Patriarchy has taught us to envy, judge, and even destroy other women instead of working together to reach new heights. We preach about uplifting women without thinking twice about our actions and the effect it has on us as a collective. On social media alone, I’ve witnessed women labeling girl friendships as “drama”, questioning other women when they share their stories of sexual assault/rape, mocking female political candidates, and spewing hate based on what another woman chooses to do with her body. I’ve seen female “influencers” announce that they are not feminists. FYI a feminist is one that believes in equal rights for all.
I’ve heard women say that they’re lucky they have boys and not girls. I’ve heard women say their sons better stay single for as long as they can and avoid girl trouble. I’ve seen women excuse their son’s/husband’s wrongful actions. I’ve seen women ruin their son’s marriages by choosing to mistreat their daughter-in-laws. I wish I heard more women say that they will raise their sons to realize their privilege, be an ally to all women, and advocate for equal rights because empowering one another also includes changing the way we raise our sons.
Before you participate in a trending women empowerment challenge, ask yourself are you actively dismantling patriarchy or are you feeding it? When is the last time you supported a woman who isn’t your friend or refrained from passing your judgement onto another woman? When is the last time you helped another woman grow? Just imagine what we can all achieve when instead of competing and hating, we choose to support one another. Remember, an achievement for one of us brings power for all of us.
EDIT: #challengeaccepted (posting B&W selfies) initially originated as a means to protest and raise awareness of femicide in Turkey.