If you are a female living in America you are the most powerful woman the world has ever seen. You have the ability to control your reproduction, who you marry, where you live, and the type of lifestyle you want to live for the most part. The majority of women in the world do not have the same privilege. What we we going to do with this new found power? What is the goal? To fight for equality? To fight to make it in a man’s world? To gain success? What is success? Money, power, independence, autonomy? Is this definition of success created by men? What is the women’s definition of success?
Does gaining power mean you have to give up certain feminine characteristics? Do I have to be less caring and more cut throat? Do I have to give up raising my children to focus my energy on being competitive within the work place? What happens to my sexy? My sexy is my curves, my walk, my energy to be a sexual creature. Many women use this to get ahead but are in the end objectified, belittled, and reduced to simple one dimensional beings. I am always thinking about my personal strengths and weaknesses. How can I use my strengths to the fullest to be the best person I can be? How can I use my strengths to help the greatest amount of people. How does my sexy play into this? Should I objectify myself to get more followers while I sneak subliminal messaging about sustainability, ethics, and conservation into the conversation? I can not find one female role model that yields real power, commands respect from their peers, does so by using their natural femininity.
I hide my curves. I hide my charm. I subdue my feminine energy in order to diminish the confusion that can occur when working with males. Each situation I always want to walk away leaving the impression that I am confident, intelligent, interesting, and high minded. I’d rather be ugly and interesting than beautiful and boring. I feel I must downplay my looks in order to achieve this.
One way I believe we can combat bad behavior and change the status-quo is by being alert and calling out inappropriate comments instantaneously.
Example 1: I am walking down the street and a group of men comment on my physic.
Step 1: Turn around hold up your hand.
Step 2: Forcefully say, “Inappropriate. I am just trying to live. Respect.”
Step 3: Turn and continue walking.
Example 2: A female makes a backhanded comment about my outfit being nice for my body shape.
Step 1: Look her in the eye and hold up your hand.
Step 2: Forcefully say, “Not nice. I am just trying to live. My body. Not yours. Respect.”
Step 3: Turn and walk away.
I am not concerned for the future of females. Statistically speaking we are attending college at higher rates of males, graduating at high rates, and retaining employment at higher rates. By the time my generation comes to age to become congress women, CEO’s, and other powerful positions we will receive them because we will be most qualified. What could and will derail this is if women continue to placate to the male dominated culture. Don’t give them what they want in return for giving yourself less. We are care givers, they are not. Give your care to your fellow women who will care for you in return.
Women are the only oppressed group in our society that lives in intimate association with their oppressors. ~Evelyn Cunningham