12 Feminist New Year's Resolutions To Make 2016 The Year Of Equality
Travel more, go to the gym, stick to a budget, read more, eat healthier. As another year draws to a close, these resolutions (or some form of them) are made by people everywhere. But they’re tired. They’re boring. They lack passion. Why not change things up a little? Why not make a few resolutions you’ll actually stick to? Why not make a few feminist New Year’s resolutions?
In 2014, Beyonce stood on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards and declared herself a feminist. It seemed to spark a mainstream revolution, drawing the attention of the masses to a movement that’s been around for decades. Over the past year, feminism has continued to take the media by storm.
And 2015 was feminist as hell. The White House combatted sexual assault with it’s #itsonus campaign, Misty Copeland made history by becoming the first African-American woman to be named principal by the American Ballet Theatre, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage to be a constitutional right. Feminist resolve is making big things happen in our world, and it’s only going to continue. But only if people keep the feminist momentum going.
To kee feminist from becoming a passing fad, why not make some feminist resolutions for 2016? And if you need a little help with that, here are 12 feminist resolutions that’ll keep equality going into 2016 and beyond.
1. Compliment Other Women On More Than Their Looks
It's easy to revert back to complimenting a coworker on her cute skirt or new haircut, and it's even nice to be complimented on those things. But even better than a compliment about perfectly winged eyeliner? A compliment on someone's work, brain, or taste in books or music. When you compliment a woman on something outside of her looks, you create an avenue for conversation that can lead to so much more.
2. Know Your Worth
The wage gap in the United States is no secret, so do your part to change it. Find out what the average salary for someone in your position and negotiate till you get it. Alternatively, know that your worth is not only monetary. Make a list of your amazing attributes, and carry it around with you for grey days when you need reminding that you are worthy.
3. Love Your Body
Join the body positive movement. Resolve to combat negative thoughts about yourself with counteractive measures. Start by look in the mirror and giving yourself daily affirmations. You should also treat your body well, mentally, and physically. Whether this means taking a dance class, or pampering yourself with a bubble bath is up to you. Love the skin you're in, ladies.
4. Register To Vote
The coming year is an important one for voting. Whether or not there will be a woman on the ticket has yet to be decided, but what will be on the ticketL women's reproductive rights, the wage gap, paid-leave for families, and more. Regardless of your political affiliation, educate yourself, register to vote, and vote. Women's voices need to be heard, and being registered to vote is the first step.
5. Continue To Educate Yourself
Never stop educating yourself. Whether you choose to read the newspaper, or get your daily updates from Twitter — keep reading and researching. Pay attention to more than one news outlet, listen to a feminist podcast, attend a lecture. Educate yourself how you see fit, and never close your mind off from learning something new.
6. Continue To Educate Others
Just as important as educating yourself is educating others on feminism. Share the wonders of your feminist library, take a friend to see a feminist flick, answer their questions without judgement. You'll find that many people want to learn more about feminism, they're just not sure where to look.
7. Remove Toxic People From Your Life
Last year, I made a point to remove people who made sexist, racist, and otherwise prejudice comments from all of my social media channels. My goal for this year is to continue the cleansing spree. Removing toxic people from your life is not only freeing, but it creates more time, space, and good energy for you to move on, and move up in the world.
8. Find A Mentor
Whether it's Beyonce or your Aunt Carol, find a feminist mentor. From sage wisdom, to advice on how to ask for a raise, a feminist mentor will only help you grow in the new year.
9. Become A Mentor
Get involved in something where you can be a mentor. Whether this is through an after school program or by writing for a feminist website, becoming a mentor will help you hold yourself to a higher standard.
10. Be An Ally
Social justice movements are important to pay attention to, and important to support. Do your part by listening to others, supporting others, and knowing when to take a step back. Recognizing privilege and educating yourself on intersectionality are both steps in the right direction.
11. Speak Up
When you see someone getting harassed, speak up. It's too easy to turn the other way. But by acknowledging poor behavior, you acknowledge someone else's worth and assure them that they deserve better.
12. Stand Up For Yourself
Don't be too busy standing up for others that you forget to stand up for yourself. So often, women allow their feelings and ideas to be steamrolled by sexism. In the workplace, in romantic relationships, in family dynamics. It's time to start standing up for yourself. Stand up for what you believe in. Stand up for equality. Demand to be treated with the respect you deserve, and 2016 will be your best year yet.