Why Having a Mentor is Important for Women, and Being one Too!

This one is for my women, and get ready because I have something hefty to say. Let’s begin with a definition:

Mentor- an experienced and trusted adviser.

We’ll come back to that, but before we do let me warn you.. This might not be your average view on mentoring.

Women Have had it Tough

Women, as you know, have it tough on this planet. Oh yeah everything from being paid less on average than a man, to not having the same opportunities as our male counterparts, to being murdered or abandoned by your parents womens-march-2001566_1920just for being born a girl, to being sold as a sex slave at the age of 9 in some parts of the world, all the way to having your clitoris severed from your body, leaving you mutilated because female pleasure is seen as a sin. A bit dark for you? It might be, but this is happening to women around the world. Women having it tough simply for being women.

But if any gender can take it, it’s us: we are strong ones! We’ve been oppressed for centuries, and yet WE ARE STILL HERE! Plus we bleed monthly without dying (which used to be thought of as OMG they are superheroes- which we are) and can literally sustain life for another living being (see..tough cookies). Still, as it stands we live in a patriarchal society, and some of us don’t even realize just how true that statement is.

AND GIRLS!!

Surely you’ve been somewhere with both men and women present and someone addresses the entire group as “guys.” This, in my opinion, is no different from being called Mrs. Andy Jeffreys after marrying when your name is clearly Susie Carmichael (slanty eyes). I had to bring this up because I am becoming increasingly weary about such groupings.

Even some of my favorite youtube goddesses get on camera to show a makeup or hair tutorial (likely directed at women) and the first thing they utter is, “hey guys!” It takes something away from me every time, and I always
(whether addressed on video or in person) respond with a… AND GIRLs! Because it is important to me. I’m a woman (roar!).

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Male and Female Energy

Now tie that in with the fact that since Thoth knows when, our world has been this huge pot of male energy, and we begin to see a bit of a problem. I’m not being one- sided here, all beings have both female and male energy. You should definitely check out this 9 minute Spirit Science episode called Male and Female Energy for more info and a more animated description, but let me give you a little overview. Male energy is like a straight line, logical, to the point, uses reasoning, and common sense while female energy is more like a curve, creative, nurturing, emotional, intuitive. Male energy is like the outer lines of the Fibonacci spiral (the Fibonacci pattern is the basis of all life.. I’m not even joking) going straight to get to one destination whereas female energy is like the curves of the spiral, taking a longer route but still arriving at the same destination.

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You can think of this as the left and right side of the brain.When these two are aligned, a powerful balance can occur. Great, right? But that’s the problem, there is no balance. The majority of people in the world are taking in and giving off male energy while our female energy is repressed. Hmmm could this explain the world imbalance and unrest…

Women Unite

Ok, so what’s my point? Well I’m guilty. I used to call my self a guy’s girl (back in my high school and early college days), said I preferred hanging with my male friends, and always seemed to roll my eyes at leading ladies in a film, often stating how they always cried and were annoying. I never wanted to be thought of/called a feminist and I would make statements like, “girls are bitches” often. I believe that somewhere inside I rooted for and sided with men in more situations than I care to admit.

So what was my problem? I was out of tune with myself, and bought into a belief that women were a certain way. aware-1353780_1920Self- hate might have even been the culprit. There I was, this young woman revolting against my sisthren (lol pretty sure I just made that up), and against my core self. I’m awake now, and understand more than ever how important solidarity is among women and why we need one another. Especially in this male- energy fueled patriarchal society where our sisters are constantly told that they are less than.

Women need to support one another, look after one another, and uplift one another because the chips are often stacked against us, and that’s not going to change unless we continue to unite.

Mentorship is the Answer?

This is where I think mentorship comes into the equation- well mentorship in the way that I am defining it. I think we all need to be involved in one, on both ends of the spectrum. We all need to have at least one woman who we trust, who inspires us, and encourages us to go for what is important in life- whatever that may be.

So many of us go without one in life and so this is a call to action to change that. Girls, we are in this together pexels-photoand I am urging each and every one of you to step out there and not only find a mentor, but become one yourself. Then I want you to encourage your mother, your sisters, daughters, nieces, your gal pals, aunts, cousins… inspire the whole team to take the step with you! It’s important.

There are tons of resources out there on what a mentor is and how to find one, this Forbes article title Why Every Woman Needs a Mentor is a very good read, but my goal in this post might not represent the traditional approach i.e a professional someone to help you. Instead, I’m asking you to be your own definition of a mentor and find someone who fits the description you need most.

I am not a mumma yet and my future babies (Kal- El and Kennedy Jean) are only a twinkle in my eye. But I am an aunty, to bunches and bunches of the cutest kiddies you ever did see. They mean a lot to me, and so much of what I do is driven by the hope that I can help make the world better for them, help inspire them to be whatever they want and follow their own path. This post is specifically for my nieces and all the young ladies in my family. Because they are important.

Important Talks Between Women

I remember when I was about ten years old, the older ladies in my family organized a woman’s meeting. I can remember it vividly, and how uplifted I felt afterwards. We all were given journals and decorated them with magazine cutouts and laminate tape. Inside we wrote questions, comments, and wrote whatever we were thinking, really. We went around in a circle and each lady, young, old and betwixt spoke of what it was to be female, of men/boys, jobs, and society. This type of meeting only happened about 3 times, but I will never forget that first day. It’s something that I treasure seventeen years later. Because it was important.

There needs to be more of this kind of women- inspiration going around. More of us willing to reach out and help a younger lady even just by speaking with them, and reach up and ask for guidance from someone else.

It doesn’t matter what your definition of a mentor is, so long as you’ve got that someone that cares about what happens to you, someone who will pick you up when you fall, someone who helps you to become the best version of yourself. In a world where women continue to be objectified, slighted, abused, and told that we are unequal, we need someone with strength of mind to remind us that we are capable of kicking ass, regardless of if the whole world tells us otherwise. We need to look after our young ladies and help them to know that they can do anything, and we are here to guide them as best as we can.

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The more we mentor one another, the better our world will become. Isn’t that so special?

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Making a Difference

You can truly make a difference in her (your mentee’s) life just by being there for her and helping her to see that she’s worth it. She can spread this message to her mentee’s and they to theirs and well… that, my friends, is how a movement begins. Who knows, maybe we unite so much that women around the world might never be subjected to any kind of oppression again.

This last part is for all the young ladies in my family. I may not know much, but whatever I have, I want to share with each of you. You have so much to offer the world, and you are worth everything! If ever you need me for any kind of guidance, never hesitate to ask. I got you. Be proud to be you and take everything you learn in life, and pass it on.

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Have any of you got someone you consider a mentor already? What are your thoughts on mentorship?

13 Comment

  1. Trina G says: Reply

    Absolutely love this!!!

  2. Graham says: Reply

    Fantastic post really great ideas and love how you share your views. You are so right about using the word guys. When I talk to a big group of friends or colleagues I find myself ready to use guys as in everyone but I hestate and try to say everyone as I struggle with ladies and gents its too formal. Its strange how the words guys has become a term for a group of people. When there are other words we can use. Keep up the great work.

    1. Hi Graham,

      Thanks so much for your comment. It is so easy to get into the habit of saying but you are very right, there are other words that we can use that can fit everyone without being gender- specific. It just takes practice, for me too!

  3. Malaika Kent says: Reply

    Very empowering! I really enjoyed reading this! I believe that it is very important for girls and women to have someone they trust to talk to and communicate with!!! Thank you for all of your information!!!

    1. Thank you so much for reading! We definitely need to stick together! 🙂

  4. Funny, I was just thinking about this subject today. I reconnected a month ago with a good friend who’s a few years older than me. We are both in our 50’s. I just told my husband that I would love someone to be like a big sister to me, that I’ve always wanted that. Maybe because I’m an oldest child and always felt like I had to be in control and in charge. Sometimes I just want a caring woman to give me tender advice and affection when I’m feeling lost, which we all feel sometimes at any age. Thanks so much!

    1. Wow, thanks so much for sharing, Jennifer! I agree with you, we all need this no matter our age! Thank you so much for reading, I hope that you connect with someone “like a big sister” more 🙂

  5. I have been a mentor for several years to different women and girls and also have been mentored myself. I think it is a great way to get to know how to do things from someone with experience. Always willing to learn from someone and the mentor does not have to be older than you to be a good teacher.

    1. Hi Helen, thank you so much for reading and for your comment detailing your own experiences as both mentor and mentee. We all have things that we can teach one another if we are open to the experience. I think it is the beauty of life.

  6. Summerly says: Reply

    Great post. I do believe that girls and women need a mentor, and not the typical kind but someone that will help and guide you in whatever path it is you are on in your life. Girls can become more confident and possibly achieve more in their life with their new confidence then they may have otherwise without a mentor. Thanks for this post!

    1. I love your post and could not agree more with the sentiments that you have expressed! It certainly is important and I look forward to seeing a world where more of us feel the same and endeavor to make it a consistent reality! Thank you so much for reading and for your post 🙂

  7. Briana says: Reply

    Great post, Manika!
    I am a waitress and I recently walked up to a table of women and one man, and said, “hey guys, what can I get you to drink?” It was an accident, and I felt so stupid afterwards. I normally try to be mindful of using that term to address a group if there are ladies present. Thanks for bringing attention to this, because I think most people are guilty of this (especially the younger generations). It isn’t something we are saying to be sexist, it’s just a habit. A word now used to describe a genderless group of people, but that needs to change!
    I love the idea of being an everyday mentor to someone, even someone different every day, and thinking of other women as mentors of sorts.
    Thanks again!

    1. Hey thank you so much for the comment! “guys” is something that is just very normal for most of us to say and I know this but it still triggers as wrong to me! I feel that I want to embrace and celebrate my womanhood and being referred to as a guy left and right doesn’t make me feel great. I too love the idea of being an everyday mentor and hope that more of us can take on this role!

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