If you follow me on twitter, you’d know I addressed the topic of woman empowerment briefly. I want to expand the discussion because as a female from an ethnic minority background, such topics need to be addressed in depth. Young women need to identify what women empowerment is for themselves and I hope this post will be a guidance towards that.
I’m all for women empowerment. You’re probably thinking “She’s a female, of course she’ll be supporting women recognition”. That is not necessarily the case all the time. But seriously, Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister! Malala Yousafzai, Oprah Winfrey, J.K Rowling, Rihanna are just a few of the women who have reached the top with their hard work, talents and beauty.
However, I’m not here to discuss the great women in modern day or the great woman in history such as Cleopatra. Instead, I’m here to question the idea we have of women empowerment. We need women empowerment in order to feel comfortable, be recognised and achieve greatness in a patriarchal world however sexualising yourself kind of defeats the whole purpose.
We are trying to break apart from the reins of patriarchy but somehow we just keep getting caught back in the net. Most of us feel pretty good about ourselves when wearing a short black dress out to a club, posting a picture of us wearing our favourite two piece swim set on the internet. It makes us feel great. I know I feel wonderful when my make up is done, my clothes are all fitted and I’m wearing my highest heels, even though its quite a struggle to walk in them.
But the real question is Does our beauty define who we are? Does our beauty empower us because we are gaining male attention? Attention from the gender who already control all of the world and even despite trying to break apart and become our own people, we are still controlled by them. Why do we need to get male attention by posting half naked picture, walking the streets half naked in order to feel worthy? Because we are worth more than this. We are more than a face and curvaceous body.
I’m not trying to tell you what to post or how to dress. I’m just asking if it is really empowerment if you’re identified by your beauty, not your intelligence and skills. Have you earned your recognition or has it been given to you due to the male gaze.(coined by feminist film critic Laura Mulvey, is the way visual arts depict the world and women from a masculine point of view and in terms of men’s attitudes).
Do comment your thoughts below on the topic!