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Win The Power – What Women Must Learn From Jada’s #OscarsSoWhite Response
Posted on Jan 22, 2016
The inspirational response of actress Jada Pinkett-Smith to #OscarsSoWhite should make you sit up and take notice.
“We no longer need to ask to be invited anywhere… If we love, respect and acknowledge ourselves in the way that we are asking others to do then that is the place of true power…Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity, and diminishes power, and we are a dignified people, and we are powerful, and let’s not forget it.”
We have chosen to create a world measured by how many people ‘like’ us. ‘Thumbs up’, a classical reference from the Roman gladiatorial slave games, would permit a defeated opponent to live while thumbs down would be a fatal end to their career. Are we choosing subservience to our facebook friend group or are we ready to, as Jada says, come from a place of true power?
On bigger feminist stage, we have long wallowed in the language of victimhood. We often frame our arguments around how little we make, the things we are denied and the places we are not.
However, the civil rights movement frames their struggle in terms of a ‘dream’ – how much they are going to make, the things that they deserve and the places they will go. It’s not just inspirational, its ASPIRATIONAL. Is Jada promoting a boycott or she is more powerfully saying that she has better places to go than the Oscars…
“Maybe it is time we … make programs for ourselves that acknowledge us in ways, that see us in ways that we see fit, that are just as good, as the so called mainstream ones”
For too long, women have squeezed themselves into ‘mainstream’ man-shaped spaces just to get a seat at the boardroom table or a place in the houses of political power. Once in the space we have complained about how uncomfortable it is.
It is time to stop trying to fit the ‘size-zero’ expectations of others. We don’t achieve equality, power, and happiness by getting really good at being something we are not. We achieve all that, and more, by acknowledging the awesomeness of ourselves, our womanhood and the amazing qualities we bring to the world. The civil rights movement and feminist movement are brother and sister. We have a long history of mutual support. Let’s take a page from Jada’s playbook and realize that