I didn't know how to start this blog post other than saying "I love women," but it didn't feel proper, because it seemed too vague, too conceit with nothing to work with. Starting with "I am pro-women," "I am a feminist," or "Happy International women's day!" wasn't going to fly because I really wanted to start with that is most important to me.
I support women.
As far as I can remember, I've always supported my fellow girlfriends and other women that have come and go in my life. In late 2011, I started a tumblr account and I often re-blogged photos of women. An anonymous user asked me, "why do you always post pics of girls. are you a lesbian?" My response:
NO I AM NOT A LESBIAN.
HAPPY NEW YEAR BITCH.
That's when I realized I was pro-women. Around the same time, the Real Housewives of -insert location here- blew the fuck up, and by society, I was dragged in, but not to get off on the drama, but as a critical viewer. Instead of taking sides, I observed each women of the show as if I was a psychologist, taking notes on Teresa (RHONJ), Camille (RHOBH), Bethenny (RHONY), and everyone in between. While some of the ladies on the show appeared to be sane, others just didn't make any sense to me. Why do they battle with each other as if their life is one big competition, when they can just get together and unite? This took me way back to culinary school during my baking and pastry program. There were about 14 of us in the AM baking and pastry class and all female. I was young, 19, still with lots to learn and I wasn't such a smart kid at that age, but I still respected my fellow students. Having said that, I have never witnessed so much cattiness in my life. The AM cooking class next door, one I'd always run over to watch and learn from a distance, would ask me, why the hell am I in the baking and pastry program, because they knew how catty the girls in my class were. I was always invited to go out and drink with them and even attended their graduation party (both classes graduated at the same time), but never were the other girls invited. Looking back, it breaks my heart to see how un-supportive the female students of class my were, and seeing how society has changed (not evolved, but changed), I can only hope that females of any institution, organization, program, class, whatever, are more supportive than before.
I'll let you in a small secret and I promise I am not trying to brag. I've met a few girls in my life who out of nowhere react with hostility towards me, no matter how kind I was. I never understood it. I just accepted that some people don't like me. Maybe I am not a good person. Maybe I'm just really annoying. I don't know -- I don't know. Then one night a few years ago, a friend of mine, a friend who is best friends with a gal that hates my guts, brought to my attention that gal-who-hates-my-guts hates my guts because she's jealous of me. I got married at 21, bought a house before that and basically have a life with a wonderful man that loves to travel as much as I do (this is where I don't mean to brag); some women are still looking for that life. It made all the sense in the world. In fact, that same month, I met my best friend's brother's girlfriend, who reacted in the same hostile way, regardless of how much I tried to look up to her. It was happening all over and not just with me.
This brings me to think about social media and 'status.' I've heard from friends, how their girl-friends removed themselves from social media because they cannot stand to witness other girls succeeding even though it appears on a screen. I get it. I've been there. As a blogger, I have no control in feeling bitter when I see other bloggers with high follower counts, talented photography, and beautiful faces. BUT sometimes it's okay to feel that way, because we basically came out of our mother's womb designed to feel resentful for other women's progress. And why is it just women? I have never went on a guy's Instagram and thought, "fuck this guy and his success," and I don't think that way because of the fact that he's a male. Once again, I am saying it's okay to feel that way, as long as you can take a step back and understand WHY you're feeling that way, and then smile, your fellow home-girl just did something that probably took a lot of work just because she's a woman. Does that make sense?
As I write this, I ask myself, is this blog post going to have a good ending? Are women doomed because they can't appreciate each other but yet act as if they are pro-women? But then, I got a text message from a gal I met a few months ago, letting me know she's on her way over here. How I met her? Well she simply sent me a DM on Instagram and declared us friends -- a week later we met for coffee -- and today she's coming over to taste test and give feedback on the five course menu that I developed for my upcoming fundraiser. She's a chef in the same ways that I am, and has a lot of wonderful career ideas that she isn't afraid of sharing. At first, I was hesitant to share with her my ideas, because of knowing how women react; I was worried she would steal my ideas, but instead, she has supported them like all women should. We talk about our dreams for the future, what food does to us (in positive ways) and how we love to do what we do, and there is nothing more rewarding then knowing you've got a great friend by your side, especially if she's a woman.
So in honor of International Women's Day (I really wanted to write about this for a long time coming but didn't know how/when to bring it up), I say to girls -and guys- please, SUPPORT WOMEN.