16 Important Things Every Girl Has To Do To Make Life Better

The past few months have been a rollercoaster of emotions, specifically for women, those who don’t identify as men, and minority groups. No matter where you are from, you have probably at least heard of, if not participated in, a Women’s March this past weekend. There were hundreds of marches, and they all included a collection of powerful people working together to stop sexism, racism, and transphobia, as well as a slew of other issues. Even if you couldn’t attend, there were tons of ways to support and watch the women’s march, and you could totally feel the ~power~ of the ladies/trans women/non-binary folks. But, our work is far from over. 

As Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood, said “Women in America are not going back.” We need to work together to move forward and keep up this momentum we all have now. But, how exactly do we do that? It can be tricky, since there are some things we need to do that might be hard. For one, you need to know that some women have more privilege than others. Don’t get me wrong, the Women’s March was important and a great step, but there were some disturbing aspects of it. I’ll sum it up with this one tweet:

If you’re a cisgendered white woman, it’s time to step up and get some stuff done. The march was a good start, but we all need to do better. Here are some things you need to do in order to make life better for not only you, but other girls, trans women, non-binary and POC around the world. 

1. Donate To Planned Parenthood

Unfortunately, the government is working hard to defund Planned Parenthood, which, to put it nicely, sucks. Planned Parenthood provides free and low cost services to both women and men, including birth control, STD testing, and sexual education. Planned Parenthood does so much, and it is in danger of losing money from the government, which would leave millions of people without the proper health coverage they need. If you want to help support women, trans women, and other people affected by Planned Parenthood, you should consider donating to Planned Parenthood, so they can continue to operate. You can donate here.

2.Educate Yourself On All Issues, Not Just Ones That Affect You Personally

A big issue with the Women’s March was the lack of inclusivity. The “pink pussy hats” were transphobic and problematic because not every women has a vagina, and it’s important that we realize that. There are many different types of people who might not consider themselves women but are still very much affected by these issues. It’s important to educate yourself on issues so that you can help understand fully how to help. If you need more info about how to be a better transgender ally, take a  look at this GLAAD guide.

3. Educate Others

In addition to educating yourself, you need to educate others. You might feel “woke” about issues, but your aunt Karen posting homophobic Facebook statuses probably doesn’t. You might feel like you should ignore it, or that you “shouldn’t be mean,” but it really is important to inform others and educate them if they are doing something wrong. The only way we can all move forward is if we are on the same page.

4. Use Your Voice

I know that it can be hard to speak out. I, for one, have awful anxiety when it comes to speaking up about issues. I get nervous and scared…but I try to do it as much as I can, in order to speak out for people who are often silenced. I am a white woman, which means that I have certain privileges that others don’t. People of color, people with disabilities, and transgender folks are often ignored, and it’s important that we use our voices to help them.

5. Listen

I know I said to use your voice, but that doesn’t mean you should ALWAYS be talking. There are times when it’s appropriate, and times when you need to let others speak. Again, it’s the only way we can help understand each other’s experiences so that we can work together. Listen to women of color! Listen to trans women! Learn about their experiences so that you can help each other.

6. Volunteer

The Women’s March had hundreds of partners and nonprofit organizations working together, and they will need your help too. If you have time and the resources, consider volunteering for an organization that will help others, like Planned Parenthood or the National Resource Defense Council.

7.Write Your Senators

You might think that there is nothing you can do, since you’re just one small person in this giant messy country, but you’re wrong! It’s important to write, call or even show up at your local senator’s office and demand change. Get your friends to send postcards or emails to local officials so that they will hear you. If you want help figuring out how to do that, check out the Human Rights Campaign’s easy guide for getting involved.

8. Register To Vote

If you’re over 18, REGISTER TO VOTE! I don’t just mean the presidential election, I mean your local and midterm elections as well. It’s important to use your right to vote in order to fight for something you believe in. You might think smaller elections don’t matter, but they DO!

9. Reach Out To Others

You don’t have to do this alone. Think about all of the strong people who walked in the Women’s March this past weekend. It doesn’t have to stop there! Get people together at your school, start a club, create a Facebook group, do whatever you need to do to keep people talking about important issues.

10. Take Care Of Yourself

I know you might want to fix everything all at once, but these things take time. Remember to take care of yourself. With everything going on in the world, it’s easy to get emotionally exhausted. It’s okay to take a break and practice self care. You deserve to take time to help yourself, so you can be strong AF and help fight for what’s right.

11. Be Vocal On Social Media

Listen, social media is a huge part of our lives right now. I know that sharing posts is considered “slacktivism” but it’s also important way to get words out there, as long as they are true. Don’t stop talking, sharing, tweets, hashtagging. It is important.

12. Call Out Fake News

Not to hate on our parents, but sometimes they don’t realize that sites like The Onion and Clickhole are satirical sites that post 100 percent made up news. Give them a heads up when things are fake. It will stop people from believing in actual fake stories.

13. Support Feminist Media

These publications are KILLING IT. We need to continue to support feminist media so that we can have an outlet that we can trust. Read Bust, The Media, and don’t forget to keep listening to podcasts and newsletters written by POC.

14. Read Black Feminist Literature

As a white woman, I need to be informed and educated on black issues, and this is a good place to start.

15. Donate To Black Lives Matter

If you have the means to give some money to some important causes, try donating to the Black Lives Matter movement. You can also support BLM sponsored rallies and events.

16. Call Out Ignorance

Don’t just stand by if you see someone on Facebook or Twitter harassing a marginalized person. Stand up for people who need it.

Did you march in the Women’s March?  Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Nina Braca, on Twitter or Instagram

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