Women Don’t Need Saving

A Facebook post popped up in my newsfeed yesterday. It was about women’s personal experiments with purposely not moving out of the way when men walk toward them in public. The results were a mix of men bumping into them and moving out of their way at the last minute.

dtc-women2As I sat and listened to Rabbi Sandy Sasso and Ms. Cynthia Prime speak at this past November’s Desmond Tutu Center Biennial Conference, I cannot help but remember the times when I was complacent in the status quo. It certainly is easier to comply with the society “norms” and move out of the way. Their talk was an important reminder that even though I enjoy certain privileges in our society, I, too, have the responsibility to be the positive change in the movement for women’s empowerment.

Rabbi Sasso emphasized the importance of language while Ms. Prime pointed out the systemic barriers women face in employment as well as legal protection. It is alarming to think that there is still a need for women to prove their worth in today’s world.

Ms. Prime’s account of her experience as a woman of color navigating a predominantly white workplace highlighted the amount of self-agency that was required of her to have a place in the professional world.

Rabbi Sasso’s message of verb, vociferousness, vision, and vigilance perfectly captures the need for active self-empowerment and empowerment of other women to develop and sustain self-agency that will set women free to create a world that is better and brighter for all.

We are worthy of respectful language.

We are worthy of recognition.

We are worthy of protection and belief about being assaulted.

These are the messages that stayed with me after the talk. Like Rabbi Sasso said, don’t apologize. To me, that means not apologizing for the fundamental respect and rights that women should be able to have. Truly, we do not need saving.  

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About the Blogger:

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Mandy Lu is currently a third year in the Doctor of Psychology program at University of Indianapolis. She is originally from China. Her undergraduate experiences at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC first ignited her interest in social justice issues. She aims to grow as an advocate for social justice issues in both her personal and professional lives.

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