At some point in our lives as women, we have had that “gut feeling”. That feeling of just knowing that something is off, or maybe that you know everything is going to work out just fine. Either way, it’s a woman’s internal “knowing” that something is already going to happen. Some women describe it as their “sixth” sense. I personally think it is a special power that women are blessed with, and when we learn to use it correctly, it can enhance our lives.
The tricky part is deciphering intuition versus anxiety. This is something I have struggled with my whole life because even anxiety can give you the “gut” feeling. But what I have come to realize is when it is anxiety it is usually associated with fear and resistance. When it is your intuition, whether the situation is good or bad, your mind is met with peace and acceptance of what is.
When I was in my capstone business class, the professors liked to bring in successful alumni (specifically those in business-related majors) to talk about their lives after college and how they got their jobs. It was probably to give us hope for the future and inspire us, and it did work, since most of these people did not graduate with jobs lined up and may not have been at the top of their class. I mostly only remember the women who talked to us because I identified most with them and I was inspired most by them. One of the women who came in told us about some of the bad habits that women have in the workplace that men typically do not.
The habits that I heard from her were similar to the habits in the book How Women Rise that I was reading a few days ago at my favorite bookstore. I was browsing through the chapters and was inspired when I realized that I do almost all of the habits described in the book, and so do many women I know. Women typically behave differently in the workplace than men do, and at times it can be detrimental to their success. I highly recommend this book as it explains how we can kick these habits and be more successful in our careers.
The first habit that one of the women said was that women are less likely to self-promote. Men normally have no problem talking to their bosses or their peers about their accomplishments, but women do not tend to do this. I realized that I don’t do this either. Even in personal relationships I tend to not talk about my accomplishments because I don’t want to seem like I’m bragging, but sometimes this is necessary. When your boss is considering you and your male counterpart for a promotion and your male coworker has already had conversations about their accomplishments with your boss and you have not, who do you think your boss is going to promote? Forget about what people might think of you if you’re bragging about yourself. The fact is that you have these accomplishments and you worked hard for them, so people should know.
Why do we need feminism today? Women have the same rights as men, we can own land, have a credit card, wear pants, and the wage gap is technically illegal. What else do we want? To many, it can seem like we are grasping at straws at this point. Many people recoil at the word “feminism” because of the negative connotation that it has taken on recently. There are many men and women who avoid feminists at all costs because of the actions of extremists in the movement, or feminists who do not really understand what the movement is about.
To many, because women and men are legally equal, we do not need feminism. We have no more work to do. In their minds, since it is illegal, it doesn’t happen. Women cannot be discriminated against in the workplace because it is against the law. We cannot be sexually harassed because there are repercussions for offenders. The fact is that it does happen. Just because something is illegal, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. In order for these acts and acts like them to stop, women have to be socially equal.
I understand the aversion to feminists. I have only met one man who has called himself a feminist, likely because men feel that the movement is against them. I have seen and heard many women who think they are fighting for women’s rights, but instead are acting selfishly and in their own best interests. They are hurting the men in their lives in the name of feminism, and in turn, hurting the movement. The hashtag #menaretrash was meant to highlight the harmful behaviors that men have towards women, and help men to see and fix them. It was also a way for women to blow off a little steam, since we cannot say anything about men without hearing a man yell from some corner of the office “not all men.” Unfortunately, the hashtag has been taken a bit too far in some cases. It has turned into bashing men, which is not what feminism is about.
There are many articles out there claiming that feminists want the world, and more. That we want revenge and retribution. There have even been some articles claiming that feminists are angry about Santa not being a woman or gender-neutral. These articles are made to distract people from the real movement and turn them against it. Most feminists do not care about Santa being gender-neutral. We care about not being drugged and raped in an alley while our rapist gets 3 months in prison. There will always be extremists in any movement, but we must work together to help people understand the true meaning of feminism: social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
The only reason we are where we are now is that we kept pushing. We did not stop at the right to vote, the right to have equal pay, the right to choose. This got us the rights we have now. We are so much closer than we were, but we are not there yet. Now, we have to focus on changing minds instead of changing laws. We have to focus on raising our children differently and educating the older generations in order to be socially equal. We need to focus on raising feminist children who abolish stereotypes and gender roles. We need to inform older generations that their values may be outdated. We also have to focus on keeping our rights. If the fight was over, we would not have to march. We would not have to walk past crowds of protesters throwing things at us when we go in to get birth control (that our insurance will not cover) at Planned Parenthood. A study from the World Bank in 2019 found that there are only 6 countries where women and men are equal, and the US is not one of them. We scored 83.75 out of 100, which shows that we are close, but we are not quite there.
When women are not holding their keys between their knuckles while walking to their cars at night, when we can go to the bathroom and come back without the fear of our drinks being drugged, when we can walk down the sidewalk without men yelling obscenities at us, we will no longer need feminism. When we are truly socially, politically, and economically equal, we will no longer need it. The all too many stories of women speaking out about their experiences in a still-sexist nation, and those who were afraid to speak out because of the physical and emotional repercussions, tell us that we are not done. When people do not recoil when we say we are feminists, and when the term feminism no longer has a use, we will be done. Legal equality does not equate to social equality, and we are not yet socially equal.
About a year and a half ago, I got really sick. I’m still not sure exactly what I had; it must have been some form of tonsillitis. All I knew was that it lasted for two weeks and I was absolutely miserable. I couldn’t eat anything because it felt like fire in my throat when I tried to swallow, and I could barely open my mouth wide enough to get a spoon in. I was never hungry and all I could stomach was applesauce, water, and occasionally some ice cream. Because of this, I lost around 10-15 pounds in two weeks. I never actually weighed myself, but I knew I had lost a lot of weight from other people’s reactions to me.
I went home and got a lot of surprised looks from people close to me. They commented that I looked great and that I must have lost weight. I told them that I lost the weight because I had gotten very sick, but they somehow ignored that and kept commenting on how great I looked. At one point, after I had told them that I was sick, someone asked me if it was healthy that I had lost this much weight in so little time. I was taken aback, as I had already told them no, it absolutely was not healthy. No one had asked me if I was okay, if I was still sick or what I thought I had. No one really cared about my health at that moment, they just saw that I was skinny.
If you were to sum up the meaning of the word feminism how would you do so? For those with a basic and accurate understanding of feminism, they would probably say “equality for all” which makes feminism intersectional. There are many perspectives to consider within feminism to include the vast array of subjects under the umbrella of the term, including climate change. No matter the political stance someone has, climate change affects you, me, and our entire society. The topic of climate change continues to be polarized into whether or not it’s real, who’s to blame and how to fix it. Since the subject is very large, there are many answers to combatting climate change. Science reflects how human interference is the cause of global warming and thus climate change. The affects it has on the planet are undeniable, and through an intersectional lens, perhaps ecofeminism may help stir conversation and positive action for the betterment of the planet.
Depression is the world’s leading cause of disability, the World Health Organization (WHO), estimates 300,000 million suffer worldwide. However, women are twice as likely to experience depression than men. Women also have even higher rates of suicide, bipolar disorder, and seasonal depression than men. Why is this happening? Why are women disproportionally affected by this mental illness? And how can you live with depression, if you yourself suffer from it?
I have been living with chronic debilitating mental illnesses since I was sixteen, which is six years now. It has been the hardest part of my life, and I am struggling to work with my mental illnesses daily. I suffer from general anxiety, major depressive disorder, and I’m currently speaking to my psychologist and psychiatrist about navigating the possibility of being bipolar. There is no easy solution to mental illness, it is something that you are working on your whole life. Some days are better than others, and it is about finding a balance so that your bad days don’t turn into bad weeks. Continue reading “Depression: A Woman’s Take”→
As of 2016,
1.4 out of 10 lead actors in film were people of color, 31% of leads in top
films were women, and of the
100 top grossing films of 2017-2018, only 17 of those
featured people with disabilities where 72% were male and 27% were female. Knowing
these very low rates does not make me feel good, but also encourages me further
to pursue film. I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite Disney
Channel movies from my childhood and look back on the influential films that
started to help mold me into the feminist activist I am today. Off the bat, I
sadly do not remember seeing films where a woman with a disability was
featured, therefore I want to help shine positive light specifically on some strong
independent women of color featured on this network. These movies and shows are
some of my favorites from the early 2000’s and if you have not heard of them, I
highly recommend you watch them!
When I first thought to write about Disney
shows/movies that portray feminist qualities, I first thought of Gotta Kick it Up.
As a Mexican American woman, I noticed, though not always consciously, how
there wasn’t a lot of representation for people who looked like me in main
stream America, so this movie really stood out to me. It starred a primarily
Latin-American cast and portrayed different kinds of Latina women instead of
stereotypical versions. This is important considering the many stereotypes
there are of all the defined races. For example, Eddie Huang wrote Fresh off the Boat based
off his childhood, but expressed the
of adapting his experience to
ABC network as difficult. He said, “The
network’s approach was to tell a universal, ambiguous, cornstarch story about Asian-Americans
resembling moo goo gai pan…” He felt this show did not ultimately
portray his most authentic experience as an Asian-American. I wonder what he
thinks about Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior. Speaking of, Wendy Wu is an
important film to break gender stereotypes by portraying how dressing up and
being strong can coincide. Gotta
Kick it Up has a lot of notable qualities, such as the screenwriter being a
de Los Santos, but overall this film was so
inspirational to me, not only because of the positive and accurate
representation, but because through all the hardships the girls faced within
the team and their personal lives, they overcame them together.