I’ve really gotten into women’s issues lately but in the process I’ve realized I’m not a feminist. I’m not sure I ever was, but now I’m sure I’m not! I’m a Feminista! There have been various “waves” of feminism , which make distinctions in the category of “promote women over (blank)”. The blank could be men, the system, everything else… it doesn’t matter. To me it all says, give us rights and opportunities because we’re women, we have great things to offer and you need us.
I totally own my femininity and my gender. The older I get the more I come to understand what women are capable of – because of our gender. We are amazing, strong, fearless, tender, loving, sexy, vulnerable, intuitive, discerning, beautiful, hard-working, soft, nurturing, kick-ass creatures – in ways men can never be (though I love their manly stuff too:). To me, all this and more makes us awesomely powerful in the world.
I recently had the chance to review some research conducted by Jane Purdue and Anne Perschel about women and Power. I’ll be writing more about that in the future, but here was the stat that struck me: in the 100’s of professional women they interviewed and surveyed, 89% indicated a passive stance regarding how they expected to gain power in their organization (read, in their world). The representative statement was, “I’ll have power when my boss gives it to me.”
89% of us are waiting around for someone to give us the opportunity to be powerful? Seriously?
I know this stat is true because for the early part of my career, it was true for me, until I packed up my bags in corporate America and became an Entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur – and a solopreneur in particular - it’s tough to survive, and impossible to thrive, without tapping into your own, personal power. What is this personal power? Read about it here. I’ll tell you one thing it’s not, your personal power isn’t something you take from other people. It’s something only you can bring through to the world.
I’ve come to think that Feminism and the rant to be given power is actually perpetuating this passive stance. I don’t think it’s ill-spirited. In fact, I think the first few waves of Feminism have succeeded in creating opportunity that, according to the stat above, many of us are sitting around waiting to take advantage of. I’m not waiting; I’m certainly not wasting my power on ranting against the system (unless it’s pinpointed to create a specific change I can influence) and I have no energy for a woman who is bursting with potential but who insists on hiding it. By contrast, for those women who ARE ready to step into their personal power and stop hiding it, I have all the energy in the world.
Potential is useless unless we realize it, ladies.
I don’t believe in promoting women because they have female potential, I believe in championing women because of what we do with it in the world. Even if you have potential, for you and others to understand it, you’ve got to get out and use it. Just start and see what happens.
Our world is broken and breaking. It needs us desperately.
What are YOU waiting for? Have you stepped into power only to realize you’re still hiding some of it? What will it take for you to stop waiting and start being in your power? Are you ready? How are you claiming your power TODAY?
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