As you all know, this past Wednesday was International Women’s Day. A day that here in Canada often passes by fairly unrecognized. Aside from the fancy google logo (which was beautiful this year and featured 13 influential women from this century ) in recognition of the day and the trending hashtag on twitter, not much is really said about it. Either way, as I was frantically scoping the internet for a meaningful picture to post (before deciding to take my own) I came across this gem.
This quote perfectly captures the essence of female empowerment. Women helping women, striving for excellence as a team. We are fortunate here in Canada to live in an environment where women and men are very close to equal. Although problems do still exist, we are in a good place here. We have the right to vote, we see tons of women in the workforce, and we have laws in place that protect women and men from gender discrimination. Although all this progress has been made, one obstacle we have yet to overcome is female bullying.
I remember being bullied in elementary school. Taunts, manipulation, hurtful words, all at the hands of female peers. Even today, as a grade 12 student in high school, it happens all the time. These days, it often comes in the form of subtweets and rumors but, in elementary school, I faced a lot of exclusion and trickery too. Most girls who have been bullied share a similar story. The bullying take place at the hands of other girls. But why does this happen?
Girls bond differently than boys do. We bond verbally by sharing stories, thoughts, and secrets. Our bonds with each other are very much cognitive. Since we’re connected this way, it makes sense then that the way girls bully would be different than the way boys do. While boys are often more physically aggressive, girls really get into each others heads. They know what to say to hurt each other but, they’re also more subtle in their bullying. So much so that it often goes unnoticed by parents and teachers which can have devastating consequences. We hear stories of framing, backstabbing, sabotage among girls even depicting it in movies and television.
A “me/us vs. them” mentality is incredibly toxic and not very productive. We make hashtags and YouTube videos and tumblr posts about all of the women’s issues we want resolved but, without the proper frame of mind, not much is going to change. By moving as a unit and ensuring the success of all instead of one or a few, we could make the world just a little more bearable for everyone.
With that being said, the crown I was awarded is not just mine. I was chosen to represent South Eastern Ontario therefore, this crown belongs to every woman and girl in my region. The gallery below is a representation of just some of the queens in my local community. We will share victories and struggles but, if we work as a team, we can achieve greatness together.