With regard to International Women’s Day yesterday, I thought I would write this blog post because this particular topic has been on my mind for quite some time. I’d even go as far as saying that this topic has been on my mind since High School, because most girls didn’t like me and I wondered why.
But what prompted me to write this post is the Facebook statuses and Instagram photos with their Women’s Day captions dedicated to women everywhere yesterday. The disparity between the posts I saw yesterday and the posts I see every other day is the reason this blog post won’t be a typical Women’s Day post because this issue has been going on for too long.
As human beings we have the capacity to encourage and support one another, to be united rather than divided and to celebrate our diversity rather than mock what is different to our own norms.
I found it beautiful and inspiring to see women celebrating one another; as mothers, sisters, daughters and also as doctors, lawyers, teachers etc; women celebrating women for the sacrifices they’ve made and for encompassing many roles within society. I found it beautiful and inspiring, but also ironic.
I found it ironic because every single day women post judgmental comments on social networking sites that are hurtful and malicious. Whether it is judging another women’s lifestyle, fashion sense or what food she prefers on a Friday night, those catty remarks are everywhere.
For every negative comment there are a hundred more showing love and support but, why the negativity in the first place?
One thing in particular that bothers me is that we as women are always saying that we should not be put into boxes, that we as women can be and do anything. But what I’ve found is that many women’s definition for ‘be and do anything’ is limited to what they think should be the definition for all women. Opinions and different perspectives are passed off as ‘correct’ lifestyle choices and anyone outside of this lifestyle choice is judged harshly.
We’re either seen as too soft and not assertive enough, or too assertive and not soft enough. Women who choose to have children from the age of 35 and up are seen as selfish whereas women who choose to have children earlier are seen as unambitious. Here’s my take on it: having children does not make you a woman. Neither does having a job. And both are not mutually exclusive.
I find it insulting when women degrade the role of a mother, because, essentially, you’re degrading your own mother. I also find it insulting when women’s dreams are seen as invalid and unattainable for whatever reason. And again I ask, why all the negativity? A better question would be, why is all this negativity coming from and directed at women?
Why don’t we support each other for the different roles we play? Why don’t we value each other’s worth in society instead of putting every other woman who is different to us into a box, on a shelf, labelled, “disappointment.”
We all have different ambitions and definitions of success. Everyone’s path to happiness is paved in their own way and what makes one of us happy can’t be said for all of us.
So, as beautiful and inspiring as the posts were yesterday, why can’t this be done every day?