Feminism has been hijacked by extreme voices making it a “us against them” battle cry.
What happens to independent-thinking women with the education and ambition to rise through the political and business ranks? Why can’t women support each other despite political affiliations and shine the spotlight on our leadership and contributions? There are plenty of women who subscribe to the progress made in the integration of women to all levels of society and want to push it even further, without falling into the “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” trap of the extremist rhetoric. Why alienate a large group of women for not following the predefined agenda?
As I grew tired and frustrated by this alienation, I started NENANI as a platform to showcase the wonderful contributions that women, with special interest in Latin professional women, are making to their communities regardless of their political affiliation. That is what true diversity means: it goes beyond race and gender, it is diversity of thought.
Feminism should not involve any kind of judgment of other women who are positively contributing to society because of their life choices. Aren’t we supposed to be together in this? It is so liberating to see it from the perspective that we actually have a choice to live the life we choose. I like Carly Fiorina’s redefinition of feminism:
A feminist is a woman who lives the life she chooses. We will have arrived when every woman can decide for herself how to best find and use her God-given gifts. A woman may choose to have five children and home-school them. She may choose to become a CEO…or run for President.
Feminism should support the choice to live one’s life grounded on one’s most personal principles or beliefs. We must support women who are using their talents for the good of society…I may not see eye-to-eye with your choices, but I will support your right to chose. I may not believe that you are the right person for a particular job (if you are not ready for it), but I will support your efforts to grow. We may not agree, but we can disagree with respect for one another.
I would like to remove the judgment and stigma that belonging to either side of the political aisle incites. The wellbeing and progress of women, whether in the business world or in politics or in life, should be a bipartisan pursuit that both men and women support.
So I invite all women to learn to accept other women’s choices to live the lives we choose to, abide to the principles we chose to, and support each other to reach higher goals and dream bigger dreams, all while making the greatest contribution to our society.
If you have a great personal story I’d love to tell it!