Women are often undermined in society — but that gives one the strength to prove how powerful we truly are. We should be proud to be women, able to display our courage, confidence, and strength. Be confident in who we are and love ourselves for what we are capable of. Just being ourselves.

That’s what the following strong women too have to say to us.

"It's OK to fight back — to speak up, to say no, to demand respect."

Melissa Fabello, managing editor of Everyday Feminism.

Women are frequently taught — implicitly by society and explicitly by their guardians — that being a woman is about being quiet, not creating a nuisance, accepting the pain inflicted on us and never making a fuss about it. That being a woman means containing the pain while looking and acting like it doesn’t faze you. But it need not be so. It can be like opening up a whole new world — one where your strength can be found in standing up for yourself.

“How I define and represent myself as a woman is completely up to me, and I should avoid being influenced by those who don't have to walk in my shoes.”

Feminista Jones, social worker, writer and community activist.

We all are inspired by others and learn from them as well — that's the way we grow and form our own identities. However, it's another matter if you allow others to define your womanhood because it will eventually lead to living a life that aims to satisfy others rather than one that empowers you.

"The sooner you understand that you don't have to be everyone's friend, the better off you'll be."

Andi Zeisler, cofounder, and director of Bitch magazine.

Women are typically groomed to being likable rather than achieve their actual goals. This can prevent you from reaching where you would like to be. You default to wanting to make others happy, defuse conflict and go out of your way for people who wouldn’t do the same for you. Once you come to realize that there will be people who don't like you — and trying to change their minds is mostly a waste of your time - you start to behave with a whole new perspective.

"My aunt, Frances Diane Wright taught me how to leave."

Mia McKenzie, founder, and editor-in-chief of Black Girl Dangerous.

Not being afraid to leave — whether a city, a job you don’t love or a bad relationship — opens the door to a lot of things for you in your life. Be willing to go out into the world to search for your own life.

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