Taking Back Womanhood: The Modern Feminist
All throughout time women have been known as the weaker sex, too emotional or unstable to do anything, the object of someone's lustful desires, a man's slave, property in the man's world, a voiceless creature. Such female icons as Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Quimby (1st American female pilot), Amelia Earhart, Gloria Steinem, and even Viola Davis (Tony/Emmy/Oscar Award Winning Actress from my own home state of Rhode Island and alma mater Rhode Island College) had to fight and claw their way through the misogynistical demands of the man's world just to make their mark. For the longest time women's thoughts, ideas, and contributions did not matter because of their gender. Did you know that the Catharine Littlefield Greene, wife of American Revolutionary Major General Nathanael Greene, was co-inventor of the cotton gin with Eli Whitney? Probably not because at that time all credit went to the man. Women were just left in the shadows...forgotten... Early 19th Century British author, Jane Austen, described female restrictive lives in her novels such as, "Pride and Prejudice". Mr. Bennett, who was not a wealthy man, thought of his five daughters as a liability. Since he could not afford them for the rest of his life, he worked so hard to find them suitable rich husbands. If he had five sons, well then, he'd be earning money when they married.
We, as women, have come a long way with the right to vote, run for office, even be in the military. We no longer have to marry to find financial security, or feel obligated to stay at home to raise a family. We can work and be independent. We now have choices. But in the mean time, this ideal that we must be like a man to get what we want, we have stripped all sense of what it means to be a woman. With the bra burning, sexual escapades, and the need to lose one's virginity because holding onto it is simply not acceptable in today's society, just to feel liberated. To me the female is lost and is lacking the identity of herself. Being a girl and observing other women, I have noticed that girls still find the need to be with a man to feel safe and important, to feel validated. She dresses provocatively to get his attention because, in her mind, without him she won't have the stability she needs in her life. And the disturbing thing is, she is advocating for this lifestyle, lecturing girls on how this is normal and right and part of female empowerment. I'm sorry, but it's not. It's giving men what they want, your body. In a way, today's females are still objectifying their bodies the same way men have been doing it since the beginning of time. The need to sell themselves just to feel wanted and important is unnecessary.
No, we will never be like a man. We are special, unique, and have something extra to give that most men don't possess. We are able to connect from a deeper level of emotion, we feel more, we are mothering, we are detail oriented. There is no need to be like a man, swear like a sailor, fight like a caged animal, or expose yourself like Kim Kardashian to feel empowered. We can be empowered by being a strong independent lady, a queen that is respected, evolutionary. Who says ladies rarely make history? Maybe people aren't looking hard enough. Remember that behind every strong gentleman is a strong lady. i.e. Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, Princess Grace, First Lady Michelle Obama, my mother, and both my grandmothers. We educate to show results. Now it's up to us to reeducate the modern woman and take back our womanhood.
- Always be a lady in action and dress. The most successful ladies in history still made their voices heard with grace, eloquence, decorum, and intelligence without the need to lower their standards. Queen Elizabeth is a lady and she made history. So did her great grandmother before her, Queen Victoria, who was probably the most powerful empress of the British Empire. She refused to let a man dictate her on how to think, speak, and rule. She did this without lowering her standards. Because of Queen Victoria, she created her own era which, in my book, was the most graceful, modest, and classiest era of all time.
- Always have the last word. Never stay around for an argument. If you don't agree on what a person is saying, or the gossipy bickering, tell him or her how you feel and then turn on your heel and walk out. For those people who love to gossip and put others down behind their backs, a good come back would be to say, "Talk is cheap and so are you". By going right away, you have planted a seed of thought for them to think about their actions.
- Never settle for less. Always strive for more. If you're not ready for marriage or to have children don't do it because your peers have. You're not answering to them. It's you that you have to answer to. It's your choice that you have to live with. Don't live with regrets. Follow your instincts.
- Know how and when to use your sensuality. I have found that grandfather type men have appealed to my charm. If I want to get some answers or need help on something all I have to do is smile or push out my bottom lip and show my puppy dog eyes to receive results. There is no need to cross the line over to using my body for their gratification. If I can't find the results with one person I go to the next. Always hold on to your modesty for the word prude also means pride.
- Support and respect fellow women. One thing I really detest is putting down other woman. Don't bash them, don't compare yourselves to them. If you want equal rights then you must treat yourselves equally by starting with yourself. The lack of respect towards them is only a projected sense of self awareness.
- Look and understand a person beyond their gender. This is not a man's world or a woman's world but a world for the individual to share their own unique gifts.
- Be modest. There is no need to expose your body for all to see or to let your body be used to feel liberated. Take pride in your inner being. You're the boss of yourself. You set the rules and standards. But remember you are also a role model for young girls.
- Be assertive. State your beliefs and know when to draw the line.
- Be self-sufficient. In today's world there is no stability and guarantee to be dependent upon another person. Start raising yourself. Start setting standards and boundaries for yourself. Start taking care of yourself. Start giving yourself what it needs. Have pride in yourself. There is no need to be dependent to feel free and liberated. You are in control.
- And finally, love yourself.