“I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.” -Persuasion, Jane Austen
-My first WordPress post goes to one of the female novelists I look up to, Ms. Jane Austen. This quote reminds me of the first editorial column I wrote for The LPU Independent Sentinel as the Associate Editor.
“I am a Woman”
The philosophy of feminism has long been discussed and debated about.
Feminism is often summarized by movements and principles fighting for equal rights of women. But I think it goes beyond the superficial bounds of laws and social order. It is rooted more deeply in a woman’s identity and how she defines herself.
It is true that feminism varies in different cultures. However, there is one factor that intertwines its very essence: Equality.
Men and women were never seen as equals. Throughout history, man was the one speaking, creating his superiority by degrading the opposite sex. As Poulain da la Barre put it “Being men, those who have made and compiled the laws have favored their own sex, and jurists have elevated these laws into principles.”
Biological differences were also highlighted saying that men are more capable. It was even pointed out that biologically, women’s brains are smaller. Aristotle said, “The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities. We should regard the female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness.”
Are biological disparities enough to negate women? No. By nature, men and women are created differently…and uniquely. Each has outstanding characteristics. Each is born with distinctive traits that must be appreciated.
According to Simone de Beauvoir, a renowned French feminist, “One is not born a woman, but rather becomes a woman.”
Beauvoir emphasized in her book, “The Second Sex,” that women should not be confined and defined by culture; They should be free to recognize their own freedom and define their own selves.
While I agree to this point of Beauvoir, I am not saying that men should be negated in any way nor women should be the superior sex. Women simply call out for fairness. Looking beyond physical characteristics, women can now do what men can. Women are now making their own stands in a world once dominated by men.
Empowerment is the new drive of feminism. It is here, blossoming. And I believe it will continue to prosper.
Idealistic as it is, equality is still deemed not possible by many. True, culture can’t be changed overnight. Traditions are hard to reconstruct. Though, I still suppose it can happen. Change may be gradual. But it is slowly taking place.
Women still have to continually fight for their rights and place in society. The struggle for fairness is a never-ending battle…and I think it is a good thing. For when there is resistance, it fuels women to prove themselves even more and show society what they are capable of.
What then is a woman?
A woman is someone who speaks her mind but still exudes respect, someone who takes a firm stand, someone who understands responsibility and freedom, someone who defies the norms, someone who dares, someone who continually pushes herself to the limits even though majority tells her she can’t.
A woman is someone who values herself and sees her honor and dignity as priceless.
A woman is someone who is proud of she is…and who she isn’t.
I am a woman.
I am willing to embrace change, to live and continue striving in a society filled with judgment and oppositions. Are you? (Circa 2012.)