The Truth Board

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

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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.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Be a Woman. A Woman of Distinction

“A woman of distinction is a woman that is empowered and doesn’t take no for an answer.”
“A woman of distinction is a woman that represents success. Despite her background, she can bring herself up to a higher standard.”
“She knows how to take care of herself and knows how to be independent.”

This past weekend, I heard various definitions for being a Woman of Distinction. What makes a woman distinct? What makes her powerful? What makes her feel powerful? These were the questions that were running through my mind as I watched one girl after another enter and leave the classroom I was in as I oversaw their interviews for my sorority. I have learned what it means to be a strong woman; an empowered woman that knows what it means to stand up for herself in a patriarchal society. To me, she is the woman that will speak for what she believes is right even if it makes her seem as though she is about to be run over by the bull. She will look you straight in the eye with no fear.

Yet, if this woman is standing up for herself and for others why is criticized? Why is she being called a hairy feminist for merely taking pride in her gender and using it as a source of empowerment as opposed to seeing it as a reason for oppression? If a man stands up for himself, takes a stand while looking at you in the eyes without fear he is admired. He is seen as manly and ambitous. Yes, a woman is admired but not without backlash. A recent comic that has circulated throughout Facebook, portrays several different types of girls, all being reprimanded for the way they are dressed or what they stand for. Society really never is satisfied with the way a woman tries to represent herself. 

This is especially true for women in the workforce. Last semester, in my Business Ethics class, my Professor stated his theory for why we see a lack of not just women but different ethnic groups holding high-level positions. “The board is always searching for those that are most similar to them; for the ones with the same ideals. Who are these? White men with a higher education.” It is no secret that women have surpassed men in achieving a college education, but when she tries to climb the business ladder (in any career, not just the business world), she is told that she is neglecting her female duties to her husband/boyfriend, her family, and her home. We are constantly being fed this notion that no matter what a woman may want out of life, her primary role will always be in the house. Even children in this day and age still believe in the traditional gender roles.

But what society fails to realize is that these are not her only duties. A woman has a duty to herself. She has a duty to her gender and anything else that constitutes as her identity. She doesn’t try twice as hard as her male counterpart because she wants to, but because she knows she has to. No, I am not saying that men don’t earn their positions, they do. They work hard to obtain their education and their careers. But wouldn’t you work harder if you have been molded to believe that you have to be married by a certain age? That once you decide to settle down you have to let go of everything you have worked for to take care of your children. I know plenty of women that, while proud of their children, regret giving up the jobs they loved dearly. It was their choice, but they admit to having been influenced by their husbands and own traditional families. If they could go back and find a way to be Supermom, they would.

Women of Distinction. They’re a growing force. They are forces to be reckoned with.

Should you fear them? Yes.

Admire them? Absolutely.  

Be one? Don’t even question it. 

~Genesis Montalvo


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