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female empowerment

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“I’m just a Catholic mother of four sons with a problem that only girls can solve: Leggings.”

In an open letter to The Observer, Catholic mum Maryann White slams leggings for being “so naked, so form-fitting, so exposing”. She urges young ladies to abandon the comfortable garment in favour of jeans so that concerned mothers won’t have “to find scarves to tie over the eyes of their sons to protect them from [girls like] you.”

In her letter to the student-run newspaper at the University of Notre-Dame Indiana, she recounts an incident in which she and her sons were at Catholic Mass and seated behind a group of young women dressed in “very snug-fitting leggings… and short-waisted tops” – saying that the leggings looked as though they had been painted on.

“They didn’t stare, and they didn’t comment afterwards. But you couldn’t help but see those blackly naked rear ends. I didn’t want to see them — but they were unavoidable.”

“My sons know better than to ogle a woman’s body — certainly when I’m around (and hopefully, also when I’m not). They didn’t stare, and they didn’t comment afterwards. But you couldn’t help but see those blackly naked rear ends. I didn’t want to see them — but they were unavoidable.”

She draws laughable parallels between leggings and the iconic “slave girl outfit” that Princess Leia is forced to wear in the sci-fi classic Star Wars, saying that the outfit was a way for Jabba the Hutt to “steal her personhood”. Ms White blames the fashion industry for promoting a product that “has caused women to voluntarily expose their nether regions,” and goes on to say that she is ashamed of the young women who choose to wear them.

Responses to the letter, which you can find here, were varied. Some supported the troubled mother, saying that young men are naturally drawn first to a woman’s body. They suggest that these poor young boys can hardly be expected to think with their heads in these cases and that young ladies should cover up.

Others were less enthused by the conservative views touted in what was a declaration of war not only on leggings, but more significantly on a girl’s right to wear whatever she wants.

Students responded with ‘The Legging Protest’ – a day dedicated to wearing and celebrating leggings and the freedom to wear them without a lecture from concerned Catholic mothers.

Just days later, students responded with ‘The Legging Protest’ – a day dedicated to wearing and celebrating leggings and the freedom to wear them without a lecture from concerned Catholic mothers. The event page on Facebook includes a response to Maryann’s letter. They say:

“Leggings are not slave girl outfits and women do not wear them so they can be catcalled or stared at. And no one is forcing us to wear them, but we have the right to wear them, the right to choose what we put on our bodies… The belief that viewing a woman’s bottom is inescapable is the reason that men in our society believe that they have the power and the right to mistreat women.”

The male-dominated superhero stratosphere is getting a makeover and female nerds rejoice.

For far too long, the superhero world has been dominated by men, with women generally being relegated to ‘sidekick’ or ‘love interest’. Even their names suggest a secondary position to their male counterparts: Batgirl, Supergirl, Spidergirl, She-Hulk.

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[T]hey serve as the ‘sexy element’ to the story – an excuse to draw women with massive busts and short skirts.

Although there are plenty of women featured in superhero comics, they don’t generally tend to be the most popular characters. Instead, they serve as the ‘sexy element’ to the story – an excuse to draw women with massive busts and short skirts.

But in recent years, Hollywood has bucked the trend to provide us with a mix of strong female role models, and for nerds around the world, life has never been better.

Here are some of our favourites.

General Leia and Rey

In 2015, Star Wars captured our attention with The Force Awakens, the first installment in their girl-powered sequel trilogy featuring Jedi prodigy Rey and resistance leader General Leia – who you may remember as Princess Leia from the original films. Only this time there’s none of this “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope” crap – she’s taking care of business herself.

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Wonder Woman

In 2017, muscle-clad Amazonian warrior princess Wonder Woman charged onto the big screen and became one of DC Comics’ highest grossing films of all time. Indeed it did wonders (pun intended) for the studio whose movies had been losing out to their Marvel competitors until this badass showed up.

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Captain Marvel

In March of this year, supercharged blonde bombshell Captain Marvel and her cat sidekick ‘Goose’ rocked the planet, and blasted box office expectations on opening weekend despite major political backlash online. It is officially the highest-grossing female-fronted film ever, prompting Marvel Studios to dub it the ‘Number One Movie in the World’.

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Daenarys, Cersei, Sansa and Arya

For older teens and adults only, George R.R. Martin’s HBO series Game of Thrones is a haven of Athenian power. His fictional world of Westeros is overrun with iron-fisted female leaders such as the fiery Mother of Dragons Daenarys Targaryen, the cunning Queen of the Iron Throne Cersei Lannister, the Lady of Winterfell Sansa Stark and her bloodthirsty assassin sister Arya Stark.

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With so many butt-kicking women rocking the fantasy and sci-fi world, don’t be surprised if your daughter asks for a superhero-themed birthday party this year.

Nerds are the new norm 😉

Stop waiting to be saved or pretending to be powerless when you’re not.

Many women secretly desire to be saved, rescued or taken care of, but these desires perpetuate feminine powerlessness and also set the stage for dysfunctional relationships. Being saved or rescued by some big, strong man might sound romantic, but the cost is all too often disempowerment.

In exchange for being saved, the damsel in distress gives her knight in shining armor what little power she has left, thereby increasing her sense of powerlessness, and perpetuating the same disempowerment that caused the damsel to be distressed in the first place.

Until we become conscious, it’s common to run from one state of disempowerment to another, but, sooner or later, we realize that no one can save us. You can delay it but you cannot avoid it, and whether this pivotal realization leads to despair or empowerment, the truth remains the same. You must save yourself because no one else can do it for you.

 

“It’s time to discover what it means to be an empowered woman and to experience firsthand why there’s nothing more attractive than a woman who embraces her feminine power.”

Although many women have been taught to associate helplessness with femininity, don’t confuse the two because there’s really nothing feminine or sexy about being powerless. Also, don’t be mistaken, we are not talking about women artificially taking on male personas, because that doesn’t work either. Instead, it’s time to discover what it means to be an empowered woman and to experience firsthand why there’s nothing more attractive than a woman who embraces her feminine power.

WHAT ABOUT PRINCE CHARMING?

Doesn’t every woman want to be charmed by her very own prince? Well, of course, most women desire romance but this doesn’t mean you have to give your power away in exchange, and, in fact, if you are pretending to be a damsel in distress, you’re not going to get the attention of a real prince. The modern day Prince Charming is not looking for a powerless woman to save. He’s looking for an empowered partner with whom he can create a kingdom. He seeks a woman who speaks her truth and isn’t afraid to stand out in the crowd; a woman who knows her worth and has no fear of being alone.

“Stop waiting to be saved or pretending to be powerless when you’re not.”

SO, HOW DO YOU SAVE YOURSELF?

Without a history of role models, we have the honor of forging a path for our daughters and grand-daughters to follow. Although this likely means trial and error, here are some pointers on the path:

  • Stop waiting to be saved or pretending to be powerless when you’re not.
  • Claim your unconditional worth and stop suppressing your true self in exchange for love or approval; it’s too big a price to pay.
  • Set boundaries that teach others how to treat you and commit to speaking your truth; especially when it’s difficult and others might protest.
  • Be bold and brave by choosing courage over fear and positive thinking over worrying.
  • Listen to inner guidance and never hesitate to follow inspiration; you always know what’s best for you!

Finally, as you demonstrate feminine power, you’ll show other damsels how to save themselves as well, but also let them know that the key to self-empowerment is trusting yourself!

You are love, you are light, and all is well!

with Grace & Gratitude,
Nanice

 

Be sure to check out more great posts by Nanice on her website.