When I first toured Scripps College as a senior in high school, I knew I'd found the place I wanted to spend my next four years. Surrounded by old oak trees and quaint libraries, it was a stunning campus that looked as though it had been plucked straight from the east coast. But beyond its beauty, it was an environment that would push me out of my comfort zone, a school whose core beliefs were founded on the notion of empowering women. And when I graduated in 2005, I was a different person than when I had entered. Gone was the timid girl, unsure of herself and apprehensive about what the future held. I left as an independent, strong woman who had found her voice and was excited to use it. Someone who believed she was just as capable as men and deserved equality, in both treatment and pay in the workforce. In other words, a feminist.
For those of you who haven't seen Emma Watson's UN speech about gender equality, it's profoundly moving and worth watching. She maintains that in order to move toward equality, there needs to be solidarity between men and women - that everyone needs to be involved. And I couldn't agree more. But it also got me thinking about where to start and I believe it has to begin with women.
As a whole, I don't think women support each other enough. Instead of feeling inspired by others that are doing good, far too often our instinct is to knock them down. We're quick to find fault and make generalizations that are based on assumptions, not truth. A lot of that stems from insecurity and jealousy, but I think it's also a reflection of our society. Fueled by an inactive consumption of media through our TVs, computers and phones, there's a disconnect. From behind a screen, there's an added layer that creates a distance and allows us to be judgmental instead of accepting, skeptical instead of impressed.
I was so moved by Emma Watson's speech that it made me want to do more. More to encourage other women to support and praise each other, to rise up together in hopes of achieving the equality amongst men that we so deserve.
*image via stocksy