Friday, 19 April 2013

No-Nonsense Women

"I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England at that!" The words spoken by a great woman who had power, authority and strength. Queen Elisabeth the First.
 
"If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman". Words spoken by one of the most powerful and divisive leaders that Great Britain has ever seen. Baroness Margaret Thatcher, ex Prime Minister who passed away last week.
 
Regardless to what you personally think about these women or their politics they had common traits. Determination, resilience, boldness, courage, strength of character, a willingness to take risks and a fearless heart. They stood up against strong minded men who tried to oppose and challenge them. They persisted with their aim and got the program done. These women knew what they wanted and didn't allow anyone to stop them.
 
Dare I neglect to mention all the other unsung heroines who bring the same qualities to everyday life. Women who are the backbone of their families, that successful business, that international industry. Without them it would not work. But wait, isn't that the problem? Their contribution is only valued so long as they stay in the background, the moment they try to step into leadership, they get shot down.
 
So are women still facing cultural, male dominated, obstacles today? Even Thatcher was trained to lower and deepen her voice!

They say you have to be strong and hard to get on and achieve. But if a woman acts too tough, they say she is no longer feminine. Come on and be honest now - If a woman behaves daintily, or presents herself too attractively, is she really taken seriously?
 
While men can just get down to business, women have to walk this tightrope and in some cases, still get the same job done, if not to a higher standard.
 
So, can a woman be strong and powerful without being manly? I mean, is there a type of strength that is better suited to women than to men?
 
What actually makes a woman powerful?
Who are the powerful women in your life and how did they influence you?
Are powerful women viewed or portrayed as negative?
Do men fear a powerful woman?

I'd love to hear your comments, views, and opinions.

77 comments:

  1. I am a very strong minded and opinionated woman of today. Men do think that I am too manly when I conduct business but you have to be otherwise you are not taken seriously. You also have to let men know who's wearing the trousers as there are some chauvinistic pigs out there who will do everything to usurp their authority over you, even when you are their employer. I also have problems with other women who don't make it easy for us, by also portraying strong women in a negative light. I can't conduct business in pink high heels, neither do I need to show my breasts to get a reaction. There is a time and place for all of that! Negative women need to wake up and support other women paving the way in every area of business, home life, politics or whatever they chose to do.
    This is an inspiring post RPD, you've got my attention now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to hear from you Brenda and I'm glad I managed to attract your attention :) I can definitely see you are a no-nonsense woman from your comment. Unfortunately, there are some men who don't like to see women in positions of leadership for whatever reason, and this does make it harder for women to move forward. Hopefully in time, society will change and it won't be so much of an issue. Glad you stopped by Brenda and hope to hear from you again.

      Delete
  2. What makes a woman powerful? In my opinion, you've already listed those qualities, determination, resilience, boldness, courage, strength of character etc. I would say that my mother is the most powerful woman I know. As a battered spouse, she made sure that her daughters grew up to never let alone take advantage of them. To stand up for what we believe in and to never let anyone tell us that 'we can't' achieve.

    I have to agree with Brenda. Sometimes we are our own worst enemy and instead of supporting each others successes, we instead, strive to pull each other down, or that's how it's been in my experience.

    Thought provoking as always Rum-Punch. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no doubt that your mother had a very difficult job to do, coming from being a battered woman to a much more powerful one. Domestic Violence can rob a person of so many things and make them feel as if they have no self worth. Your mother made a very good job of Turning A Negative into A Positive. Something I'm sure both you and your sister are proud of.
      And yes, Brenda made a good point about women turning against each other instead of supporting them. Thanks for your comment Lily.

      Delete
  3. I believe there is a quiet strength in women. They show it through actions rather than boastful words. I saw it in my mother the day my father died, the day my brother had a massive stroke and the day my sister died. My mum is 85 years old and still going strong. She has been through a lot of trials in her life but never once has she backed down in fear--she has met her demons head-on. It's funny--when we are young, many women want to be admired for their beauty---always worried about their image. And then something magical seems to happen when you hit mid-life; that's when you discover just how much you can handle, and it never ceases to amaze me how well the women I know are able to survive just about anything. One of the best compliments I ever received came shortly after my father's death when a relative pulled me aside and told me I was the strong one left in the family, and the glue that would keep us all together. I never thought of myself as strong until that day. I guess it was there all along and I just never saw it. If I could be half the woman my mother is, I would be damn proud...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your mother seems to be a classic example of 'actions speak louder than words' Menopausal Mama. She didn't need to be rough and tough but her words/actions spoke volumes and gained respect. There's definitely strength in that.
      I smiled when you spoke about 'midlife' because when it hits you have no choice but to deal with it or be a 'man most miserable' as the saying goes, ha ha ha
      Just from your blog, your friendship, comments etc, I can see how you are the 'glue' that keeps people together. All this whilst hitting the menopause :) Thanks MM.

      Delete
  4. I don't fear a powerful woman... I think we need more of them and still be feminine... This post gives a lot to think about... awesome:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that not everyone suffers from feminiphobia... I just made that word up to describe people who are uncomfortable around a woman simply because she is powerful, and for no other reason than that. An irrational fear! Thanks for your comment Launna.

      Delete
  5. Interesting post indeed RPD, I am beliver that Baroness Margaret Thatcher did a great deal of good during her 2 legislatures, she might have stepped hard on some peoples foot but I believe she always did it for the sake of the country's good. She was determinated and a visionary, and her actions still carry sense to this day.

    "She was thought how to deepen her voice" Image and one person projection to the crowd is very important to have support!. We just had elections and the new prime minister was thought how to speak and appear to the public, in the end he won the general election and his new image helped him to convince people to vote for him.

    I don't think woman are considered "Inferior" or less "good" it all depends from one person's personality. If one person is chosen to be in a position sex wont make a difference as being ether man or woman results must be shown. (Hope I explained what I meant here, don't wish to create a conflict!)

    "What makes a woman powerful?" What makes a man powerful?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baroness Margaret Thatcher has had such a major impact on many people over many years and despite deepening her voice she still wore dresses/skirts, carried her little handbag and looked feminine.

      Yes, I do understand what you are saying in regards to sex not making a difference. I would say that it would make a difference in the first instance if women are not being acknowledged in order to get that particular position. Hotei I don't think you created any conflict, as if anyone does disagree, it's all about discussions on this blog.
      Always good to hear your opinions Hotei :)

      Delete
  6. What makes a powerful woman, confidence, attitude and knowledge.
    None in my life.
    Yes, I think they are portrayed as negative.
    I'm not sure if men fear powerful women.
    I'm female and have to admit most powerful women to me don't come across as feminine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michelle. I'm just thinking, what if maybe powerful women purposely put on a macho act in order to gain respect etc.. and that could be why they are portrayed as masculine although deep down they want to retain their femininity... or maybe I'm wrong and they are just masculine through and through.

      Delete
  7. My cousin graduated high school. The family business. She was offered a position. My family is in construction, she was offered clerical work, it was understood. She showed up in jeans, a tshirt and work boots. She is now a junior foreman, after proofing herself for five long years. She also is very feminine outside of work. When originally my uncle would not let her work the tools she asked a competitor company for a chance and got hired on. I always say she's got huge balls, she just wears them high and proud.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Jamie. She knew exactly what she wanted to do, and instead of taking the easy option by working with the family, she branched out, took a chance and got what she wanted. A woman with balls, I agree. Good for her, I like it.
      She proved her worth that anyone who didn't hire her was losing out. Some women in the construction world do better work than men. Thanks for commenting Jamie.

      Delete
  8. Powerful women don't have to sacrifice their femininity. There is a balance, though, that's sometimes difficult to achieve. I hope men are less threatened nowadays by powerful women, although I know it's still around. I think when you temper power and inner toughness with grace, it's an unbeatable combination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Liked the way you said it Shelly. There has to be that balance, like the combination you used, and thanks for stopping by again :)

      Delete
  9. I am trying to play the shrink with an explanation of the way it goes on in this issue.

    If we want to simplify the problem between sexes we pay attention to the knots and the clots in the tissue, without looking to the total intertwine of it.

    It is true that there are many problems that can, and must be set in order, but again, they are just the knots and the clots of the tissue.

    My experience with WLM in USA is that they were looking for personal benefits more that Equal Rights, and the development of the theme on the rest of the world show me one small truth.

    OK, now, before I am court-martial by a kangaroo panel, I better explain that this is my experience and that it is not valuable except as an opinion created by the many circumstances that I lived in, and that being a male it is absolutely certain that I am wrong. Anyway, I could prove my point into a Corporation and then around the world, immersed in different cultures and ethnics. But, again being male I must be wrong.

    Except very few exceptions I always find a matriarchy as the organization, the thing started already on who was selected to bite the apple, and it was not because she was the weaker or less gifted, on the contrary. Do you think that if he had been the first to bite, could have convinced her to bite it too? Far from it!

    Also, while Daddy went to the forest to try and find food for family, who was educating baby? And it didn't matter the gender of baby. This situation is still working except by the already mentioned knots and clots.

    Most of the so called male world is done to his image and likeness, so it is possible that women had to adopt a manly way to act, which will be noted as "different", and will provoke the mentioned knots and clods. I guess we agree that, thanks goodness, we are not equals, and that will always be marked, no matter who is the strong willed person that can lead a Enterprise, there always be a difference in the way things are seen and treated

    I can understand the wish to show off that women are better than men, but it is unnecessary, everybody knows they are! So why the need to fight an already won war?

    This is the only thing I do not understand. And probably I will be condemned to be spurned and shunned because I do not toe the line, but I am sure that in the deep of female heart she knows, only is using the strategy of letting the testosterone think they had the high hand.

    I am not saying that there are not very serious mistakes in the relationship that must be corrected, but then again, risking to be repetitive, they are the knots and the clots, and should be treated like what they are.

    As a final statement I want you to know I am ready to go back on this opinion and vow it is not true, and I was WUI (writing under the influence) of anything that satisfies whoever think I am wrong.

    I learned very young that women are too important as to be poorly related to them! So I've decided to love them all!


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Od Liam, you give such power and praise to the women here. And yes they deserve it. I don't think the woman would have ate the fruit either, as she would have thought about it deeply, debated it, and so on. In the end Adam would have lost patience and simply moved on to something else! And for those who believe the good book, we would have not had sin. So, thanks 'Adam'! ha ha ha ha.

      WUI, now that's funny Od, because the model of power you describe here, is kind of like what I was describing. A power that is always there and always effective, but always in the background. I suppose I'm kind of questioning whether this is fair. If girl power is out there, why can't it be displayed openly, like male power? Why does it always have to work in the shadows, so to speak? Thanks Od Liam for your opinions on this.

      Delete
    2. I wouldn't know the right answer, but I know that the real power, the unique power over this world, always works from the shadows.

      It is its most qualified attribute. Somewhere there must be an explanation, but sometimes there are things better not to be disturbed. :)

      Delete
  10. I am quite a powerful woman and have my own company, but I know and have so many clients that will only deal with a man. Sucks big time. This is why my hubby handles clients and I look after the back end of the business and do the real work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are the neck that turns the head, so to speak Lanthie. It's a great shame that men don't want to deal with you. It just goes to show that there is still ignorance out there. It's a good thing that you are strong enough to continue despite these setbacks, but you are also smart enough to get your husband to deal with the clients, making the best of the situation as it is in this day and age. Thanks Lanthie.

      Delete
  11. For 24 years I have been supporting myself on my own. For the last 15 years I have been raising my kid on my own. I have been living in a really nice condo which my mom brought for me. So far I have a beautiful home, two floors and a basement with indoor garage, a good job, and a wonderful child. Some men don't like this, due to jealousy and feeling I have more than them. With the economy going down in the past, they regret that they don't have this much going for them. They don't like the fact I have all this and that I am standing on on two feet and going strong.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're right Deaf47, this too can be an issue of pride for a man, having to watch a woman who has it all when he has much less. This can also have an impact on relationships when men are not the breadwinners or don't have a job to support the woman who has it all.
      On the flip side there are some strong powerful women who will not deal with a man unless he has much more fame and fortune than her. But that's another topic up for debate.... Thanks for your comment.

      Delete
  12. I think because of our anatomy, the fact that we bleed, bear children and are hormonally inclined, we are perceived as weak by men. Some men of right-leaning persuasion still try to control our bodies by passing legislation at the state level, i.e., "Personhood," and mandated ultrasounds before an abortion. I think some men fear the power of the female anatomy and therefore have a need to try to control it.

    We will always have to compete harder than men. I think you can be firm and unwavering in your manner to achieve a goal. But no matter how confidently, without malice, we stride toward a goal, we will ultimately be perceived as bitchy by some.

    My mother is a strong role model. She's a tough broad. Also, a friend from my writer's group, a single mom who raised four children alone, now all successful adults. A corporate coach who I temped for, another single mom who worked full time, went back to school to earn several degrees while raising a child alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An excellent point Lauren. You don't have to have a business or be a politician to be a powerful woman. Single parents, some with several children can also have the same qualities and strength. It's not easy raising kids, running a home, balancing the books, educating them, feeding them etc. It's hard work. And then you have to hope that the end result is successful, happy children that are a blessing to society. I'm so glad you commented on this. I'm now thinking about the many women that have been an influence at some point in my long life. More than I originally thought.

      Delete
  13. What makes a woman powerful? Self-respect, wisdom, good humor and the ability to love. The same thing that makes a man powerful.

    I don't agree with what the world calls "power."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks NP. From your response I think I can imagine what your view of what the world calls power is.

      Delete
  14. nothing hits the nail on the head. it all starts with self-respect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's lovely to see you here Charlene. It's true, if a person doesn't take themselves seriously, it must be near enough impossible for them to get anyone else to. Hope to hear from you again.

      Delete
    2. Interesting that Thatcher had to lower her voice. Doesn't surprise me, though. OUr former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has been asked in interviews on foreign polic who her favorite designer is. How many times have any respectable journalist ever, EVER, ask any SOS like John Kerry now, or even PMs like Blair, Major, Cameron, etc be asked who their favorite designer is when discussing ANY policy?

      Hillary also got a lot of heat during her Presidential campaign against Obama - reports of her looking tired. News anchors pointed to the bags under her eyes.

      As SOS, she got more criticism when she stopped wearing makeup and started to regularly tie her hair back. Again, she was critiqued for looking old and tired. She finally had to address it by saying that she is so busy travelling and meeting with world leaders, fashion was just not an issue for function, and she didn't have the time to 'primp' to appease the media.

      Thanks, it's nice to be here.

      Delete
  15. Queen Elizabeth is one of my all time favorite historical women. Love her story, determination and strength. For sure, one of the inspirational women I look up too. Great post on how women rock!!

    Madison:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks My Meddling Mind and good to hear from you again. Women do rock even when they don't know it.

      Delete
  16. Margaret Thatcher was taught to deepen her voice? Whoa. You learn something new every day. I think there are all sorts of ways women can be (and are) powerful. Same as men. I do agree that outwardly forceful women get more of the shaft than outwardly forceful men. Not sure why, but I do know that's been lessening over the years. Call it progress.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I watched a video where she spoke in her normal higher pitched voice then later in a much deeper controlled lower voice.

      In a way Janene there is a little progress but I still think the world has a long way to go. Thanks for your comments too.

      Delete
  17. Great examples of powerful women, and wonderful quotes to go with them. It's true that many men think that strong women are manly. They also think that only men know how to be funny.

    Julie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment sparks a thought. Is it only many men who see strong women as manly? I ask because I think there are a lot of women who think the same way! Thanks Empty Nest Insider.

      Delete
  18. The fact that we've never had a female president is a little perplexing to me, given the fact that other countries have had their share of female leaders. Unfortunately, I think there's a double standard for women in positions of power, a fine line between what's perceived as being assertive and of being a bitch. That's pretty well documented, as is the fact that there's no such thing as a glass ceiliing, just a hard one made of something impermeable. As a rule, I don't think men are confronted with this kind of problem when they try to "get ahead."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You do have a point Helena, men don't get the same obstacles or bad name when they forge ahead.
      Actually I thought that there was a huge possibility that Hilary Clinton might become President a few years ago, simply because with all it's history, I could not see America choosing a black man as President, but how wrong was I? With that in mind, I reckon that we all might be in for a surprise should a woman aim for President within the next 10 years! Should I dare say who I think it might be?

      Delete
  19. To lump every man into one view of a strong woman can be a bit unfair. As with every type out there, I think the answers to these questions truly sit in the eye of the beholder.

    Some of us love our mothers very much. We see her as the epitome of strength. We embrace that.
    And still -- we think she looks pretty when she wears dresses. We never think of her as "manly", or even trying to be. There's no scorn from being scolded by a woman in my camp. It often comes down to anything but a battle of sex.

    I dunno...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I do agree, we shouldn't lump everyone together. Rather, in this post I was trying to portray what I meant whilst at the same time saying that you don't have to be in a position of authority or employed to be a strong woman.
      Mothers play a vital role, and it is because of the part they have played that a great many men and women have gone on to change the world for better.

      I must take this opportunity to say how much I enjoyed listening to your music. You can sing man.

      Delete
  20. The glory and strength of a woman lies in the fact that she IS a woman. She need not compete with men, nor try to emulate men, nor become masculine to 'make it' in the world of men. She is soft, but resilient - vulnerable, yet a core of steel runs through her veins. She is broken giving birth - and yet, conquers the brokenness by bringing yet more life into the world. She who sees what the world reflects as her weakness loses the secret to her strength. She feels things deeply - but gives deeply out of the deep places carved within. With all the horror and outrage and crime inflicted against her through time immemorial, she has survived - and yet thrives, although the world chooses not to be kind to her. She walks in dignity and strength best when she accepts what is inside her own skin as a gift, not a curse, embracing and celebrating her own femininity. She ties us all together, for who of us is living that never had to travel through her birth canal??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Flaming heck Melody, you put it as it ought to be said. Absolutely brilliant!

      Bloggers, readers, this woman has got it down to a T! Please check out her blog, Melody always has a word of wisdom, something that makes you think or make a little more sense of life.

      Melody, whenever you leave a comment on my blog please leave a link to your latest post :)

      Delete
  21. Yes, women still face obstacles. Even other women make things difficult for other women. There is well documented research on this. The problem is that people put too much emphasis on gender. But gender does not determine anything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You describe a vicious circle. Gender, although not determining strength, still plays a role in dis-empowering simply because of the emphasis and belief that people put in it. They then act differently because of it and make it come true! Interesting... Thanks for commenting Julia.

      Delete
  22. I just happened upon your blog. Very interesting.
    I have never thought the loud, demanding, rigid, strong minded, opinionated woman offered a lot of strength. Some women are like the "creaking wheel" and get the attention but only because they are so annoying and want to be shut-up and out of the way.

    The woman I see who has the strength and leadership is the one who leads from behind the scenes. She offers quiet inspiration for others to carry out and does not need the adulation of the crowd.

    Manzanita
    Wanna buy a duck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment Manzanita. But why should women lead from behind the scenes anyway? Why should they stay quiet in the background giving men the false sense of security? If men get the adulation of a crowd then why can't a woman get it too, after all, she did the work?
      I'm not challenging you, just trying to get your deep thoughts on this.
      Hope to hear from you again Manzanita. And sorry, but I don't have the facilities to care for a duck.

      Delete
    2. That is OK. A challenge is good. I don't try to speak for all women, only what worked for me. The old saying, the proof is in the pudding. Well, I've tasted the pudding. I was speaking more from a family point of view. If a female wants to move the multitudes, she has to be visible. I ruled my family roost from behind the scenes and managed to get my point across and get what I thought was best. I guess they always thought it was their idea. But that was OK with me because all I wanted was the harmony, not the credit. I'm now 83 and as I look back on my life...... it worked.
      That fine... the ducks are all sold Hahaha

      Delete
  23. I think gender roles have been harmful to both genders. It was difficult for women in the workplace. But there are men happy to be stay-at-home dads who haven't had it easy either. But all that is changing. The change may be slow, but it's happening. And that means there's hope for further change.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gender roles have changed for sure over the years. It was frowned upon to have men stay at home to look after the kids but now this is normal and part of the plan, especially if men are earning much less than than their partners.

      I suppose that men of quiet, behind the scenes strength, are another group in society who perhaps don't always get their just desserts. Thanks Karen.

      Delete
  24. Nice post, RPD. I think a woman can be determined, bold, courageous, a risk-taker, etc. and still come across as a woman of elegance and style. I know a woman who is the senior pastor of a church who is exactly that kind of strong woman. Her congregation, including the men, fully respect her and take her seriously. But she never fails to be a woman of great class and a loving wife and mother.

    In the general workforce, I have seen some women in power who don't do that as well. Perhaps they are preoccupied by a sense of needing to prove themselves in a male-dominated culture. But my belief is that the woman who can possess the qualities of strength I mentioned above while remaining true to herself is the best model for success.

    Women are not treated equally to men in all respects in our society, but they have made some serious advances. So much so that, in America, I believe it's just a matter of time before we have a female President of the United States.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your views Frank. I admire any woman who can have all those qualities and still be true to herself. Yes there is progress but still a way to go.

      I was actually surprised to think that America would have a black President in my lifetime. I thought Obama might go far in the race but didn't think he would win, and when he did win, I thought he would be assassinated within months. This just goes to show how wrong I was. So as for a woman President, it might just happen in my lifetime too.

      Delete
  25. RPD... Nice post as usual. All the comments are very interesting, as they always are. Your "readers" are so "spot-on" each and every week. The "intellect" on this Blog is, quite simply, amazing!!!

    Again, I think Melody Lowes expresses herself with such grace. I think she "hits the nail on the head."

    I agree with Shelly, from above, who, in a very succinct way, lays it out perfectly.

    I think a "Powerful Woman" in the Board Room is there because she fought "tooth & nail" to get there. Kudos to her. She deserves it. I also think that the "Stay @ Home" Mom deserves just as much credit. Career "choices" be damned... I'm of the opinion that a woman does not have to be in the "Board Room" to be a "Smart & Powerful (or strong) Woman". Power(ful) is a tricky word.

    My man... have a great week, Slu

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slu, I too know of powerful women who don't have a job but have profound affects on the 'silent' work they do within the community. 'Silent' I say, because they are the unsung heroines. They act as elders and give guidance to the young, encourage people to stay on the good and narrow track. They support those in need, protect people from harm and much much more. They have the exact same respect, so I know what you mean. Thanks for commenting Slu.

      Delete
  26. Because so many have come up with a lot of what I would of said, I'm going to add a slightly different angle. In this day and age, I would like to think we don't have to differentiate between the two sexes in regards to the woman has something to prove mentality in what is perhaps still an imbalance in the roles woman take on.

    A powerful woman or man, to me, is somebody who is comfortable with who they are. I believe in an all different, all equal world, regardless of sexual gender.

    As usual, a provocative post and you bring out the most thoughtful and intelligent of responses. As for Maggie. I think I'll leave it at that :)

    Gary



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gary, I would one day like to believe that we would all be treated equally but this is not the case at the moment. Women still have a fight on their hands and it is much worse in many other countries.

      Ah, the famous Maggie! She does provoke a wild reaction, ha ha ha. Some of the comments made after her death from many unhappy people was absolutely crazy

      Delete
  27. what makes a woman powerful? hmmmm..err..well, is it complan for women?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha ha Nina, but the question is, did complan actually work?

      Delete
  28. Nowadays, I don't think men 'fear' powerful women at all. That may have been the case way back when (stereotypically speaking) it was perceived a woman's place was 'barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen.'

    'Barefoot and pregnant' is a phrase that poked fun at chauvinists who wanted their women barefoot (so that they were unable to socialize) pregnant, (physically helpless) and in the kitchen (to prepare meals). The phrase was usually associated with the controversial idea that women should not work outside the home, should have as many children as possible during their reproductive years and obediently tend to the everyday needs of the 'man of the house.'

    Of course, we've come a long way from those stereotypical times, thank heavens! Women have gone to great lengths to ensure a 'level playing field' over the years and have proven their equality time and time again. And, unlike their grand fathers and great-grandfathers, most men today readily recognize and acknowledge the strength, effort and achievements of women as they do those of their own gender.

    In my opinion, Margaret Thatcher was a pioneer of sorts— a heroine if you may, in regards to elevating women from a position of 'barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen,' to a position of equal merit and standing in the community shared by their male counterparts. Thatcher emulated traits of inner strength and restraint uncommon for a woman of her time. Many, many women of strength, aspiration and determination preceded her such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Indira Gandhi, Helen Keller, Sandra Day O’Connor and Victoria Woodhull, just to name a few.

    I'm just so glad women have come as far as they have and that society in general understands that we can all 'Achieve and Succeed' regardless of our gender.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wanda, than you so much for this upbeat and positive response. You know what, you're right. As we look towards the future and see what progress still needs to be made we should not forget how far things have already come. We need to be grateful, especially when we think of Afghanistan or Pakistan when little girls get acid thrown into their face just because they want to go to school.

      Delete
  29. Powerful. Hm, I don't even like that word. Man or woman makes no difference to me. Maybe I've just seen too much abuse of power in general to have a whole lot of respect for it. The very word "power" or "powerful" invokes negative images in my mind. I prefer the word "strong" or "leader". Those are qualities I can admire.

    There have been many strong women in my life, they've shaped who I am, inspired me to achieve, given me pause to reflect on my own life. Some are quite feminine, some not so much. Again, femininity is a word I don't give much heed to. I tend to look at strength of character, strength of mind, strength of conviction. If you can do what you need to do in high heels and pearls, right on. If you do what you do in jeans and Doc Martens, right on. It's about what you do with what you've been given, not how you look while you do it. At least that's how I think it should be. It's how it is for me.

    Thanks for writing this and challenging me to look at this honestly. I didn't even realize I had a bias about that word until now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Traci, this comment reminds me of something said earlier by Nothingprofound. It's true that if you use power in an unqualified sense it can just as well be a negative as well as a positive. It's what you do with your power. A great many women wept bitter tears under Margaret Thatchers leadership, and I'm not sure that the fact that it was a woman that made those decisions that they hated so much, made much difference. I'm also glad to see that you're prepared to embrace a person whether they are wearing high heels or Doc martens. Unfortunately, there are still large sections of society that do not, ie: they are biased.
      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment Traci, sometimes we don't know what we are biased about until it's right up there in our face.

      Delete
  30. Strong women are sexy! We have an award for you over at Laughing at Life, 2. Click this link http://laughingatlife232.blogspot.com/2013/04/liebster-blog-award.html#more

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just read your link Shawn, and a big thank you for nominating me for the liebster award. I left you a comment there. Can't believe that you would want to join the mafia with OCD though, ha ha ha ha.
      Thanks Shawn.

      Delete
  31. Hi RPD
    I believe women for some reasons are better than men...
    I have a great respect for them, and of course I love them... By the way, I have 3 at home, so, can I talk bad about them? :-)

    Viva le donne , ciao

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok Massimo, so you see the qualities and strengths that women have as being different from those natural to men. It was sensing this that led me to explore it through this post. You have 3 beauties at home? Bellissime, complimente. Ciao :)

      Delete
  32. Hey RumPunch!

    I feel a lot of men are intimidated by strong, confident, smart, and successful women. I have one in my life and she is a great gal. I wouldn't have it any other way. Society needs to be more accepting of women in power roles and not get all hung up over it. It takes a weak man to put down a successful woman.

    Another good post to make us think!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Phil, it's strange isn't it? If someone is threatened by those qualities in a woman, why is it often the case that they don't feel threatened when they see them in a man? It's not as if men have shown themselves un-inclined towards aggression, greed, violence etc. Do those people really believe that women are so much worse than men?
      Thanks for you views Phil, and I'll see you soon.

      Delete
  33. Hi Rum-Punch Drunk, good discussion. I always liked that quote by Queen Elizabeth I. And although not a fan of Margaret Thatcher, that is a great quote by her as well. Yes, they had common traits of courage, leadership, and a fearless heart, that cannot be denied. You are so right about the contribution of strong women only being valued as long as they stay in the background. It was true in the past and is still true today, although things are improving albeit slowly.

    What actually makes a woman powerful? I think a woman is powerful when she puts 100 percent of herself into whatever she is doing, motherhood, career, small tasks and large ones, and stands up for what she believes in even in the face of opposition. A powerful woman has strength of conviction. A powerful woman leads by example.

    At the top of my list of powerful women I admire is Jacqueline Kennedy. I was just a young girl when President Kennedy was assassinated. I watched on TV as she displayed remarkable grace and courage in the face of that tragedy. Other powerful women I admire include Anne Frank, Helen Keller, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt, J.K. Rowling, the French Chef Julia Child, aviator Amelia Earhart, actress Ellen DeGeneres, civil rights activist Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, Madame Curie, Susan B. Anthony and all the women Suffragettes.

    And you may find this interesting, in British history, I have always admired Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII and mother of Queen Elizabeth I. Despite the sometimes negative portrayals of her as a manipulative temptress, I believe Anne was a strong woman who made her own way in life, refused to allow herself to be subordinated to anyone, and who stood firm in her beliefs. A woman ahead of her time. Even when she was sent to be executed, she held her head high. Had she bore Henry a son, she would have kept her head, been a strong queen beside Henry, and history would have a different view of her today.

    Do men fear a powerful woman? They have throughout history and some still do today, although it’s becoming less so. I think that men who are confident in themselves do not fear powerful women. In fact, powerful men who are confident in their own abilities often seek out and work well with powerful women, case in point, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Barack and Michelle Obama.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jerseylil, You're coming across as a bit of an expert on this subject :) and what an impressive list of some of those no-nonsense women. The suffragettes sure did make a difference for many women.
      It's also true that you don't have to agree with someone to admire their achievements. I'd just like to pick up on your last point where you give examples of powerful men who are clearly attracted to powerful women. Perhaps these couples may be both role models for the next generation and a taste of things to come.
      Thank you so much for you comment Jerseylil, it was very much appreciated.

      Delete
  34. GREAT POST AGAIN , sorry for visiting so late, ' my computer is not feeling well these days ' :D
    So I am facing problem to reach some of my friends' blog including your's .
    You have mentioned some great qualities of women . I think the strength of character is the best quality of a woman . As a woman I don't want to be the powerful what I want for the women of our world that they should feel secure and respected :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, although women may never be physically stronger than men (apart from some of those body builders), yet there is nothing to say that character wise they can't be more than a match for any man.
      Hope you computer is feeling much better now, and it was good to hear from you again Aunt Mary.

      Delete
  35. I think insecure men tend to fear powerful women. I think sometimes we confuse powerful with masculine.Women can be both powerful and strong or powerful and sensitive. What makes them powerful is their ability to get the job done, be a leader, be firm and at the same time be compassionate and understanding. I consider my mother a powerful woman. She raised and provided for 7 kids almost solo. She cried a lot, but when she got done crying, she wiped her tears and got the job done. EVERY TIME.
    This was such a great post. I love the discussions and the though provoking topics you have on here

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope, nice to hear from you. One of the first aspects of strength that people associate with femininity is motherhood. What a feat! There is no underestimating the power this role requires. Perhaps those women that have succeeded in their chosen field did so because they applied those same quality to the task.
      Perhaps the reason why there are not more women leaders is because again, motherhood absorbs that time and energy. Raising 7 kids solo is no joke and I admire any woman who stuck it out through thick and thin in good times and bad.
      Thanks for stopping by here Hope, and I hope to hear from you again :)

      Delete
  36. And here I'm!! To my one of the favorite posts. Your blog has been working as a drug for me Rumpunch, a good drug- irresistible, tempting, irreplaceable and of course delicious!
    No to be specified, but I read your "snitch" too. But that was too tricky to answer. I've always preferred the truth, but the kind of situation you've portrayed, it's difficult to answer. :)

    Now coming to this post, it's about me- A woman. You asked, "are still women facing male dominance and cultural suppression?"
    I'd say Yes! I've seen it myself and somewhat experience t almost everyday.
    For this, to the large extent the society is responsible, and to some, the male ego.
    The woman I admire is my mom, she is no warrior, never fought with swords and stuff, neither she's any politician. But I've seen her keeping enormous patience at the worst of times. She stood strong with with my dad may it be during financial crisis or my sickness when I used to get operated for long hours. She always came up with the unexpected hope and energy to fight back with more strength.
    But, being in 21st century, I feel times should change and also the mentalities. If a woman is strong, it never means she's manly. Neither does it mean that you can underestimate her if she is soft.
    Nice post. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading many of my posts Esabella, and even I find it difficult to answer questions in life but that's just how it is. Sometimes there is no right or wrong answer, you do what you need to do when put in that situation.

      Mothers are truly a good example because they raise the children, balance the finances, make sure everyone is fed and watered, makes sure everyone is physically and mentally taken care of, and the list is always endless. They do most of this as second nature without praise. Being soft can also bring a lot of respect and power. Thanks Esabella.

      Delete
  37. What makes a woman strong are the same things that make men strong. I love being extremely frilly and feminine, but I have a tough side to me where many men AND women have called me a b____. And I don't care. I accomplish and that's just part of my nature - to keep going and keep accomplishing. People either learn to respect that side of me or quickly move aside.
    I've always admired Margaret Thatcher, but Mother Theresa has been one of my heroes for as long as I can remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can see you are a strong woman indeed. What I dislike is when other women give 'women in positions' a hard time. I think a lot of this is due to jealously. It's good that you have a strong back because some women have been broken by listening to what others have to say about them. Being able to take those knocks is an important aspect of strength, I say. Thanks for reading and leaving a comment Donna.

      Delete

Feel free to speak your mind but please keep it respectful.
Disrespect will be happily deleted.
Thanks for posting!

hostgator coupons