Call Out The Mean Girls
For the past couple of weeks, the world has watched and cheered as Coco Gauff; the 15-year-old tennis player has racked up win after win at Wimbledon, and the US Women’s National Soccer (uswnt) team dominated the FIFA World Cup in France. I don't know about you, but I am neither a tennis or soccer enthusiast, and I found myself watching and cheering for them. Let me tell you, what an impressive display of sportsmanship, hard work, dedication, and let’s not forget GIRL POWER these women have shown.
My thoughts are drawn to the uswnt and how this community of women worked together to dominate and win the FIFA World Cup. If you look at their Instagram page (#uswnt) and the personal IG pages of the players, what you see is a community of women who have supported one another throughout their journey to hold the World Cup yet again. They lived and worked as a team. Through bad days and the bad press, they stood together and celebrated one another.
I guess that there have been many times that you have experienced something vastly different within your community of women. We stand together in solidarity on the surface, but behind the scenes, we can often be each other’s biggest obstacle. When we should be supportive instead we bring strife and discontent. Rather than uplift and edify, we tear them down. Don’t you think we have enough obstacles to overcome that we don’t need to be one ourselves?
What’s the answer?
Call Out the Mean Girls
I believe the time has come to call out the mean girls. I am not advocating that we fight fire with fire. I don’t think it’s right to turn the tables and become the mean girls ourselves. However, I am saying that it’s time to stand up for ourselves. It is time to speak up and say we’ve had enough.
But listen, we have to do our part as well. We need to do some self-reflection to ensure we aren’t the mean girls.
Here are a few things to spend some time reflecting on:
Check yourself: Recognize and deal with any personal bias again women that you could have gained over the years.
Shift your thoughts: Once you've identified that not all of your thinking or actions for that matter are supportive to other women, make an effort to shift your thoughts and actions to those that empower other women.
Be a voice: Have you heard that saying, "see something say something?" If you see other women being unsupportive to other women, say something. Hold yourself to a higher standard — advocate for other women.
Avoid Gossip: Avoid gossiping about other women or find a way to dismiss yourself from any conversation that is negative gossip about a woman.
This action is a powerful way to diminish the overall cultural disempowerment of women. Your voice is an essential tool for building community.
Take some time to do some personal reflection and ask yourself:
What personal bias do I have about other women?
What can I do to shift my thinking?
In what ways can I be more supportive of other women?
I would love to hear how you help empower other women. Let me know in the comments below.