Scribbling Dame

Preposterous Pondering.

A New Empowerment December 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scribbling Dame @ 11:33 pm

I have been thinking about how to broach this topic for a long time–thinking about what does it actually look and sound like to be an empowered woman. It seems like the older I get, the less empowered I feel, because I have more obligations that I have felt limit my choices.

I re-read Virginia Woolf’s speech “A Room of One’s Own” in which Woolf talks about how, in order to be a woman writer, she has to kill the Angel in the House–the guilty conscience that tells you, as a woman, what is proper for you to do. The Angel in the House is the nagging voice that prevents you from pursuing your passions.

As modern women, I feel we not only face the Angel but also a glittering enemy called Ambition. We are now encouraged to go to college and have careers and be the breadwinners and have a family and, and, and. We have been encouraged to be self-sufficient.

In my case, I suddenly realized that I can do it all, but that I don’t want to, and certainly not all at once. I have been struggling with this though–how could I pass up promotions and making more money when I have a mortgage to pay and my husband does not earn as much as me? How do I have a career when my heart is aching for my daughter?

This is where I feel feminism has failed me–none of my strong mentors were good examples of self-care and balance and my definition of strong womanhood has been tragically narrow. I am finding that new empowerment means knowing and understanding your needs as a woman, and not allowing anyone or anything to prevent you from meeting them. I have felt more empowered the more I cry in front of my girlfriends and colleagues and use words like “need,” and telling my boss that I don’t care if I go back to an entry-level position if I can have an 80% time job. The less strong I have  been, by my prior definition, the more freedom I feel and the more clarity I gain.

If you know what your needs are as a woman, as a human, and you fearlessly work to articulate them and nurture them, then I believe you are empowered.

Wish me luck!


3 Responses to “A New Empowerment”

  1. BypeSaittee Says:

    I am always looking for brand-new informations in the net about this subject. Thanx!!

  2. dana Says:


    I was going to write a piece on my blog about empowerment, and was interested to see what others had written about it. Your blog popped up during my search and I’m so pleased it did. I think you nailed the definition. It IS about understanding our needs and emotions and feeling free to openly express them. It’s about ownership of our actions and the choices we make.

    Shine on!!

    • tigrmom Says:

      Thanks Dana! I am sure that as the years go on I will find many more definitions, but this is definitely what I find myself and other 30-somethings striving to accomplish these days. I am always baffled by the irony that articulate, confident, educated women often can’t answer basic questions about their own needs and wants. Fascinating stuff!

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