Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thinking Out Loud in my Boudoir: No More 'We-Men"

With even bigger work place now, these roles have expanded into international ground where trailblazing women change the mindsets and actions of others; lead international brands and companies with thousands of employees; influencing households across the globe; and managing the entire nation.

No more men’s world. Period.

It is so nice to see many empowered women at the forefront of corporate management, political leadership, legal administration, scientific studies, fine and performing arts proliferation, and many other industries.

When you watch CNN, you can see Park Geun-hye, Dilma Rousseff, Angela Merkel, Cristina Elisabet Fernández de Kirchner, Julia Gilard, Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, Thokozile Masipa, etc.

When you open books you can read about Cory Aquino, Indira Gandhi, Amelia Earheart, Grace Hopper, Mother Teresa, Maria Montessori, Cleopatra, Mary, etc.

When you surf online, you will be amazed by Arianna Huffington, Tina Brown, Jill Abramson, Anna Wintour, Miuccia Prada, Gisele Bundchen, Tyra banks, Sushmita Sen, etc.

When you scan through broadsheets you will find Sheryl Sandberg, Janet Napolitano, Helen Clark, Sonia Gandhi, Indra Nooyi, Virginia Rometty, Mary Barra, Amy Pascal, Ertharin Cousin, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, etc.

When you turn on TV you see Christiane Amanpour, Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Soho, Samantha Brown, Taylor Swift, Monita Rajpal, Sisaundra Lewis, etc.

The time has come when the clear and perceptible boundary between colors, races, and even sexes have gradually evaporated with time.

The border is not completely eradicated yet, as some other nations are still bound by their longstanding traditions and cultures on how they treat and deal with women in society; nonetheless, women empowerment has been a productive effort far and away.

This social campaign [or even personal struggle for many] to stop the discrimination against women and the limitations set on women in terms of opportunities, rights, privileges, and even duties have been in existence since time immemorial.

Mythology and legend used to be the only world where women were hailed as powerful and influential.

But now, it is very encouraging and inspiring to see a lot of girls, ladies, and women excelling and leading in various fields—sports, politics, arts, corporate world, mass media, etc.

Thanks to the great women, both in the international arena and household alike, because they have continuously proved that women can do more than domestic activities through the lives they have lived and the way they have raised their daughters. Not to mention, those secured men who acknowledge the capabilities and strength of women also paved the way for the light of women’s brilliance to shine.

Because of them, we now enjoy this era where we have the power and freedom to go beyond the backstage and speak our voices and exercise our rights; share the same board room and platforms with men;  and conduct exhibitions with equal space with the other sex.

Women then and now have played roles in shaping the minds of the people, leading a pack, influencing the people around them, managing affairs and finances—all these start at home.

With even bigger work place now, these roles have expanded into international ground where trailblazing women change the mindsets and actions of others; lead international brands and companies with thousands of employees; influencing households across the globe; and managing the entire nation.

Having read and watched documentaries about the lives of these powerful women at home and around the globe, I have noticed common attributes:

         1. Balance your mind with heart. Work deliberately and with keen mind, but deal with people with considerate and kind heart.

         2. Know yourself and be familiar with the little voice inside you. Discover your gut and instinct and work with them. Women’s instinct is reliable.

         3. Be confident. Fake it until you make it. Even if you don’t know what you are doing, just fearlessly, creatively, gracefully, and deliberately do it.

         4. Take accountability. Be clear of your responsibilities. When you know your responsibilities and the consequences of your actions, you channel your energy on a particular goal and become efficient in doing the tasks.

         5. Don’t be afraid to fail—and learn from them. When you fall, stand up with grace and class. Failure polishes our character, purifies our intentions, strengthens our core, enhances our endurance, and makes us wiser.

         6. Be compassionate. Treat people how you would like to be treated. Your colleagues aren’t machines, just like you they commit mistakes and fail sometimes.

         7. Prioritize. Know the important and urgent things. Be disciplined to delay gratification—eat the cake first before the icing. But girls that we are, just enjoy what’s at hand!

         8. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. You are human, you have emotions. We are privileged that our society is more open seeing women cry, compassionate, and empathetic. Your emotions make you creative and interesting.

         9. Live a balanced life. Be the best mother, the interesting wife, the model boss, the cool officemate, the motivating competitor, and the approachable person. Bottom line, live a purposeful and colorful life!

        10. Be you. Be comfortable of your skin, your height, your figure, your features. If you don’t love and respect yourself, no one will.

In women's world, it is not lonely at the top.

It’s good how systematic and innovative women can be. Because women are born with invisible friendship cuff with other women,  many women who seem to be competitors are actually good friends behind the camera like Donatella Versace and Miuccia Prada. Also, many business executives traverse conference table from purely business discussions to motherhood stories to personal interests and vice versa.

Women love to share ideas, give pieces of professional and personal advice, exchange parenting tips, update children’s new trips or interests, gossip about husbands’ funny habits, and open up their vulnerabilities.

Let’s celebrate our womanhood! And continue our quest of empowering others, both men and women alike.

It is in women’s DNA that we care about others and are compassionate of others, we inherit this from our mothers and we grew up seeing this in our big sisters, grandmothers, and aunties.

PS: Let us not forget there are still many girls, ladies, and women suffering from modern slavery. There are estimated 27 million slaves around the world and most of them are females who are being exploited for sexual labor against their will and the average age of victims is 12 years old. So let us stand up, be involved, and support others to break free from their sufferings even in our little ways. Nothing is too small in helping others help themselves.

Thinking Out Loud in my Boudoir is a column for some of my random thoughts that, perhaps, other ladies my age are also experiencing or thinking of—whether from same vantage point or another. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s just my own voice reverberating in my own world. I will do my best to discriminate my reason in this column, and just write spontaneously the first things and thoughts that a normal lady could think of. Just writing as I think...

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