I’ve been thinking lately about what empowerment has looked like in my life. There have been a couple of instances lately where the way a person interacted with me distinctly made me feel powerful and like I had something to offer in a situation or the opposite, where the way they acted either made me feel small or that I was imposing and needed to make myself smaller. It got me thinking about ways that I make others feel either more or less important, respected, and like their voice has value. I have sisters in high school and nieces in elementary and preschool so I’ve also been thinking about what it means to empower people younger than us. It’s so so important that everyone is made to feel empowered and respected but as a girl, I have a unique perspective on what it looks like to empower girls; these tips are all things that I experienced growing up and that I think are still applicable today.
Encourage all healthy interests
Carpentry, Electrical Engineering, Ballet, Astrophysics, Poetry, mountain climbing. I was so blessed that as a kid my parents never let me believe that I couldn’t do something if I worked for it. As I got older strengths in some areas over others became clear (I’ll likely never be a mathematician) but I wasn’t held back by a belief that there were things I couldn’t do. Rather, I was motivated to pursue and grow in the things at which I excelled and not to give up if I struggled at first.
Fill their lives with diverse role models
Jane Austen, both Queen Elizabeths, Maya Angelou, Gal Gadot, Marie Curie, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Ingalls Wilder. There are so many amazing women for girls to look up to. I loved reading about strong women in real-life and fiction growing up
Teach all kids about empathy, respect, kindness, and consent
Feminism isn’t about making women better than men or achieving equality by bringing men down. Feminism is about raising everyone up and recognizing each person’s value, uniqueness, and autonomy regardless of gender, race, or any other distinguishing factor. To achieve that kind of equality, everyone has to be on board and we have to be committed to teaching all kids the same values of respect, empathy, and kindness for self and others.
Teach them the true source of their value
Genesis 1:26-27 talks about how God created humanity in His image to rule over the earth in relationship with Him. When I think about the implications for that, I’m a little overwhelmed by how awesome it is. But on top of that, John 3:16 says that when we messed up He loved us enough to die to redeem us and restore His original plan. When we really understand and believe that it should change the way we live and the way we think about ourselves and others and that is how true equality and empowerment will be reached.
What do you think about feminism? How are you working to empower the people in your life? Tell me in the comments!
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