Let me preface this by saying I commend women, as a whole, for stepping up and working to change the cultural norm. Over the past hundred and fifty years, there has been a paradigm shift in which women went from being told that they should walk behind men to deciding to walk beside them. Even still, there is an inexplicable overtone that those who can do most of the things a man can do and certain things a man cannot are less valuable to our society. This is evident in pay discrepancies, media representations, and proven historical inaccuracies that are taught. I step into this space cautiously because I know that, as a result of such inequality, some women do what they see that they must in order to survive and take care of their families. But I hope that I can provide a glimmer of hope, reassurance, and appreciation for those who see no way out but to loosen their moral fiber. In short, I hope to be an ally.
Everyone has her own moral code. I’m not here to judge anyone for what they’ve done, what they’re doing, or what they will do. To do that would mean I’m perfect. But I do want to tell you that you don’t have to do things that go against your morals to get ahead in the world. You don’t have to sleep or cheat or lie or steal your way to the top. Don’t miss the scenic route by letting something superficial quickly take you where your mind could’ve taken you. Just because the president of the US gives a pass to rape culture doesn’t mean that you ought to throw down the gauntlet and give in. I will never say women are stronger than men, nor that men are stronger than women. We are all, as individuals, strong in the ways we were meant to be. Don’t compromise your power to play to someone else’s insecurities. You can make it without compromising your values, whatever those may be. I’m not going to tell you how to define “virtuous woman” but I will tell you that, once you’ve taken time to spell out the kind of woman you want to be and want to be treated like, be that.
Oh… And please don’t take this as me saying you don’t need to look great. Look the way that makes you happy, don’t be ashamed of it, and still use whatever creative/intellectual gifts you have to succeed.
Make keeping your power a priority.