WOM4N: Elizabeth Day

If you do one thing today, please let it be read this rallying cry from Elizabeth Day. Here she brings you twenty-four totally kick-ass reasons why being a woman in 2018 is nothing other than exciting. Read it, be inspired by it, then send it to all your friends.

What does it mean to be a woman in 2018? 

ED: Being a woman in 2018 means being sisterly rather than judgemental. It means resisting the urge to compete with other women, and instead realising true power lies within our friendship. It means approaching each other with love and solidarity, not assumptions and ignorance.

It means knowing yourself and having the courage to claim your own space. It means standing up and speaking out. It means voting. It means paying tribute to the women who have gone before us who fought so hard for these gains. It means knowing you exist only as part of a long line of other women, and being respectful of that.

It means striving to make the future better for the next generation.

It means no longer having to put up with the things we might once have taken for granted. It means knowing your body is your own and what you do with it is your choice. It means you don’t have to give birth to understand what it is to be female.

It means not having to people-please. It also means not forgetting to be kind. It means self-care but not selfishness, which is at the expense of others.

It means old hierarchies seem to be shifting, but that we can never let up our guard. The patriarchy has deep roots and must be challenged and resisted. Misogynists do not like change, but change must continue to happen in the face of their outrage. Being a woman in 2018 means guarding that change, and tending to it as you would a delicate plant. It means watering it and sheltering it and watching it grow from an angry seed into a righteous tree and then into a vast and breathing forest.

It means knowing we need to carry on saying the unsayable and refusing to feel ashamed by our stories. It means capitalising on this moment with our minds, with our money and with our marching. It means checking our privilege and understanding the existence of other women, with different problems and quieter voices, who must no longer be marginalised. They are part of the same forest.

It means being strong and not hiding your own strength. It means claiming your power, rather than diminishing it. It means challenging each pernicious insecurity and silencing the critical inner voice that tells you you can’t dress like that or eat like that or speak like that. Because you can. You will. You shall.

Most of all, being a woman in 2018 is really fucking exciting.

Read empowering pieces from Angela Saini, Elizabeth Church, Laline Paull and Rachel Edwards.

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