16 Feminist Lessons I Have Learned From Watching 'Real Housewives'
Believe it or not, I don't just watch the Real Housewives franchise for the drama. OK, maybe that's a large part of why I tune in, but I'm also a fan because of the feminist lessons I have learned from the Real Housewives. That's right, the series has teachable moments, including those that can uplift women. As a woman myself, the drama, the arguing, the crazy moments, and the women have empowered me to be a better person and an even more powerful feminist.
Anyone who has taken the time to sit down and watch any of the Real Housewives shows may not think the successful Bravo series is spreading feminism in a positive way, but it actually is. Admittedly, the Housewives sometimes do a disservice to feminism, but that doesn't mean there are zero feminist moments. The franchise is made up of strong, successful, independent, determined women who at times illustrate what it is to be a feminist.
If you ever wanted or needed a reality series focusing 100 percent on women with some empowering moments mixed in, then you should probably watch each city of the Real Housewives. Trust me, you're going to enjoy it. And if you still need some convincing, here are a handful of feminist lessons I personally have taken away from Housewives.
1. Never Settle
Whether it's with your career or your personal life, you should never settle. That's something many of the Housewives have shown time and again. Take Lisa Vanderpump, who keeps adding to her already long resume. She clearly isn't ready to be done pursuing her dreams and that's something I absolutely admire.
2. You're Capable Of Anything
These women prove over and over and over again that you can do whatever you put your mind to. Like, Erika Girardi aka Erika Jayne. She is a 45-year-old woman who refuses to take no for an answer. I mean, just look at how successful of a performer she is. Society may think a woman's life is over by the time she hits 40, but that so isn't the case.
3. Act How You Want
You don't have to act a certain way or how anyone says you should. Embrace your true self, have fun, be raunchy, tell jokes, speak your mind... the list goes on. Be who you are, act how you damn well please, and channel your inner NeNe Leakes.
4. Strive To Be Better
There is always room for improvement. If you find yourself at a standstill in life and need more for yourself, then go and get it. It's never to late to not only be a better person for others, but also for yourself. You may not consider yourself a fan or relate to how she lives her life, but Tamra Judge certainly has transformed her life, which has changed who she is for the better.
5. Make Yourself Happy First
How can you have a happy life or have a successful relationship, if you don't love yourself? Believe it or not, it is OK to be selfish (to a certain extent) to ensure you are happy and taking care of yourself in the best way possible. It's actually quite important. Just look at how Ramona Singer took life by the horns after her divorce from Mario Singer. She is truly living her best life and could care less what anyone thinks.
6. It's OK For Women To Argue
I'm a believer in women supporting other women rather than women trying to each other down. I also hate when women are pitted against each other. That said, it is OK for women to have arguments. At some point in time, friends are going to argue and you aren't going to agree 100 percent of the time. Of course, I do not condone violent fighting, which has happened multiple times on Real Housewives. Sometimes arguing is healthy and helps clear the air. Just because you argue with another woman doesn't make you any less feminist.
Furthermore, you don't have to get along with every single woman you meet. Sometimes people just don't like each other and will never see eye-to-eye — and that's OK.
7. Women Are Just As Successful As Men
This is pretty much a given and should be well-known by everyone. Women can be just as successful as men and don't need a man by their side to turn them into a success. Hello, have you seen what Bethenny Frankel has done with Skinnygirl? The proof is in the margarita, people.
8. You're Partner Doesn't Define You
It's wonderful to be in love and to have a supportive partner, but they certainly do not have to define you. Women are more than their significant others. I mean, most of the Housewives are single. From Sonja Morgan to Cynthia Bailey to Phaedra Parks to Ramona Singer, they are all single woman who continue to shine all on their own.
9. Let Your Voice Be Heard
Never let anyone silence you. It's so important to stand up for yourself. Your voice and opinion does matter — and you should take Tamra's word for it.
10. Embracing Your Sexuality Is A-OK
I know it's shocking, but women are allowed to be sexy, showcases sexiness, and like the act of sex. If the Housewives have taught me anything, it's that embracing your sexuality is something no woman should ever be ashamed of.
11. Supporting Other Women Is Satisfying
As much as having a disagreement with other women is OK, the feeling of supporting women and your female friends is truly the best feeling in the world. Women should absolutely uplift each other, praise one another's accomplishments, and pick each other up when they're feeling down. Doesn't it make you feel better knowing you have a friend who forever has your back and will be there for you no matter what?
12. Flaws Are Beautiful
Nobody is perfect — not even the Housewives. They do a great job of showing all of their flaws, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You should never feel ashamed for having problems. It's hard enough being a woman, why put even more pressure on yourself to be flawless?
13. Make Time For Your Friends
When life gets busy, it's easy to forget about your friends. The same can be said when you're in a relationship. Friendships sometimes get put on the back burner, which is big no-no. Your friendships are something you should go above and beyond for. It's also important to remember that if you're significant other doesn't want you hanging with your friends, then they really don't have your best interest.
14. Women Aren't Just Wives & Mothers
You know that dreaded question, "Can women do it all?" Or, sometimes women are even asked, "How do you do it all? How do you balance being a mom, wife, and work?" Well, if the Housewives have shown me anything it's that women are more than wives and mothers. Oh, and yes, they "can do it all." Guess what? Some of them even "do it all" by themselves.
15. Age Is Just A Number
Unfortunately, women's ages do come into play regarding certain aspects of their lives, like if or when they want to have children or if they're trying to score a job that their age and gender may sadly hinder. That's a reality many women have and continue to face. Though, the stars of the Real Housewives prove with each new season that their age is just a number and they won't let anyone use it against them.
16. A "Housewife" Can Be A Feminist
You may not consider a "housewife" a feminist, but who's to say they aren't? Remember, a feminist believes in gender equality. So if a stay-at-home mom believes in that, then they are a feminist. Staying at home and raising a family is not an easy job, so those who do that aren't any less powerful than women who choose to work. Whether you're a so-called housewife or a woman who has a career, it doesn't matter, because they can both be feminists.
See? The Real Housewives franchise is actually doing some good in this world.