Stop discrimination against women. Equal rights for women now. Women’s empowerment is crucial.
These are some of the common statements that we regularly hear from leaders and politicians, and also amongst men and women in our society. Around special occasions like International Women’s Day, the intensity of such declarations is on its peak. This year’s International Women’s Day was not an exception.
My daughter Maitri, who is 18 years old, was not very impressed though. Every day she experiences one form or the other of male chauvinism, or of patriarchal or patronizing attitude towards herself or other girls/women. She also often experiences what she calls collective hypocrisy of respecting the feminine, leading to a dis-empowerment of women.
Let me explain this; when she is told not to climb the trees for instance (which is considered a typical boys activity), the message is given to her in such a way that the messenger (who could be a man or a woman, teacher or family) makes it sound like it is for her own good or her own protection, whereas in fact, it is to make her fit into a society induced role of how a girl is supposed to behave. So her reasoning is that to truly empower women and for women to have equality, there is an urgent need to re-empower men.
Men have lost their power
By using the word re-empower men rather than empower men, it implies that they have lost power, which they need to gain back. And this is exactly what I mean. I believe that men lost their real power a long time ago. When they decided to repress women and the feminine in society. When men decided to treat women as being inferior to men thinking women lacked intelligence. When men started objectifying women and expected them to be there for their satisfaction, for producing kids and taking care of the household. And when men started verbally abusing, dominating, beating and molesting women to keep them small it all sent a clear signal: a loss of power.
Still today, despite the women’s movement, we have a male-dominated society, and unless we men look deep inside ourselves to see in which way we might consciously or unconsciously contribute to this, and change our perspective with which we look at women, and the attitude with which we behave towards the feminine aspects, true gender equality will remain as a dream to be achieved, and women’s empowerment will be an uphill battle.
Re-empowerment of men
So how can we re-empower men so humanity can truly practice gender equality? I see two steps to this process of renewed empowerment of men.
The first step is a de-conditioning of men’s current understanding of women, and the approach, attitude or behavior towards women. We must start to question what we have been taught, the misguided understanding of what it means to be a man impressed upon us since early childhood. Instead, we should look at it from a human perspective, meaning we are all equally important beings, despite our gender or color of skin. We peel off the layers of pseudo-masculinity to give room to our true power.
The second step is to become aware of what changes we need to implement, what thoughts and concepts will nourish our new empowered approach, and how we can stand by and support women in our family and in the society.
Let us focus on what thoughts and concepts about women and the feminine are necessary for, and supports the efforts of, achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment. Here are some of my thoughts, not in any particular order but as they flowed through my soul:
- We exist because of women; we are all brought to the world through the power of the womb.
- Happy, joyful, satisfied and nurturing women are key to global peace. I often say, “Blissful Womb is Key to the Peaceful Word”.
- Women are an entity in their own right and so don’t insult them by associating them with men. In fact, the rebellious side of me says: why introduce a woman as someone’s daughter or wife or mother? Why can’t men be introduced as her father, husband or son?
- Men must drop their fear and insecurities that women may overpower them. It is only then men will be able to love women unconditionally.
- In order to understand women or experience the feminine, men must attempt to get in touch with their own inner feminine energy.
- Men must let go of their expectations from women, especially the expectations around intimacy and lovemaking as it blocks women from being truly feminine.
- Women, being a source of creativity and energy of nourishment, have amazing innovative ideas and concepts. They need time to be conceptualized, visualized and verbalized. Thus, men must attempt to give the feminine space enough so that they can come up with creativity at their best.
- Men must drop or let go of their patriarchal and patronizing approach towards women. It is important that men stop preaching women and start sharing views, ideas and plans with women, without expecting an immediate response.
- Men must also drop their expectations that women must love them. In fact, we men need to get out of this deeply rooted misunderstanding that we need someone else to love us. Rather we need to imbibe that love is within us. It is when we start to love ourselves that others will reciprocate our charm and power of attraction by behaving lovingly or by revering us.
What is your view on the empowerment of women? Let me know in the comments below what you think is needed to make sure gender equality becomes a reality.
I do understand the deep-rooted hesitation that men have about supporting women, which is large because of men’s own insecurities and fear of women’s potentials to succeed. It is time that we get rid of such insecurities and fears and start to support the growth and empowerment of our daughters, wives, mothers, and sisters, so they get to live in a world of true equality. We need to be courageous enough to change ourselves. We have to dare to look into our own feminine traits to empower our true masculinity. In the end, by doing so, we support our own ability to be truly powerful.
To love women unconditionally, men must drop their fears & selfishness. – Vishwas