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Womens Liberation? Or Not...

Monday, May 16, 2011

A member of one of my teams wrote a blog about how the media pushes thinness. As a matter of fact, you can use your search engine type in "thinness" and it automatically links it to media and advertising in a negative context.

I started thinking about being one of the pioneers in the women's movement. I broke some barriers and had a few firsts in my career i.e. positions which were given prior, only to men who sometimes were less qualified. I stuck up for my rights for equal pay for EQUAL jobs.

We all fought back then to make things better for future generations. Are they better? I don't think so...

Now it's expected that most women juggle a career with being a mother, chaffeur, cook and housekeeper. Prior to womens' lib we had a choice. We didn't have to be superwomen. How much more stress is the modern woman under?
Yes, we are doing things that my mother would never have dreamed of doing, but at what cost? Divorce is accepted, yet women stay in abusive relationships because they fear that they have no support. We're made fun of if we're fat, yet we're bombarded with overprocessed foods laden with sugar, fat and salt.

Instead of being liberated, I think that girls today are more oppressed. One out of three women have been sexually abused. The world is a more dangerous place. It is more media saturated with violence and it is more sexualized. There is more sexist advertising than ever. I watch TV and music videos and see the norm is poisoning girls who are pressured to be thin to the point of starvation and "sexy". They fear they will be bullied if they can't live up to the "standard". If a young girl succumbs to the pressure, it means drugs and sex, or an eating disorder or cutting, or depression, or worse. They are the future members of this site if they survive, with a future of heart problems, type 2 diabetes, fibromyalgia, etc. All the diseases associated with stress.

What can we do to help them? We can empower them and teach them resilience, so they have the emotional toughness to protect themselves. We can give them a sympathetic ear and be a good role model. We can admit that we aren't superwomen and it's OK not to be perfect. We can be aware of warning signs to reach out and support them even if they can't ask.

Most important of all we can try to change the culture. Talk to your sons as well as your daughters about negative stereotypes . Espouse that violence and sexism is wrong. Make sure they know that women are to be treated with respect as is any human being. Contact the media, write to sponsors and tell them how you feel. Our daughters need a world where they can feel free to develop their own unique gifts and feel appreciated for whom they really are inside.

Maybe it's time for a new Woman's Liberation Movement!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Having come of age in the '70's I find myself raising my son to understand what women have gone and will go through. It's tough out there - but it's important for him to know what is needed from men in order for women to maintain some semblance of survival. He has seen me leave a difficult marriage after 23 years, raise him basically on my own, and work in an almost all male environment. It hasn't been easy to say the least.

    If I could, I would want someone to take care of me - earn the living, pay the bills, etc - and let me handle the home. But it's never been that way. And in reality, I'm a lousy housekeeper and don't do well being dependent on someone else.

    It's a mixed bag...I've seen where we came from, I know where we are. There has to be a balance. The pendulum needs to stay steady in the middle for women to survive the freedoms we fought so very hard for.

    Thank you for this blog...from one superwoman to the next. emoticon
    3574 days ago
    emoticon blog emoticon
    It's important for all of us to respect each other as human beings.
    3583 days ago
    As one of the first women to work at my job in the 80's, and still often being the only girl among the guys, I loved this blog. Part of the backslide is, girls now don't know what it was like to be the only woman on the job, or to have been sexually harassed, or to have been asked illegal questions about "are you married and/ or planning to have kids?" knowing that if you answered yes you wouldn't get the job. They can't comprehend it, so they don't realize how hard won our lifestyles are, or how short a time ago it was that all those things were happening. (They all happened to me as late as the early 90's.) Not knowing or understanding those things mean they have no idea how fragile our freedoms are. We have to teach them--and the boys--or we risk losing it.
    3583 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/16/2011 7:39:32 PM
    Wonderful blog! Some times when I see how busy and stressed my grand daughter is already and she's still in high school, I worry about her future. Oh, for the good 'ole days!
    3583 days ago
    Amen, Sparksib! You are absolutely right. We have a generation of extremely strong women right now, but our culture is absolutely terrorizing our breaks my heart.

    3583 days ago
    I LOVED this blog. Thank you so much for posting this. I have been thinking about these things recently; I am 25 and about a year out from my graduate degree. As I continue to go to school and work part time, I have felt pressure from prior relationships and family to start a family of my own--to be a "superwoman." I love to run, and I am trying very hard to get back into great shape. I cannot imagine balancing a 60 hour work week, family, and running. I wish I could. I am amazed and inspired by women who can do this, and also amazed that the "you can have it all" mantra is infrequently questioned. It's almost taboo to suggest that some men and women may want to choose either to focus on his/her career or on family.

    "Now it's expected that most women juggle a career with being a mother, chaffeur, cook and housekeeper. Prior to womens' lib we had a choice. We didn't have to be superwomen."

    Thank you again for such a thoughtful blog!
    3583 days ago
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