There’s a lot of advice out there on the internet. Much of it takes the form of lists, like you see on Buzzfeed. Some of it’s good and some of it’s… well, misguided. I find the advice for girls or young women to be particularly misguided. Well, I have my own set of advice. Here it is:
45 Things Strong, Independent Ladies Should Know
1. Feminism isn’t about gaining power over men.
2. Men have gender stereotypes, just as women do.
3. We’re not going to solve the gender inequalities if we don’t explore both these stereotypes and their affect on people.
4. The values men and women are taught from the time we’re born are very different from each other.
5. It’s hard for people to change their actions based on values they’ve learned their whole lives.
6. Teaching our daughters how to grow up to be respectable adults will only go so far, we need to teach our sons as well.
7. As a woman, adopting the traits associated with men in our culture will not make us equal. It will only add to the perception that men are superior.
8. Objectifying men as a backlash to them objectifying us will also not make us equal. It will only grow resentment between the genders.
9. Belittling other people for not being a feminist or having misconceptions about the feminist movement will get the movement nowhere.
10. Most people wont see the gender inequalities that are obvious to you.
11. To look forward to equality, we need to leave the traditions behind us. This means, for god’s sake, start paying for yourself on dates.
12. When we ask for equality, we’re representing our sisters from outside the United States too.
13. Being a stay at home mom (or dad) is a luxury. Most people have to bust their asses their whole lives.
14. Striving for equality is not striving to have every woman a part of the white-collar, upper class. Not all men are businessmen, and so not all women should be businesswomen.
15. Sexual assault is a real fear that women carry with them on an every day basis, not only abroad, but right here in the United States.
16. Rape’s not something that just happens; there is a cause.
17. Walking with your head held high is the best defense.
18. Closely following, a can of pepper spray if the situation warrants it.
19. But, if we allow the solution to be carrying pepper spray, we’ll always be carrying pepper spray.
20. Having an “anything goes” policy when it comes to the objectives of the feminist movement will never work.
21. Your actions affect not only you, but the whole society.
22. Allowing yourself to be objectified makes it easier for all women to be objectified.
23. A man’s approval will never mean more than your own self-worth.
24. To be a strong, respectable woman doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone.
25. There is a difference between the terms sex and gender. Sex refers to the biological organs a person was born with, while gender refers to the societal fabrications that dictate how the sexes “should” be.
26. People feel awkward saying the word, “sex.”
27. Our culture lays out two distinct gender categories for us to fall into.
28. There are many other gender orientations that exist, just not in the mainstream.
29. The term, “bitch,” is harmful when using it in the sense of a whiny, complaining woman.
30. We can embrace the word, “bitch,” to change its meaning.
31. It’s okay to say cunt, if using it’s in a sexual way, like here.
32. There’s nothing to fear about the F word… Feminism.
33. Calling other women sluts or whores just plays into the destructive stereotypes in our culture.
34. There’s a way to express distaste for another’s actions in a diplomatic manner.
35. Having a lot of sex doesn’t mean a woman is going against feminist values.
36. Flaunting one’s body for personal gain, or playing into detrimental stereotypes does.
37. The want for approval is not the same as the desire for sex.
38. Women have sexual fantasies, desires, and impulses, just like men.
39. It’s harder to talk about women’s sexuality than men’s.
40. Almost every woman will face sexism.
41. Talking about our experiences with sexism will bring awareness to the problem.
42. We can’t tear down societal barriers by putting up barriers in our personal lives.
43. There are a lot of strong female role models out there to look up to.
44. There is a lot of hope for equality with the rise of new media and the Internet.
45. Being a feminist is being a humanitarian with a focus.
46. Being a woman is nothing more than being a human.
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