How Focusing on Making Congress Refine Policy Can Help All Women Become Society-Empowered vs Self-Empowered
I happen to take many things seriously and personally – because part of my upbringing in the former Soviet Union was encouragement to take lofty ideas to heart, personally, and even make sacrifices for the better good of the community. In time, I understood that the young people there had been pawns in the Communist ideology games—but the practice of taking things personally lived on. In America, I side with the independent-thinking women, supporting their pursuits of happiness and equality in my blogs and an upcoming book.
Here’s one example. While watching the fourth feminist wave splish-splash, I came to believe it needs a sharper focus than wearing black in solidarity with #MeToo, namely, it needs leapfrogging instead of inching to progress.
To leapfrog effectively, I suggest that we, the people who take women’s issues to heart, start distinguishing between self-empowered and society-empowered women—and focus on helping all our women become society-empowered. Such focus will demonstrate the voters’ progressive mood about gender equality – which will force the law-makers in Washington to catch up, specifically, concentrate and refine the policy about women’s rights. Here’s what I mean.
“Self-Empowered” as Current State of American Women
A self-empowered woman takes a stand and pursues her goals and/or justice on her own initiative–please look at the picture above.
Hear these women out and you’ll see that their self-empowerment transpires emotional, mental, and spiritual levels—which makes them super-appealing, creating a ripple effect – with other women also rising in the face of adversity or remembering old humiliations.
It took years for modern feminism to progress from suffragettes to its current fourth wave, which, I believe, started with Emma Watson speaking in the UN and the he-for-she solidarity campaign that followed. Women came to realize that collectively they are powerful.
But breaking the glass ceiling and bankrupting the habitual-harassment mentality proved to be not a one-time crack-and-crash: #MeToo took years to erupt—which has been recognized by the media.
Today, it’s only the self-empowered women who hold the fort against sexual misconduct – and standing up for themselves, they make America greater, not “great again,” just greater, period. The desired progress is yet to come.
“Society-Empowered” as Desirable State of American Women
A society-empowered woman is one whose country helps her get justice by elaborating and enforcing the appropriate laws.
It’s a shame that the US is only No. 19 on the Economist glass-ceiling index, in part because our laws do not protect women well enough—not only from sexual misconduct but also on multiple issues that make their lives miserable, such as unequal pay or thinly disguised patronage.
For the American women to evolve from self-empowered to society-empowered, they need more societal infrastructure, i.e., a better justice system.
It does not help that media does not see the forest for the trees: they keenly cover separate harassment incidences, while only a few publications draw a bigger picture substantiating the necessity of social norms change. When a writer Margaret Atwood called for women’s movement to progress from crowd solidarity displays to demands to improve the justice system, I instantly felt I’m with her.
Indeed, America has an almost-perfect body with a mission to help – the Congress! Collectively, we need to push it to elaborate-and-enforce the law by probing cases of multiple sexual misconduct complaints—and making serial offenders, regardless of rank, apologize and/or resign, as befits the true democracy. The legislators need to outline the vague notions of harassment and refresh both the rules of workplace behavior and equal pay; they should define more strictly what constitutes sex-related crime/transgression, for the devil is in the detail. The punishment should be reasonable – so that the broader male circles adopt the law as a fair cultural norm. Otherwise, it will stay hopelessly impotent.
This seems to be the most straightforward way to bring all American women to a desirable society-empowered standing.
#WeToo = We, the Women
#WeToo as a movement has had slow beginnings in America. We believe the Congress should stop disregarding 50.9% of American population—and start working to make all of our women fully society-empowered. Why?
This will make America truly great, instead of looking pale in comparison with many developed nations that are consistent in breaking the glass ceiling and bankrupting the habitual-harassment mentality. #WeToo need to take these ideas to heart, personally, and run with them until we score the desired numbers.