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I am — and have always been — fascinated by the entire concept of feminism. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always felt both…
–“Traditional” AND truly empowered.
— Safe in my Daddy’s arms, but also super confident standing alone.
— So trusting of (strong) men and also (equally) trusting of myself.
— Free to be a sexual woman and also a loving mom.
I never once felt TRAPPED by motherhood or caged by my (very) traditional marriage. I’ve always been FREE to bet on me, free to explore options, free to grow and evolve and serve and be served.
I DO expect men to open doors for me. My Dad drilled this into me as a very young girl. FUN STORY: One guy came to pick me up for a date and hopped right into the driver’s seat, while I stood waiting at the passenger door. He motioned with his hands and mouth, “It’s unlocked.” I said, “I know.” lol…
In my feminist studies class in college, I was surrounded by (strong? feminist?) girls sobbing — literally — over the fact that a man tried to open a door for them… sharing how it made them feel incompetent as if they couldn’t open the door for themselves.
My view was WILDLY different. I expect a man to open a door for me, not because I CANT but because I shouldn’t HAVE to. And as an aside, should a man open or NOT open a door for me… CERTAINLY, has no bearing on how I feel about myself.
In fact, NO MAN (or WOMAN’s) actions or words have ANY bearing on how I feel about myself. Was it Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”? Isn’t this TRUE empowerment?
And if you’re TRULY empowered… is there ANY room for feeling BAD or somehow UNFAIRLY handicapped or AT A DISADVANTAGE for being a woman?
I don’t know. I was born in 1977.
As I write this, I know that much of my OWN empowerment IS based on the efforts and battles fought before me, by women who DID have to fight for equality and opportunity. I am forever grateful for the world I was born into … based on the efforts of women who WERE NOT chanting popular rhetoric as they fought for the women’s movement. YOUR efforts were AGAINST popular culture, but you did it anyway. Please know that I recognize it, and I do not take it for granted.
I get to love being a woman. We’re able to be soft AND strong. We get to CHOOSE to stay at home or work in an office or create some hybrid option. We get to be sex fiends and our men love us for it… and we also get to bring life into the world, and then nourish it.
But I digress. Here’s my point.
I am seeing a new batch of women entrepreneurs cropping up, who think they MUST have a chip on their shoulder to be taken seriously as a “bad ass business woman.” I watch from the sidelines as they look for confirmation (many times actually ASKING publicly for such confirmation) that it’s okay to be a bitch…. that it’s okay to have an “F off” response to anyone — friend or foe — that challenges them on something… anything.
My take? Sure it’s okay… and sometimes it’s needed. But WHY the whole asking for permission and confirmation thing? Why the whole approach that SCREAMS you’ve got something to prove???? And to WHO?
Inside the walls of Women Who WOW, I see something entirely different… a whole beautiful TRIBE of diverse driven women. Are we WARRIORS when we need to be? You know we are. We’re strong and tough and driven and NOT TO BE MUCKED WITH. And we’re also heart-centered, generous, and loyal. In fact, in the whole group of us, I don’t see ANYONE trying to be something they’re not.
We feel NO NEED to ACT “edgy” or “bitchy” to have an edge. We have an edge because we’re focused and driven and absolutely committed. (And, also… of course, pretty freaking GIFTED.)
So, can we be bitch-y? Yup… but we’re not defined by it, and have no need to be defined AT ALL- actually. And this, I think is TRUE empowerment.