I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.
As I was leaving work a few weeks ago, I was on an elevator with several people who were also leaving work and we happen to get off on the same parking garage floor. There were, two men, two women and myself on the elevator at 5:05 PM. I was maybe the third person off the elevator and I heard, "Help? Could you help me and give me a jump? Please? My car won't start." Everyone ignored her. I gave her a jump. I was amazed that not only did the men ignored her but also the other women ignored her pleas as well. She just wanted to go home, too.
I know that this is a simple concept of what I am really trying to express but it is a good example of how often we ignore each other and as women, we can not ignore other women. We need to empower each other, support each other and be there for one another… not tear each other down or worse – ignore each other. It is so easy to judge each other and turn on one another; our culture supports that we do that to other women. If we are opinionated, it translates to bitchy. If we make decisions with our hearts and our emotions then we our considered weak. Acting like a woman can be considered an insult.
We have been trained to believe that if want to succeed we must think like men. We are not men though. You know what makes the “boys club” successful…? They keep us out. No girls allowed. We are not boys or men, we are women. And, it is okay to think and feel like a woman but how do we break that negative way of thinking? How do our girls maneuver in this world when we are not just being judged and criticized by men but by other women? How do we teach them that there is another way? Hopefully, by example and with the help of organizations like Girls for a Change.
Their mission is to empower girls not only to change their circumstances for the better but also to then give back to their community. “The program inspires girls to have the voice, ability and problem solving capacity to speak up, be decision makers, create visionary change and realize their full potential.” What an amazing statement that deserves to be repeated, “The program inspires girls to have the voice, ability and problem solving capacity to speak up, be decision makers, create visionary change and realize their full potential.” That is Girls for a Change’s mission statement.
It was inspiring just watching the video of women helping girls to become women, listening to the voices of the girls who participate telling their story and being motivated to help in any way I can and Yahoo! has provided a simple way to make a change and have a big impact on the lives of these girls. Simply change your browser's homepage to Yahoo! by July 1 and you can help raise up to $10,000 for Girls for a Change.
I never wanted to be a mom to a girl because no matter what the financial, social or race situation is – it is hard to be a woman. Add to it, race, economics and social issues and being a woman is even harder. But instead of watching the challenges that face young women today and maybe even judging, I can help by making small changes in my life that can effect the lives of young women everywhere. I am more motivated then ever to be a better role model for my daughter and maybe by making this little change I can start making bigger changes to improve the lives of other girls.