As a longtime pop culture reporter, I read a lot of articles promoting films and TV shows. I am actually up to date on the plotlines of TV shows that I have never watched because I try to stay informed about the world of entertainment as much as I do about the world around me. But I do break the number one rule of entertainment media; I read the comments.

Everyone knows you never read the comments. They're full of trolls and self loathing creatures who spend all of their time belittling others. It's actually really gross. But I read them anyway, like some kind of masochist, while contributing my own, positive comments in the hopes that maybe people will stop being jerks. Nope.

While promoting her latest film, the Shallows, actress Blake Lively has been accused of everything from being racist (for quoting Sir Mix A Lot), a body shamer (for defending her comments about the aforementioned quote), and she's ugly, not talented and her husband doesn't really love her. Because she's horrible. You know, perfectly sane things. Not a word was mentioned about the Shallows receiving good reviews. No mention of her funny interview on Jimmy Fallon, where Lively presented as witty and fun. Not a word about her open honesty about the closing of her brand Preserve, and how it taught her valuable lessons and she hopes that all women will be willing to take chances to try their hand at new projects. Not even that she looks healthy and well, which is a positive as she is expecting her second child with her husband Ryan Reynolds. Nope, just bitter hatred.

It's not just Blake Lively; it's all women. Taylor Swift cannot keep a man (as if the most important thing in life is a woman's ability to keep a husband). Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, is evil because she admitted juggling family and commitments to Canadians can be challenging. Jennifer Lopez is too thin. Fit moms don't spend time with their kids. Tess Holliday is too fat. Kim Kardashian West is too naked. Anna Kendrick isn't naked enough. And the ones leading the charge against these women is...other women.

From the obviously perfect crunchy sanctimommies who give their kids organic everything and question the parenting of those who do not to the super feminists who question women who adhere to conventional gender roles, women are attacking other women more than ever before. It seems like every woman has an idea of what being a "real woman" is. They don't wear short shorts or have sex or wear make up or get married or go to the gym, but they also must be in shape, need a man, look feminine and sexy and have a baby and a career and somehow adhere to everyone's idea of what a real woman should be. In a world where women are blamed for everything from their own sexual assaults to why they make less money, women need to be presenting a united front more than ever. But instead, we're nitpicking each other about what to wear, who to date and who has a harder time juggling home and family. 

Because of this, I've decided to create a helpful guide for women to stop perpetuating the belief that we all hate each other.

Ask yourself this question;

1. Does this woman's choice in mate/clothing/lipstick/child rearing affect my life in the least?

If the answer is no, then SHUT UP.

Stop judging other women. Their journey is not yours. Women are not magical cut out characters who fit in a one size fits all mold. We are all unique and special in our own way and in our own unique journey. What works for my life may not work for Blake Lively. What works for Blake Lively may not work for my best girlfriend. Badmouthing a female celebrity like Blake Lively isn't going to make you a better woman, nor will it make Ryan Reynolds magically decide to divorce her and marry you (but he is still super dreamy). But it will show the world that you are not a nice person. Blake Lively can cut her hair, but you will always be an asshole.

So women, if you can't be nice, be quiet. Don't look for reasons to make feminism a war between women. Stand together and stand up for each other, regardless of race, religion, marital status, sexuality or economic stature. There is nothing better than women who want to empower and encourage each other. The woman who seeks to build up her peers while achieving her own goals is the most unstoppable force on the planet. 

Be unstoppable.

 

(For more of my thoughts and ideas, check out ASH Multimedia!) 

Published by Mary-Helen Clark