How Girls Can Support Girls

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Emily LaValle

March 8th was International Women’s Day, a day when anyone who identifies as a woman or a girl can celebrate themselves and any other women in their lives; those who don’t identify as women can pause to honor women they admire. International Women’s Day is an acknowledgment of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. However, it is hard to ignore how girls today still tear down other girls for no reason. No woman can be her strong self unless we work together to shake off an old shadow that holds all women back: how harsh we can be to one another. As a start for how girls can support girls, we can all have zero tolerance for negativity about women, stop slut-shaming, and learn to celebrate a woman’s success.

Gossiping is a constant negative aspect of life, and is way more painful than one might think. If you hear someone saying mean things about someone else, put an end to it and speak up. Your words are powerful, and by saying the right ones you could save someone’s feelings. Gossiping is bullying, and can lower a woman’s self esteem and confidence. Every woman deserves to have her own strong sense of confidence in herself, and other girls (or anyone else of course) should not be the ones to tear that down. By advocating for no gossiping, you are advocating to make Nerinx a even more positive environment for everyone.

According to Oxford Dictionary, slut-shaming is “to stigmatize (a woman) for engaging in behavior judged to be promiscuous or sexually provocative.” In our society, slut-shaming is common especially by judging a woman on her clothes. It is important to realize that women feel comfortable and confident in many different ways. Each woman is different, and to essentially shame a woman on what she wears is degrading and sad. According to Claire Daugherty, who is part of the tribal council for Nerinx’s Women For Women Club, she thinks girls slut-shame each other “simply because we were raised in a society that taught us that women can not and should not engage in consistent relations outside of committed relationships. It is up to us to unlearn our tendencies to judge women for their sexualities.” It is important to recognize slut-shaming, and to think before we speak to help us to put an end to it.

Women can sometimes be scared or shy to tell another woman about their accomplishments or successes, afraid that they will be topped by other victories. We need to acknowledge a woman’s effort even if she fails, but her victories if she succeeds. We must not hold a woman’s achievements or gifts against her. When one woman succeeds, it does not mean another one is less than her.

In conclusion, if girls support one another, we will live in a more positive world where girls all over can truly do anything. Women already suffer from many roadblocks, economically, socially and politically. By helping other women thrive, you help decrease the damage these roadblocks cause.