Female Empowerment: A Quick Introduction

Written by Yazmine Gornail


Why Do Women Struggle With Female Empowerment?


Over the course of time, women have been struggling with female empowerment whether it be from society or those closest to them. Women’s Empowerment is a sociocultural process that challenges the difficulties of sexual inferiority and is a movement that improves a women's quality within themselves. In particular, women struggle with the unity of sisterhood, society depending on them to be a certain way on social media, and lacking worth through their mentality.


Define Sisterhood


Sisterhood has been portrayed through movies, TV shows, college sororities, and friendships. But what is sisterhood? How does it relate to female empowerment? Sisterhood has been defined through many different forms, specifically, white culture, black culture, sororities, and friendships, which seem like different cliques in high school. Throughout the mass of media, sisterhood has been expressed through society, not only for entertainment purposes but seen in everyday life use. It’s seen as girls defending girls, but that result has a dark side to it, which sometimes leads to “destroying” one another. There is a deception towards sisterhood, like social media, on the outside it may seem all happy and empowering, but on the inside, there is a darker aspect behind it as if it was poisoned by the toxicity of who's prettier or who’s better.

Image by Melissa Askew from Unsplash


What needs to change about the aspect of sisterhood is the stereotypes the society brings upon movies, TV shows, etc. Ways to keep your sisterhood intact is through:

  1. Stop the “Mean Girls” act: living life as a Regina George; becoming the leader of everything and using your “friends” as minions, is not a way to lead each other to success. One can lead themselves to success but leaving your friends in the dump, is asking for no friends at all. Look out for each other rather than just yourself.

  2. Always be there for one another: being there for each other is the key to a healthy sisterhood. If you support each other’s successes and comfort each other’s downfalls, it will guide you through a pure and healthy relationship. If it isn’t a supportive friendship, then it isn’t a friendship at all.

  3. Constant communication: if something is wrong with one of the girls in the group, check if they are feeling alright because there is a 90% chance that they have something going on. Now, don’t force them into opening up, honestly, it is very hard to open up to others because you don’t know what they will do with that information; if they will keep it to themselves or gossip with others. Once they are ready to open up, listen. What they are saying is very personal and the best thing you can do is listen.

Society vs. Social Media


Social media and female empowerment has been a constant problem throughout society, initially showing that women have to photoshop their bodies in order to fit the beauty standard. Women compete within the beauty standard thinking they have to wear bikinis, have makeup on, and have a specific style, when truly that’s not how all women should be. If that is who you are, there is nothing to be ashamed of, but, you don’t have to be exactly like those girls. The point of social media is to post about you, and who you are, not what you are supposed to be. Telling yourself that you have to be a certain way is your mental, toxic mind telling you that you have to be like the other girls when all you have to be is yourself. I know that social media can be a big illusion, making you think that you have to be someone else in order to gain validation from the world, but you can’t keep telling yourself that you are not good enough for society no matter your size, gender, or sexuality. You are beautiful and perfect, and that’s all that matters.


Yet going beyond social media beauty standards, can grow into cyberbullying. Women struggle with the fact that what they post is just not good enough for the rest of the world, which leads them to depression and suicide because of hate comments. In effect, hate comments is a type of bullying that is either taken personally or just ignored, and most of the time it can be taken personally. What the comments say in your Instagram or TikTok post, is going to be difficult, but ignore those comments because what they say are not true. You are beautiful and you are worth every minute on this earth, people may not know it yet but, you are sensational and you should forever know that.


“Worthless” is Only in Your Mentality


Female empowerment is not just girls supporting girls but, also supporting within yourself. Yes, empowering other girls is important but if you can’t love and care for yourself, how are you supposed to care for others? If you are a caretaker for everyone else, except yourself, you are creating a toxic relationship between yourself and doubt. Doubting your worth is the worst thing you could possibly do to yourself, thinking that you’re not enough is what creates doubt in yourself in anything you do or try to accomplish. Honestly, you will not get very far in life if you constantly doubt your worth and success.


Image by Joel Muniz from Unsplash


If you have a friend that struggles with self worth, the solution is to not always say that they're beautiful. They may be gorgeous, but saying that they are beautiful doesn’t always fix everything in life. The best thing you can do for them is to constantly be there for them. Listen to how they feel, opening up can be hard for some people and the best thing you can do is listen. You don’t always have to give them validation because the only way for them to accept that validation is for them to believe it, which will take sometime.


How Can We Improve Female Empowerment?


Female empowerment not only comes from within but from each other. Thus, in conclusion, in order to save womanhood, trust the unity within one another, stop depending on society’s validation, and know your self worth. From this view, it’s clear to see that social media can infect your mind with the illusion that you have to be a certain way: after all, sisterhood is girls gotta look after girls, constantly, leaving us to guide each other to new successes.

 

Sources:

Bravo, A. (2017). Sisterhood is Easier Said Than Done. [online] Medium. Available at: https://medium.com/applied-intersectionality/sisterhood-is-easier-said-than-done-c1c04d0bba3f [Accessed 5 Mar. 2021].


Brown, L. (2021). Feeling worthless? Here are 7 reasons why and what you can do about it. [online] Hack Spirit. Available at: https://hackspirit.com/feeling-worthless-here-are-7-reasons-why-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/ [Accessed 6 Mar. 2021].


Chen, Y.-Z. and Tanaka, H. (2014). Women’s Empowerment. Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, [online] pp.7154–7156. Available at: https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007%2F978-94-007-0753-5_3252.


Discko, A. (2016). The Harsh Realities of Being a Woman on Social Media. [online] Teen Vogue. Available at: https://www.teenvogue.com/story/female-online-harassment-femsplain [Accessed 6 Mar. 2021].


Lauren Alexis Fisher (2017). 35 Empowering Feminist Quotes from Inspiring Women. [online] Harper’s BAZAAR. Available at: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a4056/empowering-female-quotes/.


Wahlquist, C. (2018). The answer for women who feel worthless is not “you are beautiful” | Calla Wahlquist. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/12/the-answer-for-women-who-feel-worthless-is-not-you-are-beautiful [Accessed 6 Mar. 2021].


World Vision Staff (2019). 7 ways to empower women and girls | World Vision. [online] World Vision. Available at: https://www.worldvision.org/gender-equality-news-stories/seven-ways-empower-women-girls.

 

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