Last year, two incidents happened that caused me to examine my friendships with other women. First, it made me think about myself and what I stood for as a woman. And, more importantly, how I wanted to be treated by other women and men. And how I would, in turn, treat other women.
I thought about how women view each other. And how we interact with and treat one another. I thought as a woman, I have embodied the victim and lesser than mentally despite considering myself an independent woman and a Feminist [not the toxic kind].
One of the incidents occurred during a conversation with my friend Elise. Elise disagreed with my perspective of one of our other friends, Tasha. I have always viewed Tasha as an honest person; over the years, I have seen her grow and blossom into a confident woman.
Elise did not view Tasha the same way, and while venting, she said, “well, if we are out, who do you think will get the attention? She has nothing on me.”
The entire thing threw me for a loop. Mainly since our conversation was not centered around whom is better than whom or about getting attention, it bothered me. And I started to think about my relationship with Elise. If she viewed Tasha that way, how did she view me? Did she believe that to be her best self, It had to come at the expense of another woman being lesser than her?
The second incident took place at a friend’s house. One of her male friends in his 40s said, “why should I settle for a woman who is 40 when I can have two women who are equal to 40.” It was one of those can I slap his face moment. His comment enraged me, but I calmly said, “because of men like you, many women are insecure and are walking around out there believing they have to settle or they are not worthy. And you should not be proud of that because you have daughters.” I am not saying he is the cause of every insecure woman in this world, but comments and belief systems such as his have caused women to continue to feel unworthy and less than.
He excused himself quietly, and that was the end of the conversation. But days later, I was still thinking about his statement. It made me think of myself as a woman over 40 and other women of all ages. How we are valued or relatively undervalued and what society thinks makes us worthy or not.
Power and the woman
I believe to be a woman is to be powerful. But yet we are viewed as the weaker vessel. We are categorized as emotional and are undervalued even in this day and age. Our power is often equated with the power of sex. And out worth is based on:
- our ability to produce erections
- the sizes of our bodies
- how well we pleasure a man
- our age
- our ability to provide or withhold sexual pleasure from a man
- our ability to be desirable
- whether or not we are wife material
- we are reduced to society’s perspective of what makes us intelligent, strong, beautiful, attractive, or sexy.
But all of the above are known facts. We have experienced some or all of it throughout our lives. Elise, however, made me wonder why as women, we treated other women the way we do. Why do we view each other as competitors? As a threat to our survival? And why do we find such great pleasure in tearing each other down?
How we use our power
I have realized that as women, we are POWERFUL. However, men are outwardly acknowledged as powerful, influential leaders or the stronger than. But as women, we each have our unique ways of getting what we want and based on my observation, we all do it differently — either overtly or covertly.
- We play the victim role.
- Or Criticize Other women and diminish their power.
- We are aggressive without being transparent with our intentions.
- Actively resist both verbally and non-verbally.
- We give men the experience as if they hold the power
- We withdraw
This article can be quite lengthy because there is much to be said when a woman’s worth or power is based on our flawed thinking and society’s stereotypes. So, to keep it concise, I am sharing what I believe is the Power of a Woman.
I stand by my statement that to be a Woman is to be powerful on every level. But we must be mindful and aware of the type of power we access at any moment. Is it a shady type of power that goes hand in hand with toxic femininity? Where we seduce, manipulate, challenge, or captivate.
Or are we harnessing that deep feminine—womanly power from within and exercising it with responsibility and care? Remember, as women, we all have choices. To choose which power we access and how we use it is a decision we make.
To be a woman is our superpower. And the power of a woman comes from within, not without.
The Power of a Woman:
- Complete: A woman knows she is not broken — she is whole and complete. And if there is a good man beside her. She understands he is not responsible for fixing her problems or making her whole.
- Love: A woman knows love is her most authentic nature.
- Responsibility: A woman knows she is responsible for her thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. And she takes full responsibility for it all.
- Kindness: A woman is kind to herself and others.
- Unapologetic: A woman knows who she is at her core. And lives from a place of authenticity. It is a powerful place to be. She knows she can change the world. And has no desire to follow the masses; she is her authentic self and wishes to be no one but herself.
- Choices: A woman understands that she has choices and can be who she wants to be. And she chooses to be a hero instead of the victim or the martyr.
- Worthy and Enough: A woman knows that the mere fact that she is here on earth proves that she is valuable, worthy, and more than enough.
- Fighter: A woman knows If or when she falls, she gets back up, dusts herself off, and fights harder than before. She fights and wins or learns from the experience and shapes it into something useful.
- Needs and wants: A woman knows her worth and what she wants in her life and needs. And it aligns with her values.
- Enduring Faith: A woman preserves life through tough times, even alone.
- Trust: A woman trusts herself from within. She does not overthink or allow the opinions of others to influence her.
- Vulnerable: A woman feels her feelings and processes them. She does not hide from them. She freely expresses her thoughts, feelings, desires, and opinions regardless of what anyone might think of her.
- Emotional: A woman knows it is healthy to be emotional. It does not make her weak. There are times she cries, when she prays or is happy, or sad, or feels joy. She also cries when she is happy for others or her friends share any good news.
- Take up space and use voice: A woman knows she belongs wherever she chooses to go or be. As a result, she does not shrink herself to make others comfortable. Instead, she speaks up whether to share ideas, compliment, or express distaste.
- Embracing other women: A woman understands another woman does not take anything away from her because she is a woman. And she embraces other women and accepts them for who they are and where they are in their consciousness. In any way she can, she extends support to other women; she roots for them because she knows another woman’s win is also a win for her. She knows other women are not a threat to her survival. Other women are her Allies. She does not demean other women or put them down to make herself look better.
- Procreation: A woman understands that another woman’s choice not to have a baby or her inability to get pregnant does not make her less of a woman.
- Innate knowledge: A woman has an inner knowing that she has the courage, persistence, and determination to achieve her dreams and goals.
- An ability: A woman knows she can be strong and soft simultaneously. Strength does not mean hard or aggression. And softness does not mean weakness.
- Intimacy: A woman is fiercely intimate with herself and fearlessly intimate with others.
- Empower and Inspire: A woman knows she has the power to influence. And she uses it to inspire, empower, not seduce, challenge, manipulate and captivate others.
- Power of Words: A woman understands the power of her vocabulary and does not use her words to minimize or demean. She practices the power of Beautiful words because she knows that each word she utters is a prayer.
- Boundaries: A woman understands the difference between boundaries and manipulation. And she has established healthy boundaries.
Comment below: what do you believe “the power of a woman” means?