How To Rule The World… For The Strong, Bold and Poised

Recognition of Control

The locus of control is a concept that tells us to realise things that we have control over and focus on the ability for us to manifest that control into something more valuable. Too often, we choose to pay attention to what others tell us we cannot do and we find ourselves dwelling about the potential whys. We try and dig deeper to figure out of the root of our weaknesses and ways in which we could attempt to fix it or better yet, re-configure ourselves to suit others. In other words, we transform ourselves in order to ‘fit in’.

The choice to identify aesthetically is of course, our decision to make and ours alone. However, the transformation being referred to is when women knowingly find it better to be men only because they find it better to be men in society. Such abandonment, with a sense of “if you can’t beat em join em” is what takes us one step further away from achieving our feminist goals. We must not allow defeatism to take over our aspirations as women who choose to aim high.

In order to be heard, we must first listen to ourselves. If we choose to be men, in order to ‘fit in’, we will never be able to succeed most especially in the public sphere. Without self-honesty, our voices run the risk of seeming doubtful. Women must first overcome this identity crisis by dealing with the self; first and foremost. Gradually then are we are able to penetrate beyond the private sphere and into the public domain – in this case, politics. This form of assertion dates back to the late 19th century when women were fighting for their rights to vote and participate in elections. This was probably the most proactive moment in modern history for women, when attempting to assimilate themselves into political structures.

This level of confidence is what enables us women to deliver our thoughts with clarity and substance. The power of women at this point, no longer encompasses mere presence but thoughtful messages that drive voice to action. We are not only seen, but also heard. If anything, this is the most important stage in the feminist movement, for our ideas are now heard across the general masses and especially by the likes of men who are to an extent; our ‘target audience’.

Who Needs It? We Sure Don’t

Quotas on the other hand, are of a whole new topic but in order to address it superficially; one must come to distinguish between policy and actual implementation. France, Germany and Italy are amongst countries that have introduced gender quotas respectively. However, the question of practice is often a heated topic as regulations are not very thorough when applied to local or state levels. This can be compared to an observation of the law. For example, the state of Montana in the United States legally allows for abortions. However, the right to an abortion is not positively accepted by the masses and so, access to clinics have been made difficult as clinics are not located in distinct locations that make it impossible for young women to obtain such rightful services. Quotas suffer the same plight especially in highly patriarchal societies where a woman’s presence in the workforce is either undermined or not acknowledged for it’s worth. So, do quotas mean anything to women? Yes, it may serve us well to be legally represented but to expect reliance on the system is to be naïve that gender quotas will protect us. If anything, it should cause us women to be aware of reasons for opposition and how we may tackle it.

Square One

Anyway, one could always continue talking about the problems, challenges and difficulties that we are and have been facing as women. But in order for us to be heard, we must first own the rights to our bodies and minds. We must educate ourselves of our oppression as women. We must love ourselves and have goals to achieve. Then, are we able to take that big step forward in joining the hundreds and thousands of women that have paved the way for us to rule the world with them!

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About School of Politics and International Relations

This blog has been set up for the students of PO665, Advanced Topics in Politics and International Relations: Global Gender Justice, which is a course for final year Honours students in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent. As part of their participation in the course, students submit blog posts that examine issues pertaining to gender justice within the family, the community, the state and global society. We aim to explore the extent to which gender inequality within the state has an impact on state behaviour, with a specific focus on state development and state security, and further aim to analyse the effectiveness and limits of international organisations, international human rights instruments, NGOs and activists to bring about greater gender justice.
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