Inspired by a lovely lady friend last week, I’ve decided to celebrate womanhood every Wednesday. There is a culture of competition between women which seems to differ somewhat from that which exists between men. It seems that male competition is a competition between individuals; female competition is, all too often, a measure of desirability, which is not only harmful to the individual person, but in a wider context. There are plenty of forces willing to subjugate women already; we do not need to help in our own oppression. On the contrary, women must be at the forefront of overcoming gender bias in our society, although, naturally, it is also a men’s issue.
But, this post is about celebrating the good, in order to foster the positive change which we still need. We all need help in that, but we are also the main agents in that process. As Florence says in Various Storms and Saints, ‘I am teaching myself how to be free…’.
Here are a few ideas of how to have wicked Women Wednesdays:
- Let’s get physical: Get body positive about yourself and your friends. That could be sharpie tattoo detailing the bits you love on each others’ bodies, it could be setting up a gym buddy system, it could be a simple, ‘you look hot today’.
- Learn your lesson: Read something inspiring written by a pioneering woman. I’m currently on Everyday sexism by Laura Bates.
- Boost!: Send a boost to a friend – a text message to get them through that Monday haze, or a poem that you think will inspire them out of a recent rut…
- Excuse me, Miss: Compliment a beautiful stranger. Nothing like a kind word from someone with no vested interest.
- Mama who bore me: Ask your mother about your birth, think about a birth plan if you want to have children, marvel at the miracle that women’s bodies can produce. Pretty bad-ass.
- Memoir-moi: Read a memoir, maybe Lili Elbe’s ‘Man into Woman’.
- Great things in small packages: Spend some time with a little girl, learn about her perspective on things – you will learn something, for sure.
- Aunty Flo comes a’calling: Host a period sleepover. Sounds ridiculous but think about it – sleepovers involve a) pyjamas, b) chocolate/ sweets/ snacks and c) girl talk. Periods involve the same things. Make a night of it.
- Speaking of which…: Get in touch with your period. Try an app like Clue to ger your head round it. If you have any techniques etc. on how you deal with your period, share it – you might just make someone’s period a little less crappy and that’s no bad thing, is it?
- Check 1, 2: Do a boob check and remind your friends to do the same. Check out CoppaFeel!
- Make a fuss: Challenge a sexist joke, or a comment that you know has slipped out without a thought – make people think.
- Hello, it’s me you’re looking for: Draw attention to yourself. Don’t make yourself smaller – get up on stage, post that drawing on Instagram – celebrate you in all your glory.
- This is my new girlfriend: Contact an old friend you haven’t seen in years and see if you still connect. You might meet some new lovelies in the process!
- Thank you, kindly: Gratitude is a powerful way to reduce stress and to strengthen relationships. If someone has made a difference in your life, let them know!
- Sage: We all have our own experiences; use your wisdom to guide someone younger or more vulnerable that yourself.
- Not just a pretty face: Take photos with friends, caption it with the things you love about each one.
- Tampon tax: Donate tampons and sanitary towels to homeless shelters, especially if you have purchased a mooncup and don’t need them anymore.
- Do a Katy Perry: Kiss a girl, you might like it.
- Live long and prosper: Spend time with an elderly lady, ask about her life, consider how different your life has been and why.
- Woman crush: Choose a lady (famous or friend). One Wednesday try to emulate something you admire about them: boldness (try a new lipstick), elegance (try a classic style like Coco Chanel, for example), joy (try to laugh more freely) etc.
- Be your own woman crush: Write down what makes you a desirable person, or the attributes that you value in yourself (i.e. integrity, calmness).
- New to me: Discover a new female artist. Mine is Kathryn Williams – a singer/songwriter I will be doing a workshop with in February.
- Paint me like one of your French girls: Look up a female artist you’ve been interested in but don’t know much about.
- I am, I am, I am: Take some self-portraits, or draw them.
Happy Women Wednesdays!