Since the #MeToo and Time is Up movements, women are making it loud and clear around our nation that we are no longer accepting a culture of male dominance. We are no longer accepting sexual harassment as a normal way of life or its presence on a list of socially acceptable behaviors. The question arises, however, how did we get here in the first place? Why did we ever believe, as a society, that men are in positions of power and control over women?
Laws of the Past
Long ago, our legal system limited the power of women. Women could not vote, own property, make legal decisions for the family, or, in many cases, even decide upon which man they married. During the 1800’s, women in the United States slowly gained the right to own property. State by state, women were allowed to own, but not control, land in their own name if their spouse was not able. Eventually, unmarried women could own property, regardless of their marital status. It took nearly one hundred years for each state to allow women to control their own property. In the 1900’s, women gained the right to vote and legislation passed for equal pay. While equal pay may continue to be a hot topic, the court system acknowledged that women deserve equal pay compared to male peers. Unfortunately, it seems as if our attitudes and perceptions didn’t shift enough with our legal system. Ladies, we need to BELIEVE we are equal to men in our value, power, and importance. We cannot be held hostage by the laws of our history.
No More Dominance
Who has power and control over you? Nobody! You have the power within you! You have all control over your actions and reactions. Many in our society continue to believe and act as if men have dominance over women. Men who harass women or exert power and control over women are seen as simply being men instead of being wrong. Why do we continue to allow this viewpoint to be our norm? Ladies, it is time to stand up and refuse to be controlled by others. By sharing your stories, sharing your voice, and opening up the conversation to discuss the experiences of others, we can change society’s view so that one gender is not more powerful than another.
No More Self Doubt
We cannot doubt ourselves. Know, ladies, that you are strong enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, and good enough to have control over yourselves and your decisions. It may be difficult to demand respect. It might be hard to confront someone who believes they have power over you, but you CAN! You can stand up for yourself!
No More Shame Or Harassment
There is no room in this world for us to feel shame when we are victims. We cannot accept responsibility for the poor decisions of others. However, we can control our reactions! We can stand up and tell our stories. We can make it clear that we will not bend in fear or stay silent. We will speak our voice!
We can no longer allow male dominance and power to be socially acceptable. We cannot allow shame or fear to dictate our actions and our decisions. Our time is now! What are you going to do this year to move this movement forward? The future IS female, and it is time to take advantage of your seat at the table. You can do this!