My friend Jessica sent me an email yesterday with this GIF in it. Jessica is a special person in general, but extra special to me because she's a friend I made through this blog. Her investigative skills many years ago made her realize her office and my office at the time had to be within blocks of one another and she invited me to lunch. Figuring it was a public place so if she was a psycho I could make an escape, I said yes. We had sushi, we found out we had a lot in common, and we became friends. When Em outgrew her jumperoo, I passed it on to Jessica. When Jessica moved to another state, I got her in touch with a friend and coworker who lived up there and now the two of them are also friends!
Anyway, back to the GIF. It shows women helping other women rise up. I love it and could look at it all day. It’s a cheerful image, and one I don’t see a lot of lately.
When I wrote the post about what to wear to a protest march, I didn’t expect it to be as popular as it was. I didn’t fathom that people like Cindy Gallop would be sharing it or it would be offered as advice on the dozens and dozens of march-related Facebook pages. I was thrilled that is was, thrilled that so many found it beneficial, thrilled when so many women reached out to me with ways to improve the post to benefit those who were attending. Women helping women, even if it’s just on ways to have dry and comfy feet for the 21st.
What I wasn’t thrilled with was those who attacked me, and attacked those who commented on the post. Of all the comments I deleted, only one was an anti-feminism troll. The rest were women who were attacking and judging the decisions of others. Who were attacking me for writing the post and worrying too much about looking cute. Who felt women who liked and shared the post weren’t feminist enough. Who felt you couldn't like X or worry about Y and consider yourself a feminist.
I have a friend who has mobility issues and went to a Facebook page for the march to see if I could find some transportation information for her. I was disheartened to see arguments over the pussy hat project. Women were attacking one another, getting so fired up and vicious over a hat! I left and scrolled through my Facebook feed where I saw comments on pieces shared by bloggers and websites I follow where women were attacking one another for liking news about Kardashians, wearing a certain brand of cosmetics, for admitting they are a size 6 even when it was appropriate to the discussion.
Come on women, why are we attacking each other, especially at a time like this?
When it comes to the Women’s March, I know many of you going are old-school protesters and that is AMAZING. But the only way to inspire and rally the younger generations is to encourage them and include them. Sure you may find them being frivolous worrying about their hair for that day, but you need to see the positive – they’re GOING! They’re part of this movement! They CARE! As for what is worn the day of the event, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sea of pink hats, black for mourning, or a rainbow of variety. What matters is that over 1,200 buses at the time of writing this have registered to bring people to the march. Considering how many have registered along with this, we can expect 100,000 people there. That’s AMAZING, and there’s truly strength in numbers, no matter what they wear.
When it comes to life, the same thing holds true. I will forever thank my friend Erin for setting me straight with this blog. She used to be a blogger too, we met through this medium and have stayed in touch through social media. I’ve always admired her style, be it what she wore or how she lived her life. She called me out when I was judgmental over another woman’s style. I think about that often, and I think considering her words has improved this blog and made it a better resource for women.
Whether it’s what another wears, how they choose to react to the news, how they parent, or how they blog, each woman is doing what she thinks is best in the best manner she can at the time. Being a woman is freaking TOUGH. Sure, a la Ginger Rogers we do what men do but backwards and in high heels. But we do even more than that. Gosh, just having periods is a monthly ordeal that we face, have to pretend doesn’t bother us, and isn’t an excuse for slacking at work, parenting, and life in general.
We all know life in general is tough. We all have battles we fight on a daily basis, whether they are visible or not. Always, but especially now, when you start to feel anger or snark towards another woman, remember this GIF, take a breath, and stop to think why that woman may be saying/doing/wearing that. You aren’t a black and white creature with a simple black and white life. I bet that other woman isn’t as well. With so much against us in 2017, how about we start this year by lifting one another up?