When did you recognize the essence of this movement?
Recognizing the Essential
It is hard for me to imagine anything more fundamentally transformative than the empowerment of women. It leads to personal and societal growth. Certainly we had a high regard for women because they birth us and our children in marriage. But too often they were chattels. It was a rare prophecy which would point to what was to happen.
As the movement of and for women took form there was a brief period when some women who sought equality tried donning suits and ties. It was quickly abandoned. There is a certain decorum of dress in the work place but happily women still look lovely, even alluring while we give them respect, power and the hearing they deserve.
Certainly we have a long way to go. Equality of pay is badly needed along with due attention to promotion and power.
And now there is Sally Armstrong’s Uprising: A New Age Is Dawning for Every Mother’s Daughter. She documents what is happening in the empowerment of women worldwide. We are seeing a broad range of change. And from time to time I see an indicator of the change which makes me smile. When I was young tall women were often bent forward. They seemed to want to avoid challenging the males around them by being as tall or taller. Now I’m struck by tall, straight women when they walk into a room. I’m very tall and from time to time meet a woman who looks me directly in the eye. What a pleasure.
The future role of women seemed to be tucked away in my mind as I looked forward. And when Gaia’s Majesty came rushing out into my writing I chose to make powerful women central. What came to my mind at once was the almost universal myth of the mermaid. Very occasionally mermen are mentioned but it seems an afterthought. This myth implied something about our future. And it was so delightful to shape one view of that future and its meaning.
Beyond Power to Partnership
Surely in the kind of crises constructed in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy women had to be the dominant characters. It contrasts with the fact that too often men coming to power means threat. But the idea of women coming to power, to me, means stewardship and partnership. Of course, the men who must yield power may feel very differently and I wove them into the story.
There are so many hints in our world today which suggest the future can be very different. And much of it is tied to the empowerment of women. There is so much more to be said and explored on this topic.
What does it mean to you when women are empowered?