This week, I heard a very disturbing report from a foreign correspondent about how the Chinese are reacting to news of Hilary Clinton’s candidacy for President.
It seems that the Chinese Internet is abuzz with hate mail, calling her an “old witch” and many far-worse things.
When the interviewer asked the correspondent why the Chinese feel this way, he said there were two reasons. One was the fact that as Secretary of State Ms. Clinton was very hard on the Chinese government. The second was that in China, women are viewed as having value only as sexual beings or if successful and powerful, it is thought to be because they are “manly”. In other words, they have no intrinsic value as women, but since men are inherently strong and worthwhile, powerful women must be “manly” (having qualities of men).
What is so upsetting about this is that it negates any value for a woman as her own person, with her own abilities and mind.
All around the world right now, women are being badly mistreated and their worth ignored. They are considered to be objects and abuse is acceptable. How can women expect to have self-worth and feel good about themselves when our societies keep trying to move backward in time and take away their personhood?
I believe that women must start to believe in themselves and each other to develop a true sense of self-esteem. If they haven’t been given this as children from loving and caring parents who respected them, they must get it elsewhere. Often women treat each other with disdain, siding with men to hurt or abuse other women. Things like stoning or other violent punishments in many countries often involve other women as well as men. This is because these women have been basically brainwashed to believe what the men have told them. They are afraid to stand up to the men as they then may be harmed as well.
I think we need all the strong women we can get in the world. Women can start by taking some risks in their everyday life. They can try being in charge in the bedroom sometimes. Many women are too afraid to even ask for what they want sexually for fear of alienating the man in their lives. If your husband or significant other is so threatened he can’t handle your expressing your wants and needs, then he needs to deal with his problem, it’s not yours.
Powerful women are not a threat to confident men, only to insecure ones. Learning to see yourself as a separate and unique individual who can function independently is an important first step towards true independence. A sense of independence is something that is inside you, not something that is given to you by someone else.
Encouragement and support are essential and can come from anywhere or anyone. Reaching out to girlfriends or family members is a good start. Finding something you believe in is equally important. You will gain strength if you are working to accomplish something you value and care about.