The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Girl Power

Women and power; it’s not just an enticing title for our upcoming event but an unfortunate paradox in our society today. It is rare that you will find a seminar on “men and power” that does not merely perpetuate the correlation between maleness and power structure that already dominates western ideology. But women and power, there’s a topic filled with controversy and intrigue and perhaps even some hope. “Power” in and of itself is a vague term and when aligned with women can manifest a number of meanings and images.

Take, for example, the recent academy award win of Kathryn Bigelow for best director which marked a historical moment in movie history with her beating out boys club royalty like James Cameron. She is a shining example of women rising to the occasion in professional roles that have been primarily cut out for men only. Women have been receiving best actress awards for decades, which is an honor nonetheless, but given that they have a category designated to them it doesn’t hold as much weight as the success of a woman over her male competitors. While our event on Thursday applauds and seeks to learn from women who have shattered glass ceilings, the work place is not the only venue in which women can possess power and we needn’t have a male counterpart comparison to make such power visible.

Women are powerful in what they give to the world as a whole. They have been shown to be more likely to donate to charities and give a larger portion of their income to such causes, despite earning less than men. They populate the world through the grueling and body-reshaping process of childbirth and my own mothers have served as powerful examples of both motherhood and the ability to balance career and family. Looking back to the private sphere, women have long been powerhouses in domestic fields such as cooking, entertainment and design and though such ideals of women taking their place within the home, such homemaker duties should not go overlooked in the power that they provide. After all, the home was the first domain over which women had near complete control and should be seen as stepping stone to their authority in the workplace.

In recent years, women have been stepping further and further outside traditional female roles, taking high ranking as successful athletes, military leaders and have been innovators and inventors for centuries, despite only recently having the power to claim the credit for themselves. Women seem to overflow with creative juices and are dominant forces on the stage, the screen, and in literature. They are even proving more and more their abilities to succeed in the sciences, with the number of women in engineering increasing by 70 percent in 1999 and no doubt the number has grown in the decades since. The world is now getting to see those powers that lie beyond the private sphere: our brain, our brilliance, our ingenuity.

It is difficult to comprehend why, in our increasingly diverse and accepting society, women are still being held back when they have for decades now proved their worth in the realm of men. We worked the factories during the war, we have run and started multiple successful businesses and have bravely fought the daily battle that is the life of stay-at-home-mom. But more importantly, in conjunction with the recognition of women as equally worthy of head-honcho status, there needs to be more recognition of the inner strength and abilities of women to overcome any obstacle, to boldly go where no man, literally, has gone before, to be faced with judgment in every aspect of their life and to truly encompass the meaning of “power”.

--Heather Maupin


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