“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.” ~ Mary Wollstonecraft
Happy International Women’s Day…
“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”
I adore this particular quote because it so succinctly states exactly what it is that Feminists, Equal Rights Advocates, and so many others desire – that each and every person has power over themselves. Not over any one else; just over themselves.
Whether that be the power to vote, to choose for their bodies what they feel is best, to choose their spouse, their sexuality, their faith, their gender orientation, etc. To have control over the one thing we, each of us, as human beings has – OURSELVES.
Mary Wollstonecraft (not to be confused with her equally fascinating daughter Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly) was an advocate for not just women’s rights, but human rights and in a time (the later 1700’s!) when it was as radical as personal hygiene (seriously!).
With this beautifully simple, yet extraordinarily exquisite statement She struck a universal chord that reverberates every bit as strong today as it did then. “I do not wish women (or anyone) to have power over man (or another); but over themselves.”.
I wrote this over 5 years ago for my Monday Mantra 77 and the sentiments remain the same. Actually, as each year passes they become more and more important, hence the lovely update. How is it that for centuries women have been having to fight tooth and nail for the very simple act of equality?! It’s utterly ridiculous and yet here we are, still having to demand to be heard, to be seen, to be respected and to be treated as equals.
Women are not alone in this demand for equality, and even within the scope of womanhood there are those who have to fight even harder to have a place and voice that is heard. To be a black woman, or any woman of color, to be a transgendered woman, or a disable woman, or any woman who doesn’t fit into a neat little predetermined package (i.e. white and usually upper middle class or higher) is to be even more discriminated against and ignored. It’s so beyond not okay.
Equality is the act of being equal to, not better than, not greater than, not more than. Yet that seems to be the very fear those who are opposed to equality hold on to. Equality doesn’t mean that men will suddenly suck or be treated the way that women have been treated for so long (which does beg the question – if you think it’s sooooooooo awful and you’re afraid of it happening to you, why are you still doing it to others?!?!?!?) it simply means women won’t be treated lesser than anymore. The same goes for anyone who wants equality.
Today is both a celebration of what women have already achieved and accomplished despite all of the roadblocks placed in their way and of what we can still do today, tomorrow and always. To all of my fellow women – You Rock and You have a Place and Voice and Your Own Unique Power – ignite it and light Your Whole Self and World up!!!
Namaste ~ Ella
~ Monday Mantras are positive words of wisdom, insight and joy to add a bit of cheer to the start of your week and any day you need a bit of a pick-me-up! For even more inspiration please check out my Monday Mantras Pinterest Board and my Quote-spirational Board!