Photo Courtesy of dvcs
Culture 12 March 2018
March is Women's History Month, a time to reflect on the achievements of women and to seek new ways to empower them.
In the past year and a half, the Women's March and the #MeToo movement have begun to reshape national conversations about gender equality. But sometimes in our haste to advocate for women's rights, we forget that womanhood can come in many forms.
This month grants the perfect opportunity for anyone to start to acknowledge the diversity of women and champion for the equality of all: including women of color, trans women and women from around the world. Here are 15 woke ways to support, educate and celebrate all women for Women's History Month.
1. Make your smartphone even smarter by downloading this female-forward app.
Change starts with small steps, so why not begin with your phone? Download Women & Girls, an app that uses data from 201 countries to track gender equality around the world. Or keep tabs on sexual harassment by using Hollaback! an app that allows you to record and share stories about sexual harassment in your neighborhood.
Photo Courtesy of ThoughtCo
2. Become pen pals with a woman from across the globe.
Learn about women's experiences in other countries by finding an international pen pal. You can use the Women & Girls app to select a country that lacks women's equality. Then, use Postcrossing, a free website that connects you with people from 213 countries, to find your female pen pal.
3. Divest from companies that don't support equal rights and support ones that do.
Sadly, some of the brands we love support discrimination and inequality. Thankfully, there are tons of great women-owned brands you can put your dollar to that are supportive and inclusive. Check out Adorned by Chi, a clothing and accessory line full of cheeky tees and accessories that promote black girl magic and kawaii looks. Or SheNative, a handbag line started by Devon Fiddler, a First Nations woman looking to destigmatize the perception of indigenous women.
4. Dive into feminist theory.
Women make up 49.5 percent of the global population, and that's just those who are biologically born female. Expand your mind and learn about the many definitions of womanhood. Discover Kimberle Crenshaw, a civil rights activist and pioneer of intersectional feminism. Or read a book by Bell Hooks, a gender studies scholar who deconstructs what it truly means to be a woman of color under the white, male patriarchy.
5. Host a Women's History Month party.
What better way to celebrate Women's History Month than to recognize the women in your life? Ask guests to bring menstrual products, diapers, and makeup as a point of entry. At the end of the party, you can collect the products and donate to your local women's shelter. Here are some ideas on what you can ask your guests to bring.
During the party, your guests and you can color these awesome print-outs of badass women. Or opt for a movie marathon featuring powerful female characters. Uninspired? Check out this extensive list of movies with powerful female leads.
6. Treat yourself with this holistic, Latina-owned beauty line.
Brujita Skincare is a line based in Los Angeles that uses fairly-sourced, mineral-rich clays and powders from Mexico. The founder, Leah Guerrero, travels regularly in Mexico to find holistic ingredients sourced from local market vendors. The line specializes in masks, oils and creams.
7. Sign up for that boxing class you've been putting off.
U.N. Women estimates that 35 percent of women have experienced either physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Sign up for a boxing class at your local gym or better yet, a crash course women's self-defense.
8. Donate a picture book about a strong woman or girl.
Give the gift of women's empowerment to a girl in need. Check out this list of 45 must-have books for girls. If you don't have a Little Free Library where you live, try Project Night Night, a program that assembles “night packages" to homeless children 12 and under, or United Through Reading, a program that helps children of active military personnel bond with their deployed parents through reading.
9. Flood your feed with feminist Instagrams.
Who doesn't love a good RBG meme? For starters, check out @femalecollective, an Instagram run by Candace Reels, an intersectional feminist from Los Angeles who went from running the account to a full-fledged blog and online clothing store. Or @ladiesgetpaid, a women's network focused on sharing resources and job opportunities across the web.
10. Indulge in a TED Talk on feminism.
Choose from 10 talks that discuss different aspects of women empowerment. Examples include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's speech that inspired her book, “We Should All Be Feminists," and Malala Yousafzai's father, Ziauddin Yousafzai's speech on his daughter. These talks will open your mind and inspire the ways in which you think about female empowerment.
11. Call your local representatives to support and further promote equality for all.
Keep up with issues that affect your community. Whether it's speaking out about women's reproductive rights, or protections for trans women, call up your local representative and make your voice heard. Check out USA.gov to get in touch with your local, state and federal officials.
12. Register to vote.
It's important to remember the power we have when we cast a ballot. To learn more about how to register, click here.
13. Learn about the women you weren't taught about in history class.
For many, just like Black History Month, the scope of Women's History Month is narrow or non-existent in school. Use this time to learn about the hundreds of women around the world who have paved the way for future generations. Whether its women from the past like Queen Hatshepsut, the first queen of Egypt, or Miss Major, a pioneer trans civil rights activist who was active in the Stonewall Riots, try to learn about a woman each day for the month of March.
14. Find out about your own women's history.
It's important to remember the women in our own personal histories, too. Looking at old photo albums with family members can bring to light the past women in your family's narrative. But if you want to dive deeper, go online. Check out FamilySearch.org, a free ancestry site that has millions of records from around the world. The site also has tutorials and tips on how to look through archives.
15. Continue to celebrate women beyond history month.
Empowering women and fighting for gender equality should go beyond 31 days. Continue to advocate for the rights of all women by practicing these methods above, or better yet come up with some methods of your own.
3 min read
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Help! My Friend Is a No Show
Dear Armchair Psychologist,
I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.
Dear Sadsies,I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.
I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!
- The Armchair Psychologist