Tell me, when you think girl power, what do you think of? Spice Girls? I do. Being a product of the 90's they are the first thing that comes to my mind. But what exactly constitutes 'girl power'? Society is trying to put the image of a masculinized woman as being the quintessential form of 'girl power'.
This past week, Catholic.org posted an interesting article about Beyonce's new single and video called (Girls) Run the World. Beyonce puts forth the image of a woman who is part man-part goddess-part dominatrix and highly sexual. Using this sexuality her and her dancing entourage defeat a gaggle of pussy-footed men. And this is supposed to empower women?
We are having problems in society in this day and age. Young girls are being taught that in order to be strong women they must use their sexuality to confuse and overpower men to get their way. The 'goddess' figure that Beyonce portrays is equivalent to a sex goddess. Since sexuality is so prevalent in our society this day and age, anything virtuous is seen as weakness. Flipping through the channels I will come across concerts titled 'The Takeover of Brittany Spears' or 'The Takeover of Lady Gaga'. Both highly sexual performers. I have yet to see 'The Takeover of Taylor Swift'. Even though it seems that Taylor Swift can't get out of her emotional high school days, seeing that she is close to 20, I do kinda like her songs. They're catchy...
Anyway, what exactly constitutes a strong woman? I know I reflected on this subject a few weeks ago and I listed a bunch of female saints who have had a profound impact on history and the church. But in this day and age, when not every woman is going to lead an army or write letters that will affect the papacy, how can we know what a strong woman is? Society will tell us that a woman has to deny her femininity and become masculinized to be viewed as a strong woman. We are constantly barraged by the media that we are to be career driven individuals who should control our reproductive organs by using drugs. Women who have more than 2.5 children are seen as weird, and are even weirder if they stay home to take care of them. If a woman dresses modestly, they are seen as 'out of touch'. Because, hey, if you got it, flaunt it! Right?
How can we counter this image? I really think that the best way to do that would be simply to live by example. Showing others that we do not need to use our sexuality for power will prove that we can still be strong but virtuous at the same time.