Pursuit of Happiness: Empowered women empower women

Being a woman is hard. We face sexism in both small challenges and huge obstacles every single day. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

Being a woman is hard. We face sexism in both small challenges and huge obstacles every single day. (File photo/The Daily Campus)

Being a woman is hard. We face sexism in both small challenges and huge obstacles every single day. We are constantly in the battle of having all of our intersecting identities represented at the table. In the public and private spheres, women are held to double standards that often times keep us from being the best version of ourselves.  

There is lots of room for improvement, in terms of society and even us women ourselves, for the way we include all our sisters, no matter their race, sexuality, gender, class, ability, etc. However, we have come a long way from being treated as property to being powerful representations everywhere (lots of women elected into Congress, plenty of countries with women leaders, loads of women speaking up for and with  silent voices). Happy Women’s History Month to all the beautiful and strong people of the past and present who have and are continuing to rebuild and reconstruct the world we live in to better represent women in all forms. 

A large part about dealing with these constant struggles requires a positive mindset, one that focuses on how far we have come but how we need to do more to empower others. Personally, I find that taking the time to reflect on my womanhood as the result of the work of many other women, all throughout history and to this day, makes me feel so proud to be a woman. 

This mindset must also come with the constant reminder that there is always someone else that has less privilege than us. Just because I am a Muslim woman of color does not mean that I am the most unfortunate soul. I am privileged to live in America, privileged to have a family and a home and I am extremely privileged to afford higher education. When I remember how privileged I am, I also remember how much extra work other women may need to put in just to get by, just to live another day, just to survive. There are still so many badass women speaking up for and beyond their identities, no matter how much society may pressure them to think that their golden identities should hold them back. That’s what I love about women: No matter what we face, we always keep fighting for the rights we know we deserve.  

Today, I want to reflect on the most wonderful things about being a woman, but I wanted to hear from everyone else. I asked my Instagram followers to tell me what makes them proud to be a woman, and here’s what they said: 

My ability to handle all situations around me, good or bad. It’s a blessing.
Living longer than men.
Empowering other women.
Menstruating, because men can’t.
Makeup and being able to dress up with so much variety.
Our capacity for emotions, our strength, our ambition, leaders before us, our freedoms.
Seeing how successful my mom is, knowing she started off with nothing, just for my education.
Our resilience and ability to rise above it all.
We’re able to build communities based on our experiences as women, especially women of color.
I have the ability to grow an entire human being inside of me, essentially all by myself.
When women support women of all types.
When women empower women.
How much we are able to accomplish despite everything the world throws at us.
That at the of the day, we are united as women.

Armana Islam is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at armana.islam@uconn.edu.