I recently attended a KZN blogger meet up, which was attended by only women. So, in honour of Women’s Month, today I’m going to chat about all the ways that women are awesome, as well as some of the ways we undervalue our awesomeness!
The first thing I want to chat about is power of women who are united for a common purpose. I directed a Women’s Day assembly at school to celebrate this, so I know what I’m talking about ;). There were over 100 000 signatures on the petition against passes in South Africa when the women marched on the 9th August 1956. The #MeToo movement is more recent evidence of this. If we start to unite our voices, we can start to affect the change we want to see in the world as women. We made mention of this at the KZN blogger meet up when we were discussing attaching a price tag our work as bloggers. If all of us decided to charge for our work, it would become common knowledge that bloggers don’t work for free. This is a concept which has also been very prevalent in the music industry. There are so many performers who undervalue their work and agree to work for “exposure”. If we are united in what we believe, we can change this. Women, bloggers and musicians alike can all be heard and treated with the respect they deserve for their work. Okay, rant over.
When women support each other, incredible things happen. This is the second thing I’d like to touch on. We got onto a discussion about support at the meet up. Some bloggers had experienced negativity from fellow bloggers for their work, their content, etc. We spoke about how we hate the whole trend of “trolling” on the internet. I think it’s so easy to forget that the people we judge and criticise are people too. I’m going to quote a post by Lisa Welsh (@itslisawelsh), fellow blogger here in KZN:
“We need to become more aware of the judgement trigger that pats us on the head and tells us we’re better than HER. Because we’re not. We are not better than anyone else. We’re not better than the mother with the screaming kids. Not better than the woman who is a few pounds heavier than us, ordering a burger. Not better than the woman who serves up microwave meals every weeknight. Not better than the perfectly made-up woman tottering on heels in the mall. Not the stay-at-home mum with a messy garden. Not better than the Christian, Muslim or Atheist. Not better than the woman with hairy legs/ acrylic tips/ dairy-free cappuccino/ fill your own blank. Accept your compulsion to judge as what it is: a bad habit, ignorant, hurtful, spiteful, a symptom of insecurity and a barrier to real friendships. Imagine how much fun you COULD be having with HER!”
I know I am guilty of judging others to feel better about myself. But support feels SO much better. One of the things that was also mentioned by Alison Coates (@ally_beyond_abundance) at the meet up, was this idea of trying on values, and working on values that we want to have. I think we can all try on the value of non-judgement and be more supportive. In one morning at the meet-up, just having real, supportive conversations with other women made me feel energized, powerful and full of excitement and possibilities for the future. Imagine if this was a constant reality, how amazing all of us would feel?! “Real queens fix each other’s crowns,” as they say, or in my version, “real queens polish each other’s crowns.” We don’t necessarily need fixing, but we can help each other shine!!!
The last thing I want to talk about is just the amazingness of women in general. Women can be so many different things to many different people. We can literally create human beings in our bodies. How incredible is that?! Women can mend broken hearts, bring joy, make homes and memories, carry heavy burdens, share joys and heartaches, understand and advise, love and nurture, grow and move and inspire. So as my final word on women’s month, go and read the poem by Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman, and tell yourself: “I am a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”