The photo above of my sister, me and my mother, was taken by the amazing photographer, John Kelly.
We are in the midst of a heat wave here in New York City; staying in is a welcome relief. Which means more time to design, and during small breaks, watch videos like this one, which my mother, of course, sent me.
It seemed all the more appropriate to post this video today when many of my female friends are posting black and white images of themselves on Instagram. When I was first tagged, I had no idea why anyone was doing this. Then a friend sent me a DM and explained. So for those of you who, like me, didn’t have a clue and are wondering what this is all about, I did some investigating.
A day or two ago, perhaps, in part, in response to AOC’s calling out congressman Yoho’s expletive laden attack on her, and in solidarity to women, the hashtag #ChallengeAccepted and #womensupportingwomen began to take over Instagram. *Updated 07/29/20* Evidently this “challenge” or one very like it began in Turkey to highlight the killing of women.
“As #challengeaccepted continues to trend, here is some more information on the origin of the post & how it became suddenly popular out of nowhere.
“It began to spread first in Turkey as millions of us here grieve the deaths of several women, this week alone, who have garnered a lot of media attention as victims of Femicide.
“As the Turkish government looks to back out of the Istanbul Convention, which is made to protect the high number of domestic abuse cases against women, people are angry & banded together to show solidarity against this action.
“Your beautiful black & white photo is yes, meant to empower other women as your sister, but because so many men disregard & dispose us of our worth.
“I urge you to google Femicide and read the horrific accounts some women have faced. Violence against women anywhere is a tragedy!
“Share with purpose ✨”Zeycan_rochelle on Instagram
The current iteration of the challenge is for women to tag other women, who’ve been supportive and/or who they admire, to post a black and white selfie and to reach out to others to do the same. *I still don’t understand the black and white selfie part of all of this, but I absolutely support the women supporting women part. *(evidently a black and white photograph of the Turkish women who are killed, fills the news feed of many in Turkey.)
I have had some amazing women in my life who have been tremendously kind, supportive and have cheered me on. Women who are genuinely happy to see me succeed, and I’ve also known women who did the opposite. Women who saw me as a threat and did whatever they could to undermine my work and me, personally. And I’ve known women who did a little of both. The beauty in all of this is we get to decide how we will behave regardless of other’s choices.
I choose to be the woman who supports other women. The one who does not view every woman with suspicion and as a threat to my livelihood, but instead as a comrade, a sister in arms, whether they view me that way or not, is actually none of my business. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts to know someone you admire and respect, may not return those sentiments or realizing that someone you barely know is working behind the scenes to sabotage you or when someone you believed to be a friend has betrayed you. It hurts. There’s no getting around that. But it doesn’t have to define you.
So to all the women out there who have helped me, cheered me on, encouraged me or just had a kind thought, thank you. Your support, generosity and kindness keep me going. Some days when I am filled with doubt, I reread the notes you’ve sent me and it is the pick-me-up I need to continue. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you.