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Feminism Is Not A Brand

Feminism Is Not A Brand

Don’t call me babe. Or boss babe. Or hustlin’ babe. Or any other #hashtag deviation. Why can’t I just be the boss without the babe?

Feminism in 2019 is murky and strange. More women than ever feel empowered – in sports, in their careers, and even in politics. More women are standing up for themselves and others thanks to movements like #MeToo, or changing tides in congressional districts, shifts in views from the executive suite, and even in equestrian sports.

It doesn’t matter which side of the political line you fall on – the stories behind sports icons from Serena Williams to Megan Rapinoe embody something bigger than all of us. They are the role models we need in this confusing, ever-changing, and sometimes hateful, world.

“I felt defeated and disrespected by a sport that I love, one that I had dedicated my life to and that my family truly changed, not because we were welcomed, but because we wouldn’t stop winning.” – Serena Williams

People are taking notice. But there’s a fine line to where an inspiring movement begins and where it blurs into something else. Usually when there are brands that are really stretching to capitalize on it – that’s a good sign you’re being led astray.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about being proud of a #hustlin’ lifestyle, and support each and every woman out there who goes above and beyond to get it all done. But do I really need to wear a pink sweatshirt that says BOSS BABE across my boobs to feel good about myself?

Absolutely not.

While perusing social media, I’m always astounded by the amount of boarding barn ads that highlight “NO DRAMA” in all caps somewhere in their description. I feel like the barns that truly offer a “no drama atmosphere” don’t need to say it out loud in all caps. But I digress.

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Maybe instead of wearing these #GirlPower T-shirts and spreading these #WorkItMomma messages on our Instagram feeds, we can embody these hashtags in real life and try paying it forward. Why don’t we work harder on creating a sense of community at our own barns – supportive ones that embrace diversity and different points of view, but are built on the shared experience of horse crazy girls who’ve grown up to be horse crazy women?

We should show up to support one another in the show ring, after a difficult lesson, or at the vet’s office when bad news is on the line. We shouldn’t jab at each other in passive aggressive text messages or on Facebook over who “paid more” for their show hunter or how they performed over the weekend.

Cut the crap. Stop hiding behind the fake filters of social media, and just be supportive and nice to one another. Stand up for each other. That’s what feminism should be about.

Then maybe I wouldn’t have to cringe at these “lady power” shirts. And then maybe the “NO DRAMA” ads would just go away on their own.

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