5. Learning. Supporting all women means we are against racism, homophobia, sizephobia and all the discriminations within them. Learning about other women who are different and live differently to us allows us to grow and understand the world better.
6. Confidence. Supporting other women helps raise the voices of those who would otherwise be unheard and helps women find their own voices to raise. Support builds confidence and breeds further support. It allows achievements to be made and recognition to be given. It allows a girl to make it home safely, a women to leave an abusive relationship, a teenager to feel alright about themselves and a women to realise her full potential in a career that was typically 'male'. And do it wearing a full pleated dress.
Happy Galentine's Day! and Happy Valentines Day! I hope you spend it with the person, book, cat or laptop that you love the most.
These are only a few things out of SO MANY MORE. Tweet me them at @alittlevoice.