On the 8th of March, we celebrate Women's Day to honor the hard work and achievements of all the women who made history, the ones who had the courage to fight even when society sanctioned them no power. On days such as this, it may be tempting to reduce all our appreciation for the women around us to the worth of one flower. But I urge you to go beyond the local florist - address the women in your life with real appreciation.
When I say real appreciation, I mean the kind that makes one the happiest. Sure, when you compliment your girlfriend on how beautiful she looks this morning, she'll be happy. But it'll likely make her happier to hear a compliment about something she's worked hard on, like her latest project at work.
This goes beyond your girlfriend though. Try to make it a habit to start complimenting everyone, including men, on the things they care about, instead of just their looks. This will not only uplift the people in your life, but also deepen your relationship with them. Why? Because it forces you to get to know the person better, and it lets them know that you value the things they value and work towards.
We see them almost everyday - a man's surprised appreciation for any girl who can win any kind of debate or challenge against him, another one's unnecessary elaboration of a well-known concept or idea 'to help a woman understand', a third's inability to lift his gaze off a woman's breasts while speaking with her... The examples are endless. You could call these seemingly small events microaggressions; signs that the patriarchy is still alive and well.
Whether a man or woman partakes in the furthering of patriarchal values through these actions, they count as misogynistic. And it's important to call them out as such. Instead of laughing it off or letting it slide, address the perpetrator and let them know that what they did was not acceptable. Even if the women you'd like to appreciate most were not the victims in these situations, they'd be happy just knowing they can trust you to understand that women's issues are not their burden alone. And while they may not need you to fight for them, letting them know you're willing to is better than nothing.
If you have a partner you'd like to appreciate, there's no better way than a few long hours of amplified orgasms for your girl, with the assistance of your mouth, fingers, erection and/or sex toys!
Perhaps you could learn a new move, or position, that maximizes her pleasure. You can also go buy her a toy that you can use together. This lets her know you care about her pleasure - something that some women may not ask you for, even if they want it. Read more about orgasms and sex toys to know what's best for you in this department!
Donate to organisations that help women grow and alleviate themselves of health problems. Survivors of domestic abuse, rape, acid attacks, child marriage and sex trafficking could use your money. Similarly, organisations that help children in underprivileged conditions receive basic sanitary requirements and sex education to deal with their menses are a great option. Organisations that help girls who were victims of female circumcision also need you to get their word out.
Learn about these organisations, the people they help, their stories; and donate to the ones that twist your heart the most. Share their stories with the world. Their stories need to be remembered, and you can help with that by just tapping on your screen. Why not do so?!
Heading to work? Today, at work, maybe you could try to think like a woman. Now, when I say this, I don't just mean you should act like you have your period. Instead, I mean that you should try to respond to everything like you're a woman. Is there a choice to be made about which ad campaign to run? Choose the one that doesn't derogate women or objectify them. Is there an article to write? Write the one that represents an underrepresented problem women experience.
Adapt this to your situation, but do it! Just for one day, see what it's like. Your experiential understanding of their struggles as women is a better gift than any number of flowers and sappy gift cards.
Don't forget to talk to your favorite women about your experiences if you do this! Because really, more than we want you to save or protect us, we women just want men to understand us.
Cover photo by freepik