balance Love July 31, 2017

Women Empowering Women: Is it Real?

The movement of women empowering women has skyrocketed in my social media lately. All of the sudden, we’re all #girlbosses looking out for each other and #womensupportingwomen. And I can’t help but wonder… is it genuine, or is it just trendy to pretend?

First off, let me say that I WANT it to be real. I hope it is. At the very least, I hope it becomes real as time passes. What I want to do here is delve into the movement and try to understand just how deep it goes.

History

It’s no secret that women have a dirty history of tearing down other women. Somehow, it gets ingrained in most of us at a young age that other women are competition. As young girls, it’s competition for boys, for popularity, and for attention, among other things. Even our closest friends can be viewed as threats. We’re taught– by media, by example, and by experience– that every other female has the potential to swoop in and destroy everything we hold dear.

As we age, and become adults, the threat grows even greater. Now these women can do real damage. We’re competing for jobs, for husbands, and for social prominence. The greater the potential risk, the more serious the competition gets.

Movement

Out of all this shade-throwing, rumor-spreading competition grew a movement of women empowering women. Refreshing, right? How lovely that women are finally putting down their swords and uplifting other women, instead of taking jabs at them. Or at least, that’s what Instagram hashtags and Facebook groups lead us to believe.

But is it genuine? Or is it simply another grasping attempt for prominence and popularity?

Personal Experience

I’ve brought this up among my friends recently, and asked their opinions. Maybe we’re cynics, but the general consensus is that it’s a popular word to throw into social media posts, just like #tribe, #squad, and #vibes have been in the past. That’s not to say that there aren’t genuine #womenempoweringwomen out there. I am blessed to have some in my life. Women, both friends and acquaintances alike, who I truly believe will support me with no hidden agendas. But the majority? Eh, I’m not convinced.

Going Forward

One thing I know for sure, is that I will strive to empower other women. And I’m going to be perfectly honest– it isn’t always automatic. And it isn’t always easy. Like most women, I’ve spent most of my life viewing females as competition first, and then determining if they’re friend material. It’s hard work to simply support women without any second thought. It takes a conscious and determined effort to operate that way. But it’s important enough that it’s worth the effort.

Hopefully one day, if enough of us lead by example, the movement will be more than a movement… hopefully one day it will just be life.

What is your experience? Maybe yours is different than mine, and I’d love your view of the #womenempoweringwomen movement. Seriously, I’m interested– tell me in the comments.

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8 Comments

  • Reply Nicole Green July 31, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Loved hearing your thoughts on this! I agree that being uplifting seems to be trendy right now. I think that so many women are told that they need to be “nice” to everyone when in actuality, you’re not going to like everyone. I try to empower the women that I have relationships with and be respectful to everyone else if that makes sense.

    • Reply The Bliss Between August 2, 2017 at 10:29 pm

      That seems like the exact right way to go about it. I love the way you worded that. We can’t genuinely empower EVERYONE… but we can respect them. I hope more women will adopt this attitude!

  • Reply Morgan Edwards July 31, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Erin,

    Being a professional in the wedding industry and blogger as my side-hustle, I am surrounded by women all the time and in totally different atmospheres. In the wedding industry younger creatives are trying to create a community of friends rather than competition, and same goes for the blogging world. I love it! I have contacted my direct competitor multiple times with basic questions like where to get a sign printed at a great price in town, but our relationship has grown because she was open to it, and she’s a sweetheart! On the other hand, I have had competitors write fake bad reviews on my Facebook page, but they are not open to empowering other business owners. Being said, my experience is based on the other individual. I love empowering other women, but if they are your direct competitor it is hard because we are human and there will always be that small seed of competition in our actions no matter how hard we try to connect. Blogging is a whole different ballgame and is much easier to empower other #girlbosses. Every blogger has their own personality and taste!

    • Reply The Bliss Between August 2, 2017 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, Morgan! I hope that the fact that you’re seeing a younger generation creating community bodes well for the future!

  • Reply Krissy @thoughtfullyunraveled August 2, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Love this post! I’ve seen both sides of it. I hope it’s real too. Honestly, I believe it is the only way we can overthrow the stigma we face as women in the world as a whole. We already have so many factors we have to work against, that working against each other just perpetuates it. If we can change our mindset to be more for community, then I think a lot will change for the better. I’m all for supporting and empowering!

    • Reply The Bliss Between August 2, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      Yes! You’re so right! When we all change our mindset to community, great things will happen! Great concept!

  • Reply Corina August 2, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    This is a great article. I hope that this movement is real as well. I love to think that we finally have our backs. Since I started my Blog I noticed all the great support I have gotten from strangers that don’t know me and most of them are women. Thank you for this great read. Sharing this on Facebook.

    • Reply The Bliss Between August 2, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      Thank you, Corina! I agree that the blogging world is AWESOME when it comes to real, genuine support of women for women. It’s so encouraging. Thank YOU for supporting me! 🙂

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