Female Unity – How It Can Be Fully Achieved
In the world we live in today, women need to be each other’s biggest strengths, allies, and support system. We live in a world where men don’t have to do as much as we do before they are given better opportunities than we are. It can get very lonely as a woman at the top, middle, or even at the bottom without having other women rally around you and give you support every step of the way. Female unity is important, and it is time we stop seeing each other as competitors and enemies.
I have heard many people say that women are women’s greatest enemies, and that women do the most to bring about each other’s downfall and hinder the progress of other women. While this might be true in some instances, it is not the gospel truth for a large percentage of women who have come together to work towards the liberation of the female gender. Women of generations past have banded in more ways than one to champion the cause for female equality, and they could only do that because they were united – a repressed group of people cannot have a revolution or spur changes without being united. Women who came before us have shown us that we can be united and make things happen. Women alive now are uniting and joining forces to change the world and make it a better place for women, but we still have a long way to go.
Suggestions for female unification
In my opinion, there are three major ways female unity can be achieved:
Finding a Common Ground
A prevalent reason many women go up in arms against each other is that they choose to focus on differences rather than on similarities. They tend to place more emphasis on what separates them or what makes one of them better than the other. To foster female unity and friendships, more women should begin to understand what they have in common.
What you choose to focus on when you come across another woman is up to you, and whether you decide to make her an enemy or a friend is your choice. So, what if she doesn’t dress the way you like, or her skin color is different from what you’re comfortable with? Why not focus on what you have in common – which for a lot of women might be the innate desire to be rid of the shackles and glass ceilings put in place by men and patriarchy.
I know many women who have come from different backgrounds and walks of life to create a community of like-minded women who will go all out for each other, bound by feminism. Each of them different in her own way, but from one common ground of feminism, they were able to build bonds and relationships.
Realizing that we are not the enemy
Being in male dominated spaces is another reason women come to be at loggerheads with each other. In male dominated space, there are hardly any or enough seats at the table for women, and their voices are often silenced. As a result of this, women feel they must battle it out, so the victorious one can get a seat at the table. They begin to see each other as rivals, competitors, and enemies.
The creation of female spaces, either physical or virtual, for women to go to, talk, seek counseling, and just coexist is very important. Nobody wins when the family feuds, and the family here is the female gender. When we fight and battle amongst ourselves, it only slows down our progress and quest for equality. When we realize that we are not the enemy, we can come together, and find ways to dismantle the patriarchy that stand against us, and unify to help each other progress individually, academically, and professionally in a male dominated world.
No relationship can be built or expected to last without respect, so for female unity to happen in entirety, there’s a need for women to genuinely respect each other. Respect other women’s choices because they have a right to live however, they want. Patriarchy feeds on policing women and taking their autonomy away from them, so if you as a woman should look down on or disrespect your fellow woman because of how she lives, you are not fostering female unity.
Do not impose your choices or beliefs on them; do not bully, demean, insult, ignore, or exclude them. Acknowledge their humanity by according them basic human respect and dignity – learn their names, say please, say thank you, say excuse me, and say sorry. It may mean nothing or very little to you but in the long run, you are building solid and sturdy relationships with the women around you, no matter their position in the society.
I believe that if all women truly came together as one force in unison, the changes we are trying to make for the girl child and the female gender will come to fruition as fast as humanly possible, and the world would be a better and safer place for women everywhere.
Please take a moment to meet Adeoti Oyinda