Dear Women, Independently, We Are Fierce. Together, We Are Unstoppable

We live in a predominantly girl power culture, which is great. In 2017, women love to build one another up - you only need to open Instagram to see the comments sections of selfies flooded with "OMG BABE YOU LOOK SO GORGEOUS!" It's great to see females empowering one another and sticking together. But, sometimes, it can feel like we've lost our way a little.
Just when I think all is well in the world, just as I start to believe women have it all sorted, I open Twitter and see people slut shaming singers or I go on a news website and read catty articles tearing everyday women apart, limb by limb. As I write this, just yesterday I read an article on the Daily Mail which shamed a TV presenter for having acne at a red carpet event. Every day, women are supporting one another and speaking up for one another. When women come out about their experiences with abuse, other women support them. When women get promotions, other women support them. When women wear nice outfits, other women praise them. But women aren't supporting other women in all aspects of life. It seems that women are just as quick to pick apart other women as they are are to compliment them. Women won't hesitate to tell you that you're pretty but they also won't hesitate to call you a slut. They won't hesitate to tell you that you're smart but will attempt to sabotage your chances at success even faster. Women need to be there for women all the time, not just when it suits. Women need to reassess their feminist agenda, take a step back and evaluate if the way they treat their fellow women is adding value to the world or if it's taking society 100 years backwards.

We live in a dangerously patriarchal society, which will never be demolished unless we work together. It isn't about being best friends with every woman in existence, nor is it about hating men with every fibre of your being. Dismantling the patriarchy is about uplifting other women, creating one unit and having one another's backs when the patriarchy tries to tear us down. When the patriarchy comes for one woman, she should not have to fight that battle alone, she should be assured that millions of others will have her back. We cannot dismantle this system individually. Men thrive in packs and the patriarchy is one big group aiming to attack smaller groups of women. Men don't work alone, which is what gives them so much power. They continue to reproduce because the system is so supported, which is why we must support one another in order to show we are fierce, courageous and able to win.

Women are horrible, I get that. I look at some women and think, 'Wow, you really are a terrible person.' But this isn't about supporting women simply because they are women. Women's bad behaviour should not be excused simply because they are part of an oppressed group and victims of sexism, it doesn't work like that. If a woman does something wrong, you call her out. If she says something incorrect or out of line, you tell her and you educate her. If a woman is spreading hate, tell her to stop. If a woman is harming you or someone else, tell them so and make them stop. Because, you see, this all comes with supporting women, it's part of it. By calling women out when they are wrong and by educating them on the facts, you are passing on your knowledge and helping them to be a better person. You are helping them to see the error of their ways which shall allow them to move forwards as a more well-rounded, clued up individual. You are giving women the tools and skills they need in order to survive as the best possible woman they can be. Don't excuse women or give them the benefit of the doubt - tell them that they are wrong and then we can progress. You don't have to like everyone or agree with everyone's life choices, just don't judge them or demean them unnecessarily. In a world which already make it pretty horrible to be a woman, don't be someone who adds to the fear. Don't be someone who makes other women hate being a woman even more than society already wants them to. Be someone who creates safe spaces for women and supports them in ways which you would expect to be supported yourself. Remind them that you are there for them and do not give in to the pressure society is putting on you to hate other women.
Women hating women is truly ugly. It's saddening too when you remember all the women who have died for feminism and for us to gain equality. Society loves it when women turn on each other. You only have to put two women on a TV show together and viewers are on the edge of their seats, waiting for them to have a cat fight. Don't give society that pleasure.

The point of this piece isn't to tell you to live up all women's backsides and praise women for committing monstrous crimes. The point is to encourage you to stop attacking women for petty things. The point is to urge you to fully look at yourself as a person and question yourself. Are you being the best version of yourself? Don't slut shame. Don't drag women for tiny mistakes which you know you have made yourself. Don't be malicious towards women who have done nothing wrong or who you know nothing about. Don't judge other women for their relationship history. Don't make assumptions about women based on their careers. Don't view other women as subservient to you.
Instead, compliment women in a society which tells them they have to look a certain way in order to be beautiful. Encourage women to persevere and remind them that they are capable of success in a society which wants them to work for less money. Empower women to use their voices in a society which just wants them to shut up and be pretty. Be open to the idea that other women can teach you things which you do not know - learn from one another. Just be a little bit nicer to women, regardless of their age, sexuality, whether they are cis gender or trans, their religion, skin colour, profession, and take time to understand that, sometimes, they live the life that they do because that's the only way for them to survive.

Truly, stopping girl hate doesn't mean you have to get along with every woman. It just means you don't tear other women down for being women. It means you let go of your internalised misogyny, envy and jealousy of other women. It means not used gender based insults to undermine other women. It means you don't push other women under the bus for men. It means you stop holding other women to the arbitrary and restrictive gender roles which you have been socialised into.

Being a woman in 2017 is tough and the only way we are going to get through it is together. You may think you have it all sussed as an individual, and I'm not doubting your abilities or your strength, but women cannot thrive properly without the support of other women. Together, we are stronger than any woman is as one. Independently, we are fierce but, together, we are unstoppable. When women unite, people get scared... and wonderful things happen.

Now, go out into the world and say something nice to your sisters.

Love, Emily :) xx

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