5 Mantras All Feminists Should Live By
If you're a feminist, then you've undoubtedly been collecting your own set of feminist mantras over the years, (I know I have) and most of them are probably awesome quotes from other feminists, like Maya Angelou or Amy Poehler. But if for some reason you haven't developed a list of feminist mantras to live by, the time has come to change that, because they're actually very helpful. Feminism is about freedom and equality for all, and although I can't imagine anything sounding better than that, a lot of people are still very uncomfortable with it — which makes having a few feminist mantras to keep you inspired and reassured in your stand for gender equality all the more important.
The thing about feminist mantras, though, is they're really just normal life mantras. Whether you claim the title of "feminist" or not, I feel like everyone should be living by mantras that support freedom of choice, and the social, economic, and political equality of the sexes. I mean, why wouldn't you?
If you aren't already living by the following feminist mantras, now would be a great time to start. Here are five feminist mantras all feminists should live by.
1. "All Bodies Are Good Bodies"
This mantra, like all feminist mantras, is for everyone — but it especially applies to females in a society that teaches girls that their worth is first and foremost determined by their looks. Obviously, girls in western society are also strongly encouraged to educate themselves and pursue their passions, which is wonderful, but it's laughable to claim that any society (eastern or western) has moved past objectifying the female form.
Women are constantly being scrutinized (by both men and other women) over the shape of their bodies, the texture/color/length of their hair, their skin tone, the size of their noses and lips, and it's all just so ridiculous. It will ruin your day, everyday, if you let it. So don't — because women's bodies are not for society's consumption. You don't owe anyone a "perfect" body just because you were born female, and all bodies really are good bodies.
2. "You Are Always Allowed To Say No"
In general, females are brought up to be polite, quiet, and (ugh) agreeable. But whether it's about something sexual, work-related, or you just feel like you're being pressured into a conversation that you don't want to have, you are always allowed to say no.
I know it's really difficult to say "no" when you feel like it's your responsibility to keep things pleasant, but you are not responsible for anyone's feelings but you're own, and you're allowed to have a conflicting opinion. So listen to what you're feeling, and don't be afraid to say, "nope!" if and when something doesn't feel or sound right to you.
3. "Feminism Is For Everyone"
Feminism is often considered a strictly female ideology because it fights for the rights of women. But feminism is for everyone, and it's totally fine if your feminism is slightly different than someone else's. It's also important to keep in mind that every feminist faces different struggles, and other feminists will probably live their feminism in a slightly different way than you choose to, and that's 100 percent OK. In fact, that's kind of the whole point. Feminism isn't an exclusive club to get into. If you believe in equality of the sexes, you're in.
4. "You Are Enough"
Women are taught from girlhood that they have to be able to be everything to everyone all of the time. We're supposed to be smart, strong, sexy, classy, hardworking, (but never intimidating) friendly, (but not too outgoing) and quiet (but not shy).
It's all so dumb, but honestly, feeling the need to meet society's expectations of what a "good woman" maketh is something I still struggle with on a daily basis. It's not possible to be everything to everyone though, and we shouldn't feel like we have to try. I mean, who are we doing it for? We have to be strong enough, and self-assured enough, that we stop punishing ourselves for not meeting society's impossible, and mostly conflicting, double standards. You are enough exactly as you are, and so am I.
5. "Other Women Are My Teammates"
I feel like girls grow up seeing other girls as competitors, but while females do have to compete with each other for opportunities, we also have a responsibility to empower one another. Don't let society pit you against other women. Stop seeing your body as lacking in comparison to the bodies of other women, try not to judge other women for making choices you feel like you would never make, and start celebrating other women instead. Because women need other women, and there's room for all of us to succeed.