Tag Archives: feminism

Time

image1

By: Angie Falls

In essence we all are time travellers.

Late at night, there is this thought in my mind that just wouldn’t leave me until I wrote it down. I see the past in front of me and realize that I am unique in the universe and that everything revolves around me. Every event and occurrence in time is to teach me. Every step ahead I learn new lessons from the people I meet and the surroundings in which I move. I travel in time to the future. The years pass by me and I can see and feel the time. I only possess the ability to move forward. Unfortunately, I can’t turn back time. So many times, I wish I could. I must google this.

Continue reading

Are you living the life you want or submitting to the directives, aspirations and advice that others impose on you?

 

pexels-photo-725255.jpeg

From the moment we are born we develop both our motives and values. Motives are deep-seated non-conscious desires and are the things that we enjoy doing. Values develop through social conditioning – home, school, religion, work, friends etc. Values are what we feel are important; the things we should do.

David McClelland’s theory on human motivation states that in normal, healthy human beings there are 3 social motives and values that describe the widest range of behaviors; achievement, affiliation and power. Achievement is a concern for achieving a standard of excellence that the individual sets for him/herself. Often people with a dominant achievement motive strive for mastery and expertise in their chosen field. Affiliation is concerned with having positive relationships for the sake of the relationship (and not in service of something else). Individuals with a dominant affiliation motive invest in a few, deep relationships and often have strong reactions towards others – they are clear whom they like and dislike. They prefer environments that are convivial and foster friendship. The power motive is a concern to have influence and impact on others. People with a dominant power motive like to have an audience and visibility. They are often good networkers.

There is no ‘right’ motive profile that determines success; we are all different.   The key to our success lies in understanding what drives our behavior in various situations; this is a combination of our motives and our values (what we believe is important at the time) and the conditions that we find ourselves in. Defining personal success is a journey of self-discovery; you need to figure out what is your true purpose, what you are passionate about, what you enjoy and find ways at work to satisfy that need.   You must to listen to your inner voice rather than be influenced by others so that you can lead a fulfilling life and not feel regret when you retire because you did not follow your heart.

Learning suggestions:

  • Take some time to determine what your motives are. There are several ways to do this:
  1. You can work with work with a coach who is accredited to help you uncover your motives and values. Usually, he/she will recommend that you take a survey to more accurately diagnose your dominant drivers since we are often not conscious of what these are.
  2. Assess your behavior patterns over time; whilst the specific circumstances may vary you look for opportunities to satisfy your motives. For example, do you always put your hand up when there is a challenging or complex problem to solve or project to run? Do you like to learn new things or deepen your knowledge in a certain area? Do you love taking the floor and entertaining people?   These patterns will be related to your underlying motives.
  3. Consider what you do in your spare time when you are free to choose. For example, do you like to spend time with close friends or family? Are you learning a new skill? Do you chair a group? Again, this will indicate your dominant motive.
  4. Get feedback from the people who know you well about what they see in your behavior.
  • Do some reflection on your life story so far. What was it like growing up? How have events shaped you? What lessons have you learned? What does that mean for how you want to live your life?

Determine what your purpose is. This should come out of your motives and values and be a guiding light in terms of what you want to achieve and how you define success.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Lindsay’s In Business: PART 39: Resilience

Image-1What happens when you realise your path is entrepreneurship rather than employment? Lindsay takes up the challenge and shares an account of her journey as it unfolds…

Resilience, as I’ve discovered, isn’t about how much thick skin you’ve got or how much you can carry on with something determinedly (although that’s quite a close definition).

Resilience is “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties”.

Apparently, resilience is like a muscle – it strengthens with practice. It seems people can be more resilient if they:

  • don’t have so much recovery to do (e.g. if they mitigated the extent of the damage / pain)
  • have a degree of independence, a personal distance from the subject of the difficulties
  • see the journey that they are on is ever-evolving, and the difficulties they encounter as learning moments.

Continue reading

NO WAY – WHAT WILL THEY THINK?

mountains-nature-sky-sunny.jpg

Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”– Marianne Williamson

I am pre-programmed to question myself: can I really do this? What if people don’t like what I have done?

When self-doubts creep in, I get highly sensitive and quick to take things personally. Or – when things have not gone as expected – I just do nothing and give in to the disappointment.

I am not only afraid of failure; being successful is scary as well! Imagine the changes success could potentially bring? Do I really deserve it? What happens when I am going to lose it again? And of course: how are my friends and family going to react? Will I lose their love and acceptance because of envy, jealousy and resentment?

Self-doubt can make you feel inadequate, overwhelmed and insecure. As a result you don’t do the things you need to do, are scared to try new activities and lose the motivation to perform.

To become more confident, stop thinking so much and act.

If you are constantly thinking that you are not good enough or that you will never make it, that is what you will believe and that will become your reality.

Next time you experience fear, ask yourself “What is the worst thing that could happen?” Acknowledge your fear and then let it go. Remind yourself that worst case scenario’s are nothing but products of the imagination and that they rarely come to fruition.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

DREAM BIG – ACT SMALL

pexels-photo-279470.jpeg

 By: Anja Uitdehaag

 “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

All kids dream big. They want to be super famous, super meaningful, super powerful superheroes. (I used to spend quite a bit of time dreaming about doing something special and be famous for making a positive difference to the whole world in my own way.)

As we mature, these dreams are typically educated out of us. With age comes “wisdom” and a more “practical” perspective. We lower our expectations and often fear failure and risk taking.

Such a shame!

Continue reading

SO WHY NOT YOU?

23.jpg  

 By: Anja Uitdehaag

“If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.” — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

All kids dream big. They want to be super famous, super meaningful, super powerful superheroes. (I used to spend quite a bit of time dreaming about doing something special and be famous for making a positive difference to the whole world in my own way.)

As we mature, these dreams are typically educated out of us. With age comes “wisdom” and a more “practical” perspective. We lower our expectations and often fear failure and risk taking.

Such a shame!

Even if not every aspect of our dreams is realized, our dreams herald big results.

What most successful people have in common is that they had dreams and consistently maintained a “think big” attitude.

The beauty of dreaming big is that it means that the best still lies ahead of you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, how stuck you feel in your life, or where you are right now: with big dreams come big possibilities!

And isn’t that what makes life fun and worth living?

A few tips to get you started realizing your dream:

  • Face your fears and acknowledge them. Confronting your fears doesn’t make them go away, but it will build courage. And that’s what courage is: confronting your fears. If you continuously confront your fears, theywill diminish;
  • Realize that anything worthwhile takes focus, dedication, and follow-through;
  • Think big, execute small. Eat the Elephant One Bite at a Time. Starting small helps you break down that big dream into small, manageable action steps. A small step towards a big dream is often the only motivation you need to take the next step, and the next;
  • When practicing big thinking, seek like-minded people who energize you. Surround yourself with people who believe in your dreams, encourage your ideas and support your ambitions;
  • Cultivate a “can do” attitude. Focus on the positives, the potential, and the possibilities. Crush negativity (“No, I cannot do that”-thinking)
  • Invest in yourself. This could be something as small as buying a self-help book or enrolling in a business class or as big as traveling across the world;
  • Celebrate Your Failures: Each time you fail consider it a lesson learned. Learn from it and move on because with every baby step you take you’re one step closer to realizing your dream;
  • Above all: Believe in Yourself. Belief is the most important part of realizing your dreams. If you believe it can happen, it can happen. To quote Steve Jobs:

    “Life can be much broader, once you discover one simple fact, and that is that everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” 

    Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

    For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Do you really need to ask?

The Blue Fairy – Pinocchio

By: Anja Uitdehaag

 American actress Doris Roberts once said:

“I think women are taught to ask permission about everything. We don’t realize that we are entitled and we do have a say in our lives.”

The behavior of seeking permission from others is ingrained in us from an early age. In childhood we are taught that we need to ask permission from someone else to do certain things. As a child this is appropriate, but as we grow up many of us hold onto that behavior and it does us more harm than good.

It is a common notion that men do not ask for permission. They ask forgiveness.

While we’re asking to be allowed to do something, our male colleagues may already be doing it.

It seems that women ask permission more out of habit than from really needing someone to give them the green light. It is a variation of asking questions to play it safe – but potentially more self-defeating.

By seeking permission before acting, you are less likely to be accused of making mistakes but you are also less likely to be viewed as a confident risk-taker.

Asking permission lowers your status to that of a child, i.e. someone who always needs to be afforded permission.

You also set yourself up to hear “no”.

For those women who are striving for flexibility to achieve for example a desired work/life balance, constantly asking permission can be a significant barrier to attaining it.

Rather than ask permission, you should inform others of your plans (“I just wanted to let you know I’ll be working from home tomorrow. I’ve got a delivery coming.”)

By informing others you show respect for their need to know, but without your action being contingent upon their approval.

If people have a problem with what you’re saying, they’ll let you know. You can then negotiate from a position of greater strength.

Constant permission seeking behaviors may limit your ability to achieve goals, build the career you want and live your life the way you want.

Don’t limit yourself. Stop effectively building your own career barriers.

Take the ball and run with it. Your boss will be grateful.

A challenge for you:

 “Ask for forgiveness, not permission” is an adage that reminds us that sometimes it is better to trust your instincts and judgment and take risks rather than seek the approval of someone else before taking action.

Do you dare to take a risk on something that you truly believe in even if it puts you out on a limb?

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

Phyllis Chesler, “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman”

51k1jaqijxl
Reviewed by Femflection

 

Phyllis Chesler (born October 1, 1940) is an American writer, psychotherapist, and professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at the College of Staten Island (CUNY).

She is known as a feminist psychologist, and is the author of 16 books, including the best-seller Women and Madness (1972). Chesler has written on topics such as gender, mental illness, divorce and child custody, surrogacy, second-wave feminism, pornography, prostitution, incest, and violence against women.

 

Some “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman” quotes:

  • “Before I began research for this book I was not consciously aware that women were aggressive in indirect ways, that they gossiped and ostracized each other incessantly, and did not acknowledge their own envious and competitive feelings. I now understand that, in order to survive as a woman, among women, one must speak carefully, cautiously, neutrally, indirectly; one must pay careful attention to what more socially powerful women have to say before one speaks; one must learn how to flatter, manipulate, aree with, and appease them. And, if one is hurt or offended by another woman, one does not say so outright; one expresses it indirectly, by turning others against her. Of course, I refuse to learn these “girlish” lessons.”
  • “The idea that women’s strong attachments to each other are what make them so vulnerable is horrifying. I count my close friendships with a few girls that I know as one of the best things I have going for me right now. My love for them leaves me open to hurt, but … all love does, or at least that’s the cliche. Perhaps girls and women do come to love each other too quickly, or once they are trapped into appearing as though they love one another, they don’t want to back out of it. That is probably true. But a fear of confrontation in relationships is the downside. The ability to love easily is a positive.”
  • “For most women, being seen, having others pay attention to you, is imagined and experienced as more desirable and more powerful than commanding an army or seizing control of the means of production and reproduction.”
  • “That these girls avoid use of physical violence in resolving conflict, does not mean that these conflicts are resolved in meaningful and enduring ways. Girls might smile, give in, give up – and then continue the conflict behind their opponents’ backs. Girls might also smile, give in, make fatal compromises, because their need to belong (or not to be excluded) is more important to them than sticking to their principles.”
  • “ [As a result of internalized sexist views,] women unconsciously expect constant nurturing from other women, and this expectation is irrational. In reality, normal women are quite aggressive and competitive toward other women. Women have been taught to deny this. The denial leads to grudge-holding, rumor-mongering, slander, and ostracism. This sort of indirect aggression is painful to experience, since most women also depend on other women for emotional intimacy, friendship, and social approval.”
  • “One day, you think you’re part of a community, the next moment, you’re all alone, no one you used to know looks you in the eye, no one says anything specific, but you just never see anyone again. It’s like having your entire family get wiped out, only they’re still alive, and seeing each other. You’re the one who’s really been wiped out.”
  • “Calling another woman a “slut,” “crazy,” “difficult,” and “enemy,” is a way to get her out of the way, punish her, break her spirit, because you envy her… What might help is a commitment not to believe everything you hear, but in fact to disbelieve it, especially if it’s something negative about another woman. It is important that a woman develop the courage to stand up to a slanderer or a bully, knowing that she risks being the next to be slandered or intimidated… The women whom I interviewed about woman’s inhumanity to woman mainly talked about how other women had disappointed or betrayed them. Few were able to recall the ways in which they had disappointed or betrayed other women.”

 

“Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman” – The book:

This pioneering book addressed the subject of female indirect aggression, both in the family and the workplace, both in childhood and adulthood, and covered woman’s capacity for cruelty, competition, envy, and ostracism; the ways in which women, like men, have internalized sexist beliefs; and the importance of acknowledging the “shadow side” of female-female relationships, especially because such relationships are so important to women.

The book was reviewed in many publications, and the author was interviewed widely in South America, North America (including in The New York Times), Europe, and Asia.

It received a front page review in the Washington Post Book World written by Deborah Tannen.

Tannen wrote: “Chesler seems to have read everything and thought deeply about it….Along with social commentary and psychological insight, Chesler offers astute literary criticism….many of Chesler’s richest scenarios are drawn from the more than 500 interviews she conducted … many of Chesler’s examples have an unmistakable and heartbreaking ring of familiarity. The time has come to stop idealizing or demonizing either sex. Seeing women, like men, as capable of both courage and jealousy, of providing care, and causing pain, is no more nor less than acknowledging women as fully human.”

Most women have had some experience of disempowerment or out-and-out mistreatment at the hands of a woman. This largely taboo subject Is the focus of Phyllis Chesler’s book, “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman.”

Chesler has not lost her passion for women’s liberation; nor has she abandoned her analysis of patriarchy. It is still the case that most overt violence against women comes from men. But here Chesler is interested in how and why women hold each other back and put each other down. With its heady amalgam of research in psychology, anthropology, primatology, and evolutionary theory; interviews with victims of same-sex sexism and woman-on-woman aggression; mythology and fairy tales; psychoanalytic studies; feminist history; and personal narrative, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman examines every conceivable form of female-on-female injury, from destructive gossip to female support for sexual mutilation and “honor killings.”

When Phyllis Chesler conducted interviews for her book Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, women “mainly talked about how other women had disappointed or betrayed them. Few were able to recall the ways in which they had disappointed or betrayed other women.”

How women view and treat other women matters. Are women oppressed? Yes. Do oppressed people internalize their oppressors’ attitudes? Without a doubt. Prejudice must first be acknowledged before it can be resisted or overcome. More than men, women depend upon one another for emotional intimacy and bonding, and exclusionary and sexist behavior enforces female conformity and discourages independence and psychological growth.

Why do girls and women engage in these kinds of direct and indirect acts of aggression towards one another? Why do we smile while stabbing each other in the back?

Chesler said she wrote the book so that women will learn how to treat each other more respectfully, which is certainly a worthy goal.

She urges us to look within, to treat other women realistically, ethically, and kindly, and to forge bold and compassionate alliances. This is a necessary next step for women, without which they will never be liberated.

Your story, our platform: If you’ve got a story and would like to share it with other Femflectors, please let us know. Femflection is all about transferring learnings to help others, be they big or subtle. We want to connect with your feelings, your learnings, your reflections or your hopes for the future – in blog or interview format. Express yourself here. Get in touch with us via anja.uitdehaag@femflection.com

For more content visit our website http://www.femflection.com

20 Ways Why Being a Singleton Rocks

single woman

Written by:  matheen

Most of the time, singletons were pitied for being alone in life. Don’t ever pity your singleton friends — they may be alone, but trust me, they’re not lonely. I know this because I’m a proud singleton by choice! Having learned from two failed relationships, I refuse to settle for less. Modern single women nowadays — are a far cry from Bridget Jones — whose live revolves around finding The One. We’re more focused on our own well-being. We’re not bothered with our status in life — we’re smarter and wiser because we’re done with crappy dates and staying in bad relationships. We spend our time working on ourselves, growing as individuals. It’s not being selfish; it’s living your life in the best possible ways. Being single means you’re strong enough to enjoy life without depending on others!

Continue reading

Man, I feel like a Woman

14.jpg

By: Joan van den Brink

Eleanor Roosevelt was the wife of President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and a stateswoman in her own right. She was a strong-minded and courageous leader who followed her ‘True North’ to campaign for and champion causes that transformed the lives of many disadvantaged Americans.  Once her husband’s political career took off she blossomed as an independent thinker and became a strong advocate for social reform to better the lives of the underprivileged.  She revolutionized the role of First Lady by constantly acting in ways that were new to the position: holding regular press conferences, writing a daily newspaper column, publishing books and articles, travelling the nation on speaking tours, chairing national conferences in the White House, addressing national conventions of social reform organizations, giving a keynote address at her party’s presidential convention, representing her nation abroad, travelling battlefields, and directing a government agency.  She played a critical role in the creation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by skillfully creating an atmosphere that permitted the blending of ideas and norms of different cultures together into a document that nations around the globe could assent to while marshaling U.S. support for swift passage of the declaration.   In short, she was an authentic leader.

Continue reading