BLOG POST FOR CFJ WEBSITE: Esther Okusaga
A Powerful Woman
We women are constantly being told that being a powerful woman is hard. Being successful and being powerful in my opinion are two different things, for me being powerful is being heard loud and clear, it is about people looking at you for advice, looking at you to create an impact and turn situations around. Meanwhile being successful (in the 21st century) is measured in terms of wealth and popularity. If you ask me how do you measure power? I would say power is measurable in terms of impact and high recognition; powerful women like Oprah, Michelle Obama and even Hilary Clinton are all powerful because they used their voices to create impact. However this didn’t happen immediately, Oprah found her voice through her unfortunate circumstance, Michelle found her voice through her husband’s presidential status and lastly Hilary Clinton found her voice through standing behind powerful men. Each woman had a voice but it took courage, patience and time to finally be heard. In a hugely male-dominated society, you can feel like your voice is trapped or hidden behind individuals who have the confidence to speak. I am not going to talk like a radical and say that men are the enemy, because they are not! But at the same time I am not going to say men and women are always treated like equals because if I do I would be telling a lie. I wish we could live in a society where men and women together are partners, where both individuals are superior and the biggest of all where both voices are heard. This is why I want to start a campaign called #womenhaveavoicetoo what I mean by this is all women feeling like their voices matter in a society that can patronize us into being quiet.
We can all work with men and have an opportunity to speak, it doesn’t have to be biased anymore just because women can be known to be submissive or sometimes mute doesn’t mean our voices does not exist. Both sexes were created to heard, it just seems like one voice is louder than the other.The inequalities between men and women definitely shows in the amount of senior positions given to males compared to females in society. Last year (2017) women held 6.4% of Fortune 500 CEO roles, on the other hand companies with male CEOs rank much higher in Fortune 1000, by 480 places on average therefore highlighting it is easier for men to be at the top than it is for women. Society also tells us that if we want to be powerful we must also be beautiful.
Being beautiful is not natural, it is artificial. Whether I wear make up or not it is my choice, but if I am going to argue that then I will also go ahead and say it is also my choice to make the inside a priority rather than just the outside. Almost everyone has heard the saying ‘Learn to love yourself’ however we cannot be absolutely certain every female has learnt to do so. In a world where finding independence is a constant progress for us girls, indirect societal control is still an issue. Indirect social control is when society tells you must do something because it will make you ‘happy’ on the other hand direct social control declares that individuals must do something because we are a minority which in this case is because you are a woman. ‘You must accept being paid less than men because you are living in a male dominated society.’ Or ‘you must wear make-up in order to look put together and noticeable. Despite all of this as a female in the 21st century I will firmly stand and say women are only ever going to be truly happy and powerful is if they are themselves. When you look closely have you ever seen natural beauty consistently being portrayed as a thing to be proud of? If I am going to argue from the other side I would say nowadays we do see natural beauty being presented however can we honestly say it is the first thing we look for in a world of advanced technology? It looks like society presents the idea of perfection as having a face hidden by beauty products.
Every female will eventually find the ‘PERFECT YOU’ and we are all beautiful no matter what society says, I have learned from previously having low self esteem that confidence or high self esteem is not something society can magically create we as individuals have to believe in ourselves. Power is not measured by beauty but it is measured by confidence, if we females start to believe in ourselves and speak our truths then maybe it will be possible in the future to live in an equal society.
It is a choice whether we make ourselves to be heard… Whether we decide to shut up and hide in the shadows or will we stand up for ourselves?