to be a part of the sisterhood

It's the little things that count. 

By Linley Briggs


To be a part of a sisterhood, is an unspoken rule that we are looking out for each other. It’s the step we take, between women and the unwanted attention of men. It’s pretending you know women you don’t.


It’s sitting next to another woman on the bus and falling into step with them when you walk alone at night. It’s complimenting women in the bathroom, on the street, on the bus. It’s the look two women share when they are the only two among a room of men. It’s a text I’m home, safe.


It’s the offer of pads, tampons, painkillers. The price does not cross your mind. If you don’t have a pad, you’ll find someone who does. We stop when we see women alone at night. We help others get home and comfort strangers when they cry. It’s an unspoken bond, connection, understanding. We pull women up, off the ground, from under the heels of those that hold them down.


It’s slinging your arm around a woman’s shoulder and taking her away from the uncomfortable conversation. It’s asking if she’s alright when her partner raises his voice in public. It’s telling a room that she wasn’t finished speaking. To stop interrupting. To respect her voice.


It’s watching out for young girls on the street. Calling out cat callers. We pretend we’re friends, sisters, mothers. We pretend we’re in a relationship, just to find an inch of respect and safety when no is not enough. It’s irrelevant if you know them or not.


It’s the public restrooms, marked with the stories of women before. The walls whisper the assaults that have occurred within each stall. Our hearts scarred, we have each other. It’s knowing other women will listen. That they’ll believe you.


It’s late night talks. It’s getting angry at the patriarchy, at harassment, at sexual violence. It’s the conversations that go round and round because everyone has a story. Everyone knows someone with a story.


It’s crying into her arms. It’s cuddling after a bad day. It’s finding solace in shared experiences. It’s being exhausted together after spending your life fighting for your rights.


It’s intersectionality. It’s understanding that not all women have the same, equal experience. It’s listening to their stories, to those of the women that have come before us. To those that have different skin colours, traditions, cultures, values, religions, relationships. It is the experience of identifying and living as a woman. It’s knowing that despite our differences, we are united.


To be apart of a sisterhood is to never be alone. To know billions of women, go through what you do, are fighting for what you are. It is a bond of support, that transcends all else.


What does sisterhood mean to you?

Linley Briggs is a 20 year old writer from Sydney. She's a passionate and outspoken feminist, and this piece was originally featured on her blog How Do She Do

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