Are you willing to speak up?

great minds discuss ideas

I have thought long and hard about this next subject for a few weeks now as it just struck a chord with me and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind, especially because I saw a “rise” in people that I haven’t seen or felt in a long time, a motivation of wanting to see and make change.  One word:  inspiring!

It all started with a Facebook post that I read a few weeks ago.  The post was a picture with the words, “Eliminate Girl Hate”!

I immediately clicked the like button and later found out the “behind-the-scenes” reasons for the post at the proverbial “water cooler” the next morning.  A young middle school girl was being hated on by so called friends in her class.  Everything from being called fat to being ridiculed for doing well athletically and better than her ‘friend’ who also competed in the same sport. It just broke my heart when I heard this and I thought: #1 This girl is nowhere close to fat and #2 This girl puts in the work each and every day and yet those who say they are her friend, put her down for being better than them at a sport when they aren’t putting in the same time or effort. Insecurity immediately comes to mind and I go back to the Facebook post that simply stated, “Eliminate Girl Hate”.

Isn’t that statement just the truth!  We need to annihilate “girl hate”.. take it down.  It needs to STOP.  It needs to stop at every level: girls hating on girls, moms hating on other moms, women hating on women. Enough is enough. We all just need to stop.

I probably like many other women have been on this side of things which quite frankly I’m sad to admit and know the moment it comes out of my mouth, it shouldn’t have.

In raising a girl, I have made an intentional point of not talking about “other girls”, “other women” in a negative light to my daughter and I think this is why she has stayed away from “girl drama” and withdraws from anything close to it. I won’t say she hasn’t had her moments of disliking or talking about other girls. A conversation comes to mind when she was struggling with an overly aggressive, spirited girl from another school’s basketball team. I had a hard time finding the silver lining with that conversation as the behavior was hard to justify but an important one at that since we all choose our behavior not someone else’s.

What I am trying to get at is that we have all been there, putting down other girls, other women, other moms and we just need to stop it. It is not doing anyone any good. It somehow has become okay and universally accepted to talk that way and it is NOT okay. It is not okay that we have middle school girls talking behind each other’s backs, not okay to have women getting together and the conversation quickly turns to talking about other women and what they are or are not doing. Going to parent meetings and having women put down other women for not showing up and helping. NOT okay!

I say next time any of us hear this type of thing being said out loud, we boldly jump in and say, “Stop”.  Instead, say, let’s empower one another, lift each other up, be kinder, put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, support them, encourage them, cheer them on. Let them know they are enough. Don’t be a nay sayer, be a yes sayer. Yes, you can; yes, you have it; yes, you are enough; yes, she can do it; yes, she can!  Let’s stop it once and for all; and CHOOSE differently. It starts with one person and then another and another. Let’s do it and see what happens in our schools, in our communities, in our cities, in our world!  We’ve got this!  We each have the ability to instill change.

In the introduction of the book I talked about last week, I Am That Girl, Sophia Bush, inspires us with her words, “…Starting a movement with friends and strangers alike. Lex is setting a tone for us. She reminds us that we can lay down the armor we wear and embrace rather than battle. We can each be THAT girl. The awesome one who lends an ear or a hand in times of need. The one who is so inspiring that she makes us want to be better. The one who is so vulnerable and honest about her feelings that she motivates us to look inward at who we really are, what we really want, and what we are afraid of. We ARE each that girl, if one we allow ourselves to be. Because, let’s face it ladies, we are all afraid. We are all confident. We are all warriors on this road of life, and we are a mess sometimes. Girls are multifaceted, complicated, layered, emotional beings. So who better to understand us than other girls? Let’s be the friends and sisters we deserve….we can be friends to the girls we know and the ones we don’t. That we stop judging other girls. For everything. We should support the stay-at-home moms as much as we cheer the working mom. We need to show support for the girls who are just like us and the ones who couldn’t be more different from us. We have so much to learn from each other, so much to gain from one another’s perspectives, and so much love to share. We should wish the best for each other – always. Let me say that again. Always ladies, always!  No more judging. No more gossiping. And no more looking in the mirror and being mean to that girl. Treat everyone, including yourself, like they could be your best friends. Yes, with that much kindness.”

So the question I want to leave you with is, “Are YOU willing to speak up and instill change?  Let’s all choose differently and do what the post said:  “Eliminate girl hate”.

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7 thoughts on “Are you willing to speak up?

  1. Life is too short to always be trying to lift yourself up by putting someone else down. You have the problem, not the other person. So proud of you, Elayne, to bring out this topic. Hate has no place in our world and can only bring us all down.

  2. Great post Elayne! I agree with you and Madea, “Everyone has their battles” and you never know what someone is going through. Where I workout, the community is very supportive and always lifting others up. Our males and females cheer each other on. That same sort of support needs to infiltrate our communities and schools.
    “Seek to understand, than to be understood” is a quote I rely on quite a bit, especially with my kids. If we adopted this attitude more just think how much empathy and compassion we would have for others.

  3. Had a similar conversation with a best friend last week. Being avid in fitness, we focus a lot on strength and muscles. But we have the same supportive attitudes of others. Everyone has their battles. Sometimes that kind or supportive word from a friend or a stranger makes a lot of difference in a day, especially coming from another woman. I say especially because women, it seems, can be cruel, judgmental, and competitive in unhealthy ways. But if we act in our daily lives, taking every opportunity to be kind and helpful, our kids will see this. Learn this. Model this. I have a son only. But the same beliefs apply to raising him into a man.
    “Strong people do not put others down, they lift them up”… Strength of character is a valuable model for our children. I’ll step down from my soap box now!

  4. Wouldn’t it be great if we could start something at school? This is such a hard, but true post. This was my life growing up…girls did this to me because I worked at the things I loved doing. Sadly, I’ve talked about other women & you’re right, it must stop. I like the quote, “great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” If people deeply think about that, conversations will change. I want our family to have great minds! Thanks for the challenge! ❤️

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