Strength by Rising Above

I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding to what empowerment means. I’m reading–well trying to force myself to finish–a book that deals with this issue. It’s clearly a feminist book, but it goes about feminine strength the wrong way. The characters feel stereotypical. The women are full of gossip and some of their quirks feel put on. Every single man that has strolled across the pages in the first half of the book has been shown as a bad person. And I’m only halfway through the book.

I think that’s where people get it wrong. I’m not against women feeling empowered and strong, but true strength doesn’t come from tearing others down. It’s like that bully who insults and disgraces the other kids in order to feel good about herself or himself. If you have to bring others down, you’re not rising up at all. That’s not empowerment. Talking trash on men doesn’t make women rise up or give them more rights. It’s a childish way to put a band-aid on their personal problems instead of actually improving our social standing as women.

I’m tired of people abusing and trying to destroy other people so that they can feel better about themselves. It doesn’t improve conditions for either person involved. And especially with the feminist movement, it’s more detrimental than helpful. If a woman is seen as a man-hater, she won’t be taken serious when she tries to talk about the gender gap in business. She’ll be laughed at because she just seems to have it in for men. But if she leaves the smack talk at home and talks instead about the contributions women have made in business, she’ll be more likely to get somewhere. Not that everything will automatically improve after that, but it’s a better way to work towards her cause.

Speak positive to get positive results.

Main Character Mania

I am the main character of my own story. Duh. Sounds obvious, I know. There’s always a moment at the beginning of the story where the main character (MC) is going about their daily life never realizing that everything is about to change. A chance meeting, an event, or even something that seems minor can change the course of their entire life.

I feel like I am that MC, but I’m waiting, expecting, hoping for that change. And maybe that’s why it hasn’t come. The story can’t really begin if the MC is expecting the change to occur. Predictability doesn’t shape us the way random chance does.

Change always sends the MC off in directions he never anticipated. And despite the bad, there are always some good things to hang on to along the way. I mean, if Frodo didn’t leave Bag End, there would be no story. If Harry Potter never went to Hogwarts and learned magic, there would be nothing to talk about. We need those pivotal moments to push us in another direction.

Fiction mimics life. And in life, those unexpected moments can change us. They can push us into an adventure or give us ammo to conquer our inward struggles. Often, the change is not something the MC welcomes. We need to be bent out of shape before we can be molded into something better.

I feel like I’m at the beginning of my story. My daily life is nothing to write home about. When people ask me what I’ve been up to, I don’t have anything interesting to say. But this can change. I hope to be swept off into something bigger than myself. Here’s to expecting a new and exciting year in 2014.