Although the Women’s March is slowly moving into the past, I’ve got to admit it hasn’t left me quite yet. I didn’t attend one (my bad) but the sight of women, all over the world coming together for the common good was beyond inspiring. That last sentence feels like it doesn’t do the feeling justice. Although an avid follower of current events, I cannot remember the last time so many people came together, and acted together, for issues that are often dismissed as just “Women’s Issues.”
The phrase “Women’s Issues” itself irks me, because contraception is not just a thing for women to take care off. If she gets pregnant, it fast becomes his issue as well. That’s a rant for another day though. The point is, whether you attended the march or not, there are small ways you can help out your fellow gals every day. Here’s just a few:
- Donate Your Used/Unused Makeup
The last few years, a beauty advent calendar has seemed like a great idea. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like getting a present as well as a chocolate every morning? Come January though it means I have quite a few oddly coloured eyeshadows/blushes and make up brushes that are destined to lurk around the back of my beauty box until I get enough motivation to have a clear out. Luckily, a lot of websites have been promoting Give and Make Up lately. The premise is simple, if you’ve got make up you haven’t used, or barely used (eg, have a quick test of that blusher then thinking nope. Not the one.) you can donate it to them. They don’t accept lipglosses or mascara for hygiene reasons however.
They accept a multitude of other items as well as makeup, so it is worth checking their website, and all gets donated to women in refuges. Women that have escaped domestic violence, and through no fault of their own have to start all over again. It may only be a bit of makeup, but if it can make them feel more like themselves, surely it’s worth spending a few quid on postage and sending it off to them?
- Be Brave And Wear That Dress/Top/Outfit.
Magazines are more than willing to tell women what they can’t wear. And for many years, I followed a lot of their rules (they were the experts after all) I don’t think I’m alone in that, there are countless times the women in my life have said they can’t wear something because of their shape/age/etc.
Being short and a bit heavier than I’d ideally like, I thought that I couldn’t wear midi-skirts. They were for the tall and slender alone, not people who risked falling over the hem because lol this midi-skirt looks more like a maxi one on me. Then I got into the world of blogging, and seeing women of all different shapes wearing things they would have traditionally been told to steer clear of was a game changer. It proved you can wear a lot more than you think, and look damn hot in it.
So yeah, wear that dress… you never know who you might inspire.
- Think Outside the Box
A lot of places now have areas where you can donate items for the homeless. While food and clothing are the obvious ones, think about other items too. It’s easy to forget that people on the streets are ya know, people. People who have periods, people who like sex. So think about donating condoms or tampons/pads… if you think your period is a pain (I’ve just re-read this post and lol for accidental puns), imagine facing it not know how you’ll afford the necessities. Gulp.
- Be Nice, But Not Lazy.
Hmm, that doesn’t sound right but I can’t think of a better way to write it. Obviously be nice to people on the whole, but try to think about the way in which you are being nice. I’m being a massive hypocrite here, I often tell people I like their *insert clothing or accessories here* but don’t actually complement them.
This week, instead of just congratulating a colleague on her recent successful diet, I made the effort to tell her I admired her determination and will power. And it felt bloody weird. But I guess that’s the point of this section. We often are nice about the superficial things, but there is so much more to people that is good than their choice of possessions – and they deserve to be reminded of this.
- Remember, Your Ideals Are Just That – Yours.
Feminism, and women’s movements on the whole tend to get a lot of flack for all the in-fighting. I guess when you’re passionate about a cause; it can be easy to forget that not everyone shares that passion (let alone agrees with it.) There are a lot of aspects of ‘women’s issues’ that are divisive. For example, although it might be bloody tempting on a cold grey morning, the idea of being a housewife makes me feel anxious. I think I’d go a bit stir crazy and become one of them people who don’t let you sit on the sofa in case you disrupt the carefully displayed cushions.
But just because that life is not for me, doesn’t mean it’s not for some. We should fight for equal pay and opportunities in the workplace, but not judge those that just aren’t that fussed. Similarly, if you want kids, great. If not, great.
I’d like to say I’m practising all of these right now, but I’m going to be honest – old habits die hard. Now we’ve got January (and all its greyness) out of the way, maybe I can look at it as a fresh start. A new month, to try new small ways to help other women.