Female empowerment – be part of the solution
We always hear people talking about the importance of empowering and supporting other females and when you are not in a position to empower someone with money or resources, it can be a bit difficult to figure out how to be part of the solution. Here are a few things you should AVOID in order to be part of the solution and help uplift other women.
Slut-shaming is when you degrade, embarrass, insult or attack a woman based on behaviour that is seen as promiscuous (having many sexual relationships). Slut-shaming contributes to the negative stereotypes about women’s sexuality and behaviour. It degrades, embarrasses, and insults women and when we laugh at insulting jokes, call other women names or judge them on their choice of clothing, we are contributing to this.
Spreading gossip or rumours about someone can not only damage their reputation, but also affect how they see themselves. Even if there’s some truth to the rumours, it’s not anyone’s place to talk about them, especially on social media. If you are concerned about something, rather speak to the person about it directly to avoid gossip mongering and harmful rumours.
Body-shaming is when you make someone feel bad about their body shape or weight by pointing it out, giving unsolicited (unwanted) weight loss/gain advice or making jokes about it. There has always been pressure on women to look, dress and carry themselves a certain way and it’s unfair and offensive. That’s why we should not contribute to this by laughing at jokes about women’s weight on social media, commenting about it or even allowing our male friends to speak badly about it.
Every woman is affected in some way by these unfair beauty standards and it’s our responsibility to make sure we look out for each other by being kind and calling out people who body-shame.
Victim blaming involves putting blame (directly or indirectly) on the victim of a crime. This is something that happens a lot with victims of abuse, rape and assault. Asking someone what they were wearing when they were raped, or what they did to upset their abusive partner are both examples of victim blaming. Remember, rapists, abusers and perpetrators of assault are the ones responsible for this happening and it’s important for us to hold them accountable by not blaming or shaming the victims. This will help us end rape culture and other cycles of abuse.
Sometimes disempowering women might not be your intention, but it is still harmful. This is why it’s important to be aware of the different ways we contribute to disempowering women so that we can change our behaviour. Make it a habit to support women and be part of the solution to female empowerment.
Did you find this article helpful? Yes No