An International Women's Day Special
This fortnight we explore the theme of strength in femininity, the narratives at play within our society, their origins, how they are propagated, and most importantly how we all can find and accept the power to change things for the better and our responsibility to do so.
"You are strong if you stick to yourself and know who you are" - So often, women struggle to stand up for themselves if they don't think that they represent strength, if they don't think that they are strong. All of the expectations and narratives out there can leave many of us doubting ourselves and our characteristics. This can leave us ill-equipt to fight the battles we need to the most.
"This world is completely different, in a lot of positive ways and in a lot of negative wasys, if you are male or female" - I think I (Yunus Skeete) vastly understetimated just that disparity and just that difference. Reflecting on our Personalitites Episode - our personalities can radically change our perspectives and our experiences, but our gender can also.
"If you want to be seen as strong, you subconciously adjust the way that you see yourself and the way that other people will see you" - The narrative of strrength seems to be much more established within masclulinity than femininity, this has a number of ripple effects in the way females carry and conceptualise themselves.
"Where do these narratives come from? How do these narratives get passed down?" - Everyone is hyper aware of the person that society wants them to be or thinks they are, but where are these narratives coming from?
"I am encouraged to draw within myself when I am searching for strength" - Where do we look for our strength? It isn't always ever-present. When we are without it, where do we go?
"If we want to respect one person for expressing themselves, we have to respect everyone" - How do the mixed messages at play effect ourselves, our sense of security and the sense of equality?
"You are enough, and what you contribute and what you give to society is engough, and that is your strength" - Our view on the matter :)
Mixed signals - can influence instabillity of what we want to follow. Often, they leave us searching for by looking outside rather than inside.
A lot of the women that I talk to have reflected that the workplace makes them feel koshed in - Many have conveyed that they feel as if they have to put themselves in a box. At the PDProject, we have been exploring management styles which make everyone feel comfortable, like their opinions, wishes and where they want to take things will be respected. Our aim is that everyone can bring their full selves to the table. We have been asking ourselves: "What do we need to say and do to better facilitate the views and strengths of others?"
The natural tools that females are blessed with - As a male, I have often found the perspectives of females more influential. They help to flesh out my perspectives and approaches. Stronger established feminine strength narratives and more female leaders serve to construct a fuller equation that can benefit us all.
Safety, awareness, and the perception of threats between males and females - As a male, I have been investigating how am I holding myself and how am I am I being aware of situations, not just for me, but for those around me - for the completely different perspectives that they have, and for the fact that society is a completely different entity based on who they are and their reality, not just who I am and how I perceive things.
The differences in our experiences, we can never all have shared experiences - Let us just use this shared experience, and the sharing of our experience, to understand where eachother are at and understand the responsibilities that we have to help out the other side of the fence as a result
- Image credits