Empowerment: Are Women Today Empowered or Defiant?

What is a brave woman? What is empowerment? That is probably one of the hardest questions to answer. If we go back in time and look at how the feminine is viewed, we can agree that the feminine is considered the weaker gender. She is always the calm one. The distressed. The exclusive.

Men were so afraid to allow them entry into society because they thought that all woman could contribute were known exclusively to them. Like giving birth or menstruation; boring or unrelatable. However, we have seen that change and today, we are celebrating the birth and development of the strong female: confident and articulate.

Women’s Empowerment: Double Standards

We know a lot of notable female personalities in different fields such as politics and economics and we have also seen society’s different perspectives when it comes to leadership under a man and a woman.

Some people say that a man who is able to influence people is a good leader, but a woman who encourages others is a protester. But we cannot blame this kind of thinking on males alone. Sometimes, even women themselves bring each other down. Some women do not like the idea of a strong female, as for them, that strong female is a power-tripping individual. Or, on the other end, if a man hits a woman, he is a bad person but if a woman hits a man, she is brave and strong.

What we can see here is that we have different measures as to what is acceptable and not. Why is it that similar circumstances are assessed differently just because a different gender is involved? Does it make it less of a mistake or a better decision if it is done by a particular gender? Maybe this is due to our misunderstanding of what empowerment is.

What is Empowerment?

We have been taught all throughout history, women have been victimized by powerful men. Men who lead society or the household. They were treated as slaves, concubines or a bearer of children and nothing more than a vessel for a man’s pleasure or showcase of authority. Though women are now given equal opportunities and privileges, we are still enclosed in that idea that they are still oppressed. That women would need to speak up.

Though we recognize that each of us has the right to equal treatment, we need to understand that empowerment means being confident, being encouraging, and readying a platform for all individuals, male or female, to speak up and develop and demonstrate their skills. Empowerment is not tolerance of bad behavior nor it is allowing women to flaunt or objectify themselves on social media just because they can.

Empowerment in its greater meaning is imbibing a sense of respect for others and for oneself and strengthening the idea of self-acceptance. Being strong and independent means the ability to assess situations and to act or respond accordingly.

How New Generations Interpret Empowerment

However, if you look at what bravery is for some, especially for young individuals, it is calling out someone publicly and posting an excessive amount of hate and negativity on social media. It is fighting each other making a scene anywhere while everyone watches.

They think that confidence is being unruly, but that is a big misconception. We crave for education and now that it is made accessible for most of us, some seem not to fully maximize on its promise.

A lot more people are getting diplomas, but some of them are also losing values. True empowerment is the encouragement of combining wisdom and values. Nonetheless, we should not mistake this for hypocrisy.

Be Smart, Be Brave, Be Truly Empowered

Simply, the whole idea of encouragement for both genders is based on discipline and smartness. Smartness, not always in the sense of high grades or excellent performance in any field, but being highly functional in society and that is knowing the right thing to do and to say and when to say or do it.

A brave person is someone who can influence good change and not display bad behavior. Confidence, leadership, and bravery are far from being ill-mannered or defiant. If, up to this day, you still think that embarrassing another person makes you admirable, then what right do you have to demand respect from other people or even call yourself strong?

Remember, strong people build others and not destroy them.

About Patricia Abrihan

Patricia has always been inspired by the witty yet innocent voice of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird that she believes that writing is able to revolutionize ideas of society. She is a former college instructor from the Philippines and is currently a freelance writer and blogger managing her portfolio. She is open to collaboration and also loves reading and watching movies.

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