Today it’s international women’s day. Today we shine an extra light on women’s rights and emancipation. In the Netherlands we live in a country full of freedom. What is natural for us, is something a woman on the other side of the world could only dream about. I would love to help all these women who are unfortunate. Right now. But unfortunately, I can’t. However, we, all of us (men and women!) can make a change by standing up for women’s rights and by empowering each other.

This blog has previously been published on my previous website.
March 8, 2017

It starts with yourself

Maybe you would stand up for women’s rights bold and exuberant, visible for everybody. But actually the only way to achieve this, is to start with a positive change inside yourself. When we would all do this, together, we actually can make that change in the world.

‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’

Hereby it’s tempting to focus on all the bad things in the world, but as far as I know, negative never made anything better. Fortunately there are lots of other strategies that actually help to make that change.

Empower each other

I always find it very hard to see when women are tearing other women (or people in general) down. How can you improve women’s rights if you’re only tearing other people down yourself? That just isn’t the way, neither for men! You can only empower each other when you see the good in the other person next to you. Derogatory talk won’t make anything better, it breaks the connection between people. Talk with respect to each other and about each other.

Be grateful

Be grateful for the fact that we have a pretty good life here, in the Netherlands. Here it’s natural for women to walk in the streets alone, to live alone, to go to school and university. Are you aware of these liberties? In lots of other places in the world this is very unusual. There are countries where you have no chance to build an independent life, just for the fact that you are a woman. Here, in the Netherlands emancipation is already in a very far stage. Of course, there’s still room for improvement, but also be grateful for the quality of life you are able to have in the Netherlands. In meanwhile we figh for all the things that still could improve.

Don’t excuse yourself

Be yourself, for the full hundrerd percent. You are unique. Maybe other people won’t always understand you, but that’s ok. Stand up for yourself! So many times I hear women excuse themselves for the most innocent things. Because of a habit, or just because you felt vulnerable and showed your feelings. You can’t be more authentic than that! And the more painful it is, to see someone excuse herself for this. It’s almost as if you excuse yourself for the person you are. But you have the right to be yourself, just the way you are.

Embrace your femininity

Do you dare to completely be woman? To embrace your feminine body? Acknowledging your emotions?
I was having difficulties with this for years, I literally was afraid for my femininity. Getting attention from men made me feel very uncomfortable and didn’t know how to deal with it, so I built up huge walls. I was scared for my feminine shapes, what would other people think about it? I was scared to show my emotions, while emotions just come and go, when you let them.

By keeping my body weight artificially low, I managed to stop my menstruation. I literally denied my femininity. Acknowledging that same femininity was one of the most important keys for me to recover from anorexia completely.

I am woman

Together we can make a difference

Women and men are completely different in the way they deal with their emotions and process events. Of course there’s no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in this, we’re just different. However, I think the way that women deal with their feelings, still isn’t always accepted, Maybe because we still live in a world that’s more likely a ‘men’s world’. It would be amazing if the inner strength of women would even be acknowledged more, just as much as the inner strength of men.

I want to avoid generalization, but I’m aware of the fact that I’m doing this a little bit right now. I feel like women live more intuitively, following their feelings. The intuition is the compass of making choices in life and for the way we respond to events in life. I see this as pure strength!

It is precisely the difference between men and women that makes us complement each other so well. Could you imagine what would happen if we would do this, everywhere? The intuition of the woman, combined with the ratio of te man: managing and decision makeing, together. Acknowledging each other. I think this way we could achieve so much more in this world!

What are your thoughts about this subject? What does ‘I am woman’ mean to you? Let me know in the comments!

With love,

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