Recently the feminist inside me has been trying to get my attention. I am starting to feel like I used to in “feminism and design” class – passionate, fiery and optimistic.
It started with an article about the low statistics of women in power, and how it could be due to women not being “dissatisfied” enough, which admittedly irritated me.
And then a TED talk on women leaders or the “lack of”
I used to believe equality between men and women was the key, until my uni lecturer questioned me:
“EQUAL! Equal to WHAT… MEN?”
“Um, yes…” I said scared.
“So you believe women should just act like men to be in power? They should wear business suits, and simply adapt to male power symbols?”
She then explained that women need to find their own power symbols that are true to their nature, not borrow those of men. This comment has stuck with me and I have often wondered in many different phases of my life – what are our power symbols? Such a huge question and not something I am going to attempt to answer. However, I will pose as a question for something we should all think about.
When posing the question to myself, I will say, one thing that always comes to mind is women’s attitude and actions towards other women.
I have to admit, I have been notorious for saying “I get along better with men” or “I prefer to work for men”. But two years ago I was told that that message only diminishes female power, while encouraging the white male power system. This was a shocking realization for me so I sat down for a while and thought about changing my message.
In the past I have had my hardest times due to the actions and manipulations of women, but for the first time I wondered could I be responsible for this repeated message? I decided I needed to be open to a brighter future, beginning with a community of women, and set a goal to simply support and be loyal to women in any way I could. Anything from standing up for them when their husbands were giving them grief, encouraging them to go for a promotion, giving well deserved compliments, helping them realize their dreams, or offering information that they may find helpful.The response has been surprising. And since then, I have a lot more female friends and support.
If you believe in the works of the universe, then you would say that I am putting female positivity out there and getting it back.
I believe, a huge step for women gaining more power and finding their power symbols would be simply to be loyal to other women. We need to come together as a group to support each other. No matter what a women chooses, to work, to stay home, to have kids early, late or never, to marry or not, to be conservative or unconventional they should have our support, not judgement.
I know this would make my lecturer happy!