Fairytales Begone! Unknown Power of the Woman
My favorite childhood fairytales consisted of young girls who grew up in horrible families and were always made out to be the helpless outsider. Eventually, these young girls were relieved of their horrible homes through the bravery of a handsome young prince. Not only did the prince rescue the young girl, but they’d fall madly in love and live happily ever after. I think it’s safe to assume that most women know exactly what fairytales I’m talking about. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White—though different princesses, they all had the same background story and same ending. From a young age, a child in this society is shown that women are these dainty and fragile creatures who will always need men to come to their rescue. Men are here to save us from our evil step mothers, support us financially, and everything that falls in between.
We are all Cinderellas, wandering aimlessly around as we await on our prince charming to return our glass slippers.
I had become stuck in the fairytale world
From a young age, my mother always made sure to install “success” into my mind. She always pushed me to reach beyond what my little arms could reach for and continues to have my back whenever I need her. However, when I was young, I always imagined a prince charming. I always thought that by a certain age I would be madly in love and be able to rely on my prince for everything. I mean, if Snow White and Sleeping Beauty could do it, why couldn’t I? Though my mother always pushed me to be independent and to make great things happen through my own great talents, the television always told me otherwise.
People do not realize how powerful a screen can be. Though you could have a parent who is telling you to live your dreams and be successful on your own, the screen is bigger, brighter and louder than a parent. The screen is the easiest distraction and can be the biggest influence. For some time, I believed the screen and believed that the only thing that could account for my success is to have a successful man by my side; that I would always have to be wandering around, wondering if prince charming was going to show up with a glass slipper that just so happen to fit me.
However, I soon broke away from this world and began to realize that I can supply my own pair of glass slippers and save myself from the bad guys.
Thankfully, reality has moved away from fairytales…somewhat.
A lot of the time, we tend to believe that because we are a woman, we are inferior and thus are subject to only being capable of certain things. We are expected to stay home and care for the children, feed our men when they return home from work, and keep the house clean and neat. Thankfully, history has proven the woman to be capable of more than just a Cinderella story.
In August of 1920, after years of women and activists who believed in an equal society, the 19th amendment was ratified. If you were a woman of this time, you were a witness to the stamp in history that allowed the world to see just how powerful the woman could be. The abolitionists and suffragists of the 1800s into the 1900s all recognized that women were being singled out and discriminated against simply based on sex. It was time to work towards removing this discrimination entirely. The 19th amendment states that “the rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex”. Congress had finally recognized that the woman was of such greater value and deserved much more equality.
Although the woman was given the right to vote, events today say that our governmental system continues the belief that women are not capable of what men are.
But, what I see now is that in both worlds, women are not just damsels in distress anymore.
Princesses are now the heroes
We pay so much attention to the highly popular fairytales that we forget about other stories of the powerful ones that many girls grow up with today through television or movies. Mulan and Pocahontas were the first princesses in which broke the norms of men-ruled society and became a hero to all. Thankfully, television and movies aren’t the only sources of powerful images of girls and women. These past few years shows there are plenty of princesses and heroines in real life who are re-defining girl and woman power.
I believe the evolution of women within society is an unstoppable force. Though we have had years of struggling and set-backs, no weapon formed against us shall prosper. We have Michelle Obama who was the first African-American first lady of the United States of America and was just a small-town girl from the city of Chicago.
We have Maxine Waters who refuses to hold her tongue for anyone and gets out of bed every day to ensure that all citizens have a voice.
Now, it is our turn. Today is the day for any woman to speak her mind and stand up against what she believes is unjust. The woman is not the one trapped in the highest tower in the farthest part of the land with no means of escape.
We have learned and are continuing to learn how to slay our own dragons.
We are full-time students who can still find time to make a 3-course meal and get all our essays submitted on time. We are workers who put in 40+ hours a week and can come home in time to make sure our children are tucked in and safe. We are political figures, talk show hosts, activists, mothers, wives, writers, nurturers, educators; we are women. We are creatures who—without us—society would cease to exist, and I’m not just talking about our reproductive systems.
If you’ve ever felt alone, incomplete or meaningless, I am here to say I love you and I understand your pain. Break free of your insecurities and realize you have been granted the greatest gift of all: being a woman.
We are so much more powerful than what we believe ourselves to be.