I’ve been thinking a lot about June 4, 1919—the historic day Congress passed the 19th Amendment, granting all American women the right to vote. Tomorrow is the annual Women’s March, and 137 days until June 4, 2019, when it will be 100 years since that iconic date. 100 years of women’s suffrage; 100 years of women working to empower other women, 100 years of women speaking up, demanding change. 100. A big number and a small number all at once.
When I launched Hey! VINA, I knew I wanted to create a safe place for women to meet, connect, and join forces. I wanted us to have smart resources so that no matter where we are in our lives or in the world, we have the support system of other women in our lives there for us. I know that when you put a group of women together, sh*t gets done. As my friend Shelley Zalis of The Female Quotient puts it: “A woman alone has power; together we have impact.”
From the 19th Amendment to the #MeToo movement, history proves that women supporting women creates a wave of change. And not just any wave—but a tidal wave.
We see it with women like Tarana Burke, who started the Me Too movement in 2006, which led to 252 celebrities, politicians, CEOs and others accused of sexual misconduct since April 2017. Or newly elected U.S. congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib—who call one another “squad” and “dream team,” as they band together to put an end to the patriarchy that has upheld male power and privilege for far too long. Malala Yousafzai, who is fighting for millions of girls around the world to go to school. Or the sister survivors who bravely testified against U.S. gymnastics Olympic team “doctor” Larry Nassar, joining together to not only put him behind bars but to dismantle the system that allowed him to hurt so many, despite countless reports, warnings and red flags.
The list of women in this tidal wave is endless—and it’s only getting bigger.
It’s about damn time! For far too long, we’ve been living in the culture of patriarchy, where women were portrayed and taught by men-led entertainment companies and T.V. shows to compete with one another and become ‘frenemies.’ If we weren’t fighting over a guy, then we had to be fighting over a job, or a shirt, or a diet. I can’t even count how many times I’ve explained Hey! VINA to a man, and he’s exclaimed, “I thought women hated each other!” No bud, that’s just simply not true.
But we’ve flipped that script. We’ve leaned in. We’ve leaned out. We’ve linked up. We’ve supported each other—in every tagged #BelieveWomen meme, in every hashtag, in every march, we’ve fought the false narrative of women and how we see each other.
When I envision the future generations of women and what the picture looks like for the next 100 years, I see community, not competition. I see strength. In the next 100 years, there won’t be a day when we have a dream that feels too big for us. We will always feel supported. We will always feel like we have a network behind us, cheering us on, picking us up when one of us falls down.
We are laying the future of friendship right now. Today. We waste no time. We know there is a real human need for friendship. With loneliness being the biggest health epidemic of our time—equated to smoking 15 cigarettes a day—our health, happiness, and lifespan depend on making these solid, meaningful connections.
We know that women live about five percent longer than men—and our demand for community and need for sisterhood could be the reason, “Some have posited that the reason for females’ longer lives is due to our abilities in the social sphere,” says Amy Yotopoulos, Director of the Mind Division at the Stanford Center on Longevity.
Could investing in your social life be a key factor in living to 100? Science says it certainly can! Not regularly spending time with friends and prioritizing your social connections has shown to reduce your lifespan by 30%, but on the upside, having close friends and spending time with them has shown to increase your lifespan by 50%.
We need these close bonds to keep the momentum going—so I’m making a 100 year commitment to you with Hey! VINA. In honor of the upcoming 100 year anniversary of the 19th Amendment, and in effort to help you live to centenarian status, I’m introducing the Hey! VINA Century Club. We’re offering a limited group of vinas the opportunity to join our Century Club, which means that you have 100 years of VINA VIP status. You’ll get all the amazing benefits of being a VINA VIP on the app, but more than that, you’ll be investing in the future of friendship for you and for women everywhere for the next 100 years.
We’ll add 100 years to your life. 100 years of vinas to meet. 100 years of friendships that will help you get through any hardship you face. 100 years of laughs. 100 years of a shoulder to cry on. 100 years of sisterhood.
Let’s live it up for the next 100 years together, and become a VINA Century Club member. Just look at all that women have accomplished together in 100 years. What does the next 100 hold for us?
Want to become a VINA Century Club member? Sign up on the Hey! VINA iOS app.