Every year, we make resolutions that revolve around our feelings and personal goals. This year, aside from losing weight, being more active and enjoying life to the fullest, let’s make resolutions that defy stereotypes and gender inequality. This country needs the voice of women now more than ever; it’s only imperative that we make feminist New Year’s resolutions. Feminism as a word brings about many different emotions. But, Feminism is about making equal what is not equal but should be equal. Never cringe upon hearing the word “feminism” and don’t apologize for being one. Let 2017 be a productive as well as an empowering year by following these feminist resolutions as well as adding more of your own.
1- No More Repressing Emotions
Emotional repression is a tactic we had to develop by time so we wouldn’t be called “soft” or “whiny” and all of the other stereotypical “bad” traits that are associated with being a girl. Although it made us strong and unwavering at all costs, we shouldn’t be ashamed to admit we have feelings. This year, we’re not gonna apologize for our softness, our hardness or for whoever we are or become. We have repressed enough feelings, and as we all learned, all repressed feelings resurface eventually.
2- GIRLS SUPPORTING GIRLS
Celebrate the success and endeavors of all the women in your life and those you admire. Prove it to yourself before the world that women are not competitive with each other. Show the world all the cool things women are doing and let them inspire, encourage and empower you to keep making positive influence in the world. There is no stronger bond than the bond of womanhood!
3- Understand the Feminist Movement
Read about the history of feminism in the world and in Egypt and about the lives of all the strong women who fought hard to battle gender inequality throughout the years. Read about the women who introduced the concept of “women’s rights” to the public consciousness. Engage in conversations about sex, gender and class with other women and girls from all social stratas. Learn about their problems and their backgrounds and resolve to get involved and take action. There’s still a long way to go before women are viewed and treated as equal to men. That can only be done if you know where we stand at this point, and what needs to be done in the future. Read your rights and learn the difference between your rights and men’s rights and decide for yourself if it’s fair. This will make you more aware of the wrongs being committed and will allow you to fight injustice based on facts and truth.
4- Voice Your Opinions At All Times
If I had a dollar for the amount of times I’ve seen girls or women playing dumb in order not to belittle a man, I would be a millionaire. I’m actually guilty of not actively engaging in a conversation about women’s rights, because I was afraid that I might be too opinionated or too extreme. But this topic is not controversial; it’s our right and we have to fight for what is ours. We shouldn’t back down from situations that make us uncomfortable or inferior, because as Eleanor Roosevelt eloquently put it “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent”, and you should never give your consent.
5- Read More Books
Read more books written by female authors and more books about feminism. You will learn more about women’s rights, women’s issues and feel connected to more women in general. Some books about feminism you could start with include: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay and 50 Shades of Feminism by Lisa Appignanesi.
6- Don’t Overlook Sexist Comments
If someone says a sexit comment, don’t hesitate to call them on it and start a conversation. Don’t fight about it and instead ask questions that will make them reflect on why they said their comment in the first place. Let them share their opinions without you enforcing yours down their throat, because it’s not the way to battle sexist behavior or comments. So next time you’re in earshot of a sexist remark, don’t shrug it off. Call out the perverts, sexists and uninformed men (and women)!
7- Never Downplay Your Achievements to Boost a Man’s Ego
Women were taught to be apologetic for their achievements if it ever surpassed their S/O’s or any of the men’s in their lives. That is because it was considered the norm for men to be richer and more successful. Women’s ultimate defence mechanism became apologizing for situations they should not be sorry about. But, it’s not normal and it’s not what is expected.
8- Be Picky About Your Choice of Company
Surround yourself with people who ignite the passion burning in you and with people who share your beliefs and understand you. Don’t hang out with people who don’t make you feel smart or with people who don’t push you forward. The easiest way to kill your passions is by spending time with people who dumb you down, whom you don’t have intellectual conversations with.
9- Watch More Movies that Have Passed The Bechdel Test
The Bechdel test was created by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel and a film passes it if it has two named female characters who have a conversation that does not revolve around a man. Sadly, most of the movies fail to pass that test. Finding those who do in fact pass it will be like finding a needle in a haystack. However, this year, keep the Bechdel test in mind whenever you watch a movie.
10- Find An Organization that Advocates for An Issue You Care About and Get Behind It
This one doesn’t have to be about feminism. Find a political, economical or social organization that fights for a stance you advocate for and get behind it fully. It’s 2017 and the time for staying silent, taking no action and shaking our heads about injustices later on is way behind us.
To all women, say what you really think and ask for what you really want and have the courage of your convictions. Basically, be like Hermione Granger.