What are the biggest misconceptions about female empowerment and how can we overcome them?
By Stephanie J. SchumannThe latest edition of this magazine is available at www.femalesentertainment.com.
Feminist empowerment is often confused with female empowerment.
But it isn’t.
Feminism isn’t about female oppression, or female power, or even female empowerment of women.
It’s about the empowerment of all people, women and men, to achieve their full potential.
To be a feminist means to advocate for the equality of all.
The following quotes are taken from a speech by the late, great, feminist Gloria Steinem.
Steinem, the founder of the Gloria Steampunk organization, spoke to the annual Feminist Film Festival (FFF) on March 11, 2002.
The following are excerpts of her remarks:It’s not just the women, it’s the men who need to learn to stand up for themselves.
I have always been a man.
I’ve always been an equal.
But I’m going to start with the men.
When you see a man being attacked, you can’t help but feel sorry for him.
And you have to help him.
That’s not to say that men can’t be victims of injustice.
But that’s the reality, and the real world.
But men can and must stand up and say, No.
We don’t need your pity, we don’t want your pity.
We want justice.
We have no interest in your pity or your sympathy.
And we will do whatever we can to bring justice to the man who’s being attacked.
So when you see men being beaten up, you just feel sorry and feel sorry that you’re in that situation.
You feel that your actions aren’t enough.
You know you’re not the only one who feels that way.
And when you feel that way, you want to help.
You want to make sure that this man doesn’t have to feel that bad, and you want him to know that he’s not alone.
And when you have a woman saying that you don’t understand, that you should be afraid, that if you’re a woman, you should feel sorry, that she’s telling you that this is the reality of what it is to be a woman.
I want you to hear me.
I’m not saying that men should feel like that.
I don’t believe that.
But we should all know that that’s what we’re fighting for.
And that’s why I was really proud of my life as a feminist.
I didn’t come out as a woman because of a lack of confidence.
I came out because I knew that women could and should do the same thing that I had done.
That we have the same potential and the same ability.
I was born that way and I am an American woman because I am a woman of color and a woman who is proud of it.
And it was that kind of pride that helped me become a feminist, to be able to look at myself in the mirror and say that I’m a feminist and I can do it.
I can make the world a better place.
So that’s a part of the reason I’m proud of myself.
And that’s really the reason why I am proud of what I do, because I want the world to be better for me.
So let me tell you, it takes guts, it doesn’t take arrogance, it only takes self-confidence.
And self-doubt is a very real part of being a feminist because it makes us feel that we can’t do something.
We can’t change the world, because we are scared of what other people might think.
And so self-Doubt is really a powerful thing, and it takes courage to face that fear and to know when you are brave enough to do something you can be proud of.
And so for those of you who feel like you can only be a good feminist by telling people what you think, and that you can do nothing but what you believe, and by telling women that they are entitled to their opinions and they are not entitled to be listened to and they’re not entitled in any way to their bodies, and women have the right to control their bodies and their lives as they see fit, then you can have your confidence and your independence.
And if you can stand up to those bullies and make sure they never win, then the world will be better.