It is here, the season that most midwesterners have mixed feelings about. The snow is so pretty...but the driving is crazy and the air is cold. Fair Anita is a global brand, but we are based out of Minnesota, and as any Minnesota native knows, in winter it is important to keep busy to avoid cabin fever. So here are three recommendations for (feminist) activities to enjoy this winter.
As we enter the short and cold days of winter, seasonal depression takes off for many of us living in the northern climates. One way to fight that is to build community: studies show that the more people are in community the happier people are. How do we do this? It can take a bit of outreach. You can join a meet-up group of people who are super into something you are passionate about or take a community ed class. This is a great way to meet people who you will have an easier time connecting with, don’t know what to talk about, just talk about what the meetup is for. You already have something in common.
For those of you who are a little bit more adventurous, get out and meet the people in your local community. Maybe go classic-- bake an apple pie and bring it over to a neighbor you have not met yet. Or start to frequent your local commerce. Shopping local is not only a great way to support small businesses, it is an awesome opportunity to get to know those in your own community. Frequently small business owners will remember who you are and can offer excellent customer service by learning what your preferences are!
However you choose to do it, you can beat the cold weather blues by immersing yourself in community with others. Remember, building a community doesn’t happen in a day: like all good things, it will take take time, but it's a great activity to prioritize in the winter!
Lift other women up
This winter activity ties right in with our first one. Be in community with your fellow women! Saying something when other women are being torn down, while being ready to take on taboo conversations, takes courage-- we know! But when we have the bravery to tackle difficult conversations, and approach them with a listening ear, the dialog we start can be invaluable.
By lifting other women up we only lift ourselves up in the process. This was put eloquently by the Indian actress As Bindu “women who understand how powerful they are do not give into envy over meaningless things; instead they fight to maintain the beautiful bond of sisterhood. These are the real women who know that we need each other's love and support to support and survive this world.”
Fight the patriarchy
Well, as the weather gets colder and we try to figure out what to do with ourselves as the cold wind deters us from heading outside, what better time is there to fight the patriarchy? But, let’s first talk about what the patriarchy is. On the Daily Kos it was summed up nicely, “patriarchy is generally not an explicit ongoing effort by men to dominate women, It is a long-standing system that we are born into and participate in, most unconsciously.”
What this is saying is that we don’t always realize that we are participating in a patriarchal society, it is just what many of us have learned and the way systems and structures have been created, so both men and women participate unconsciously. So, then how do we fight it you may ask. I think the saying that we see at the airports sums it up best, “If you see something, say something.”
For example, when you hear someone saying “boys will be boys,” say something. This common phrase lets boys get away with things that girls might not. This could include violence, roughhousing, or bullying girls. By telling boys they are different than girls, we give them the opportunity to start dominating at a young age. All children need to learn respect, and telling boys it is okay to disrespect others because they are boys will only feed back into the patriarchal culture.
As a caveat, you don’t need to put yourself in harm's way to fight the patriarchy. If you have trauma from a past experience, or saying something could make somebody violent, please keep yourself safe. But if the time is right and all you need is a little courage, our quote bracelets are the perfect way to support women, and serve as a reminder that you already have what it takes!
There you have it, 3 ways to enjoy winter regardless of the cold. Contributing to something greater than yourself will help you beat those winter blues! What are your favorite ways stay busy during the winter?