I've been reading Lean In by Sharyl Sandberg (finally!). Really, everyone should check this book out. I've seen some criticisms of it, but overall, it is a genius book. Women and men can really benefit from what she has to say.
I'm all hopped up on empowering feminist juices from reading it. Which is one reason I really love feminism, by the way - it's so empowering! I really feel like I can conquer the world after reading feminist books like this one. So I start thinking, everyone I know should read this. My little sister, who is also growing into feminism, should definitely read this. You see, I kind of feel like a feminist mentor to my sister. Obviously, I'm not the ultimate feminist, but I know much more about it than she does. And she's not as eager to dive into the deep end as I am.
To be honest, my sister began embracing feminism because of me. I'm not saying this to brag or anything. I started a Pinterest board dedicated to feminism, and she saw the images. Some of the things I shared about fat-shaming and body acceptance really spoke to her. She decided to reject all of the societal pressures that made her feel inadequate when it came to her appearance (it's a journey, of course, but that decision is the first and most important step). Eventually, after learning that she liked this part of feminism, she slowly started to listen to and adopt others.
She is not the only one. I'm obviously not a huge star on the Internet, but I can say that I have influenced others to similarly embrace or publicize their feminism. I have had two women actually tell me this, thanking me for my bravery in sharing feminist messages online. I've seen a few other women who are following me start their own Pinterest boards dedicated to feminism, re-pinning some of the material that I first pinned.
Again, not bragging - I'm not sure if my addiction to social media is something to brag about (though it did help me get my job!). But there are two takeaway messages in this random post:
- Share your feminism! I promise it'll be worth it. It hasn't always been easy to me - I've had people argue with me over the things I've posted, people stop following me, old acquaintances see me in a different light, etc. But I feel that the few people I have influenced are worth it.
- Online activism is important. It may not be as dramatic or difficult as marching in the streets, but it can be very powerful in a different way. Sometimes, people aren't going to be swayed by protestors, though they make a very impacting statement. But you will be able to reach those who are open to new ideas, if only the ideas are presented in the right way for them to digest. Really, there's a lot more someone can learn from reading an article or personal experience than a demonstration. Not to put down traditional activists - they are, of course, doing amazing and awe-inspiring work. I'm just saying that not all of us are cut out for doing that kind of thing, and we shouldn't feel guilty because we can do amazing things digitally.
So be a feminist! Share the empowerment with other women!