What do all of the trailblazing women of the world have in common?
The women we admire most who have risen above, pushed past the hardships only to come out through the other side? These are the women that are natural born leaders, the women that set trends and turn over lessons for the rest of us to learn from.
There’s one thing these women similarly share in their approach on how they regard each other: They empower one another.
But being a woman around other women isn’t always easy. In our femme culture, we have a natural competition going on that is linked to biology. For years, scientists have been trying to figure out why women aren’t always the nicest to one another.
As per a NY Times Op-ed, evolutionary psychology has told us that this hostile behavior is bred from the need to “protect” ourselves, our wombs, and our partners. While women aren’t naturally inclined to be physically aggressive, their “indirect aggression” is what’s used to feel safe while “lowering the stock of other women.”
Women who feel possessive, catty, competitive, or some similar emotions react on their own insecurities by putting down others. And of course, there’s a more aesthetic-focused pressure to act, talk, and react a certain way.
While we have so many endearing qualities in our relationships together, there’s a problem with the way we women address each other, and it needs to change now.
Always strive for independence
For an empowered woman, independence should start with your thoughts and spread to your emotions and entire lifestyle.
An empowered woman knows what she wants, and doesn’t need anyone’s opinion to guide them. Empowered women make their own decisions and base them on no one’s ideas but their own.
Independence also means independent happiness. These women know who they are and what they stand for.
This means detaching any attachments or engagements that may hold you back from progressing forward and doing what’s best for your future and your future alone.
Appreciate your female friendships
I think we can all agree that female bonding feels so good for your brain. Girl time is unsurmountable in its compassion, something we take for granted with our best girlfriends.
According to the Huffington Post, it’s been scientifically proven that women particularly crave fellow female energy when their stress levels get too high.
“One landmark study by Laura Klein and Shelley Taylor on the relationship between friendships and stress discovered that women react to stress differently than men… Taylor contends that women, on the other hand, are genetically hard-wired for friendship in large part due to the oxytocin released into their bloodstream, combined with the female reproductive hormones.”
If you never understood why girl time felt so good before, now you do. When the going gets tough, the girls get closer.
Leave the pettiness at home
Empowered women don’t have time to point, judge, and laugh. They are too focused on themselves and their futures to notice anyone else in a negative manner.
The NY Times Op-ed brings up a good point on how rare female-friendships are, and therefore more exceptional when successful.
“It’s considered exceptional, or at least noteworthy, that famous women like Amy Schumer and Beyoncé and Taylor Swift acknowledge that other women are talented, and frequently work with those other women without, in most cases, being catty about it. This makes them feminist heroes.”
Working with another woman is hardly deserving of being lumped in with feminism or heroics. There should be nothing admirable behind the notion, just acceptance and bequeathal of same-gender bonding, aid and cooperation.
Love your body
Your body is your vessel and your tool.
That is not to say your body must only be used for your sex appeal, but the approach in which a woman treats her body is her key to living a fulfilling life.
From fitness to childbirth, a woman should embrace her curves rather than critique them at every imperfection. Work out, eat right, and seize the love you have for the body you were blessed with.
Expanding your mind and learning to lead
Most importantly, empowered women love to learn and help one another.
Devex discusses the three L’s of women empowerment; learning, labor, and leadership.
“It is true — and it is understandable, given the bias that exists — that women sometimes lack confidence to match their competence. But they need to change that mindset and reset the narrative in their favor. So it is essential that women be ready to “dare the difference” — to take risks and step outside their comfort zones.”
You should never stop learning, but wisdom breeds patience and understanding. As you learn, it’s important to remember that in order for our entire gender to progress, we must help one another, not chip away at one another’s self-esteem.
Female leaders aren’t made over night. It takes a scaled balance of compassion, emotions, and leadership skills to make a strong woman leader.
There is nothing more beautiful than an entire community watching one another grow, helping out your fellow sister through guidance and empathy.
For empowered women everywhere, this is your time to shine, to share your knowledge and seeds with us all, because if we don’t have each-other’s back, who will?