Updated: Jul 10
I haven't been one for feminism, but I was a woman who wanted to be 'empowered'. This is completely different to seeking power over another individual.
Empowered: make (someone) stronger and more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.
Feminism: the advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.
I appreciate that Feminism had brought equality to workplaces, and gave women more rights and protection in many areas.
I used to work in the city (of Sydney) in the late 80s/early 90s. Gradually I began to see men not quite knowing how to act when it came to etiquette around women. I think I caught the tail-end when men did let women have a seat on the train or bus, but something changed and it didn't take long for all that to change. Were people more 'entitled' to be showered with such good manners? Were manners encouraged and valued? It was sad to see change come in, when men no longer 'gave a damn' because it just got too difficult. I felt bad seeing men become awkward, trying to soften the exchange with 'you go first', no words of thanks just that 'entitled' attitude and the men left a bit underwhelmed. Some kept a sense of chivalry (depending on age), and other's gave up. The younger men (I think) escaped this.
The pendulum has swung too far now.
Due to fear, and the continual bombardment of negativity - people have become scared. Women are scared. They are scared of men too. People are often 'fearful first' before they attempt to reach out. The women tend to make a man jump through so many hoops to prove himself so they can see he's decent. We're all blind, but it's a shame in society we can't see 'the good men' - and there's plenty of them. It's the few who ruin it, but society has a perception that most are bad. The soft feminine side was disappearing from us. The nurturer, the Warriorress who is strong, confident but gentle, intuitive and empowered within herself - without needing to stomp on other's to get up.
But women with too much plastic, I feel - look quite scary. (perhaps this is a bloke, who knows these days?)
Over the years, I used to see the march 'Take back the night'. I often thought it was a waste of time. While it brought much education and no doubt has helped women find strength to leave abusive relationships, prevention is much much better.
Prevention of such abuse begins with our own self esteem and learning to 'love ourselves'. For when we have learnt to love ourselves, WE protect ourselves - not the Police, not the Government, not Solicitors, not groups etc. We have an inner confidence where we can say 'no' to the wrong men and enjoy the good ones.
I had to learn this the hard way. I kept attracting problems with men and the same thing happening over and over, till one day I had to ask myself 'why does this pattern keep on occurring to me?' I was then lead to Melanie Tonia Evans' book 'Breaking the Chains of painful love'. (I think the word narcissism is used way too much now as the cycle still needs to be broken). Anyway, the book at the time - changed my life (worth digging around on the website if you can find it).
I spent 2 days sitting down to do the workbook (at a mere cost of $25) and wrote out my good points as well as healed broken circles in my life. (This involved assessing parental relationships - sometimes they are lacking self love, so you work out how to love yourself, rather than blaming them). It worked, and I was able to understand my parent's had to work their own things out too, as they were only human.
After 2 days, with my self confidence being quite low then, I felt a change happen on the inside and thought 'hey I'm not bad, I'll love myself from now on'. It wasn't about arrogance, but just correcting some things I needed to see who I was inside, and I began to like myself a bit more. It felt liberating.
I'm often fascinated with dating shows, just for the psychology. I see that women's fashion now is showing just about everything (see through dresses, very low cut tops where a waft of wind could just reveal all). There's no mystery left.
Sometimes the men attempt to get to know the woman across the table and it's the women who start the explicit jokes, often making the men uncomfortable. It's tacky and trashy. But to me, borders on nearly aggressive? The men sit there trying to gain composure, as well as attempt to not jump on board and keep the tackiness going. (I cringe watching it).
There's jerks in both sexes that's for sure. I'm not picking on one or the other. Just saying - I think women have lost their way.
To me, some of the most beautiful women I know - are the ones with love and gentleness. A softness, a warm smile, nurturing and kind. Yet I've seen women with 'looks that can kill' carry on creating 'fear' for those around them who play their game and they say 'oh better not upset her, she'll go off' as if she's some sort of angry entitled deity. Ugliness!
Women are fighting - to keep safe (loving self and intuition balance this).
Women are terrified of making a mistake with whom they get involved with (not tuning into their own intuition to guide them. So they remain fearful creatures).
Women can have much beauty inside too (but just have no idea - how to be beautiful).
Has our modern day world taught women it's ok to be aggressive? Hostile? Take what we can get? Fight like a dog for our rights? A sense of entitlement? You bet it has.
It boils down to love. We're all accountable at the end of the day, and like the game of snakes and ladders - we can advance - or reincarnate again and again in order to learn the lessons of love. If we don't learn love - we simply repeat a class.