New Year always begins with high expectations for the year ahead of you—those harsh restrictions and demanding rules for yourself turn into broken promises that follow by guilt and disappointment.
The New Year symbolizes a new start and makes it easier to commit to making a change for you. A New Year’s resolution should be about growth and expansion, not restrictions.
My proposal for all of us in 2016 is to make a vow that not only benefits you but benefits the world — be a better feminist!
Here are five feminist ways to improve you and the world for 2016.
1. Only say “sorry” when you truly are sorry.
Many women find themselves uttering that seemingly innocuous phrase — for an act committed by other people, asking for what you want, and for defending yourselves. I believe women overly apologize because of society conditioning women and girls to remain submissive, unobtrusive, and meek. Before you start to apologize at work, at home, and in personal relationships ask yourself: What is it I am saying sorry for? Am I sorry? Is it necessary to apologize? In 2016, it is time to toss the habit, and to start saying sorry when it is quintessential.
2. Be informed on current women’s issues.
Wanting equal rights for women is not enough. You need to be aware of the issues we face worldwide. Become more informed on the pay gap and the issue we face with reproductive rights. Actively be engaged with the news and subscribe to newsletters. The more you know, the more you can do to spark a change.
3. Practice self-love.
Dismiss the beauty standards and ideal that is forced upon us by society and media. Stop the comparisons between your body type and someone else’s — there is no standard body. Forgot the airbrushed/photoshopped magazines and all the fad diets on losing weight for the new year, but instead, love the skin you are in, embrace the body you have.
4. Call out sexism.
Women are faced with blatant and subtle sexist comments and discrimination daily. Call people out when they make anti-feminist comments. Some people are oblivious that their actions are offensive. Be bold when dealing with a misogynistic individual and express how that affects us all.
5. Celebrate and empower other women.
It is important for women to connect on levels of business, to inspire one another, empower each other, to encourage one another and to keep making positive influential suggestions that raise each other to better levels of performance. Don’t allow yourself to become jealous of other women’s accomplishments or life changing events. Vow to be happy for the success and achievements of your sisters, because there is no better relationship than the bond of womanhood.
To start 2016 in a feminist fashion, you are promising to work for equality worldwide.
Image via plannedparenthoodaction.org