We live in a society that loves to place powerful women on a pedestal, hold them to impossible standards of perfection, and then viciously tear them down when they fail to meet these unreachable standards.
A female pop star is ridiculed for wearing a glittery outfit at the Super Bowl. Too sexy. Disgusting. Cover up! You’re 50 years old for God’s sake. Terrible role model.
That same week, a female Senator is ridiculed for wearing a prim cardigan sweater. Too uptight. So stuffy. She looks like someone’s grandma. Who’s her stylist: Mister Rogers? LOL.
Women in the spotlight cannot win.
Men are partly to blame for this. Fellow women are equally culpable, if not more so. People of all genders frequently snark, gossip, and post cruel messages from the comfort and security of their computer screens.
Whoever is reading this email, I suspect you’re a kind person—because 99.99% of my clients and colleagues are extremely kind, caring, and thoughtful.
But even kind people can swept up in cultural fevers, get mired in gossip and bullying, posting or saying things they later regret. I know I have.
Before you post that snarky comment about a woman’s red carpet outfit, cellulite, parenting choices, income, marriage, divorce, a victory she’s enjoying, or a mistake she’s made, consider:
Would you post those exact words if she was your daughter?
She is somebody’s daughter. Better yet, she’s someone. She’s a human being.
Would you post those words if—ten minutes from now—you had to meet her and read those words right to her face? Or would that cause you to reconsider?
Bartenders are people. Stay-at-home parents are people. Famous celebrities are people. All people are people. All people experience pain.
Some people say, in a callous tone, “Celebrities know exactly what they’re signing up for. By going after fame, they need to accept that people will criticize them.”
I’m all about freedom of speech, and yes, we should absolutely feel free to post criticism. But criticism is different from bullying.
If you’re not sure which side of the line you’re on, consider again: If she was your daughter, would you post that? Would you say those exact words about her, in exactly that way, in that tone? Or would you say something different?
How would you want your own daughter to be discussed, described, analyzed, criticized? How would you like your own daughter to be treated? Treat other women accordingly.
If we want to live in a world where women and girls are respected, it starts with you.
With me. With all of us. And with the choices you make today with your iPhone and the next sentence you type.
Think before you post.
Use common sense.
Use your voice.
And use your heart.
Every woman is someone’s daughter. Every woman is someone.
PS. You can help girls feel strong, confident, and powerful while creating a generation of women who are ready to stand tall, use their voices, advocate for themselves, and go after their dreams.
As a Certified BOLD Facilitator, you’ll learn how to guide girls through the program, facilitate workshops and discussions effectively, be an inspiring role model and make a difference in girls’ lives. And BONUS. You can make money while making a difference!