Women’s rights seems to be the topic of great debate recently as a variety of stories have brought contraception, health care and women’s equality to the forefront of the news. While I will spare you from jumping on my soapbox, I will say, it certainly has revved up my engines as I try to not take the many rights and freedoms I have as a woman living in the United States for granted.
Did you know?
*There are still 3 countries in the world that do not allow women the right to vote (Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Omen)
*Women in the United States weren’t allowed equality with regards to access to credit (buying a home, opening a credit card, etc) unless their father or husband would sign for them until the early 1970’s
*Only 1% of the world’s assets are in the name of women. (via OnlineWomeninPolitics)
*Some of the latest countries to grant women suffrage are: Switzerland (1971), Iraq (1980), Namibia (1989), Kazakhstan (1994).
*28 women are current world leaders (including monarchies)
While there are endless statistics I could list, one of the most poignant and eye-opening women’s rights movies I highly suggest you watch is HBO’s Iron Jawed Angels starring Hilary Swank, Anjelica Houston, Francis O’Connor and Patrick Dempsey. Needless to say, it will help American women, but I do believe all women, to better appreciate the rights that were fought long and hard for.
Keeping all of this in mind, I came up with the many ways we as women can revel in our womanhood which is a balancing act, but one that I feel quite proud in bearing as it is such a ponderous and hard fought responsibility we now have (and as you know, haven’t had for long).
1. Exercise your voice – vote!
2. Wear skirts and dresses with abandon. Wear them with confidence knowing that a fabulous pair of jeans will look just as amazing when the occasion calls.
3. Raise the bar higher. Always do your best and never hold back just because you’re worried about someone else’s feelings. If they are of mature character, they will appreciate being pushed to do their best as well.
4. Be a positive role model for younger generations. Young girls look up to their mothers, aunts, grandmothers and other women they come into contact with. Demonstrate with your actions and how you live your life that the life ahead of them is theirs to create.
5. Exercise, develop and engage your mind. Never stop learning. Whether it is taking classes at the nearby college, enrolling in a cooking or yoga class at night, going to the library and checking out books or watching intriguing shows and movies, continue to read and absorb information voraciously. An education is something that can never be taken away from you.
6. Enjoy pampering yourself and applying your make-up, doing your hair, always keeping in mind that you are more than your outer shell, but feeling beautiful sure increases a woman’s confidence.
7. Don’t play the victim and become the director of your own life.
8. Mind your manners and rise above those who have none.
9. Financially support yourself because you can – don’t take this for granted. One of the biggest stresses to any relationship is money, so be sure that you have your financially situation under control so that you know you can always land on your feet no matter what may come in the future.
10. Provoke curiosity, instead of titillating. Women are not trophies and our beautiful curves should be tastefully adorned, not tackily clad. Dress in a manner that hints at what’s underneath, don’t share the entire story.
11. Respect your body and demand that others do the same. If they refuse to, walk away.
12. Nurture someone – your children, your pets, your dreams, yourself. While nurturing may be engrained in most women’s nature, it doesn’t mean we all are drawn to nurture in the same way. Many women want children – fabulous! I applaud responsible, loving and devoted parents, as we need more of them, but not every woman wants children. Some are perfectly find nurturing their dreams, as well as supporting their significant others. Whatever you choose to care for, do it with zeal and without shame.
13. Know women’s history – be appreciative and never take your rights for granted. Too many women gave so much for women they would never know. Don’t just blithely toss these rights aside.
14. Demand equality.
15. Treat men the way you would want to be treated. Treat ALL people the way you would want to be treated – with respect, courtesy, and kindness.
16. Refuse to be stereotyped. Many people still may be comfortable with patriarchal traditions, but that doesn’t mean their assumptions should influence your direction and decisions. Live for yourself and know that you are worthy of respect regardless of your sex and if you’re willing to work hard and do what needs to be done, you too deserve what you seek.
17. Allow a man to court you – you are the prize, so behave in such a manner. And throughout the process, let him know you appreciate his thoughtfulness. And always remember we teach others how to treat us, so respect yourself with your actions and applaud those actions that are respectful.
18. Break the rules, but follow some too. It really is beneficial to let the guy ask you out. Trust me on this one, refer to #17. (see comments below for my explanation as to why I wholeheartedly believe this)
19. Be respectful toward other women. You may not like some women or agree with them, but don’t belittle them. Be kind. Set your boundaries and move on.
I have a feeling this list could be much longer, so I’m curious about the ways in which you enjoy reveling in being a woman. Please do share and have a wonderful Wednesday.
Other posts you might enjoy on the topic of women from The Simply Luxurious Life: