The Third Women's Revolution

The Third Women's revolution
The Third Women's revolution

'No matter what the world says or the cultural expectations, live your own life. So many people lead other people's perceptions of success. They don't notice they are miserable because they think they are successful.' - Arianna Huffington

The Bafta voting season is underway and I'm in the thick of seeing many new movies. I've just seen a film based upon the First World War memoir of the same name written by Vera Brittain called 'Testament of Youth' which powerfully captures Vera's passion, rage and ability to overcome great loss during the First World War. Her towering strengths as a wartime nurse and Oxford trained intellectual, which overcame her period's bias in favour of men, comes through viscerally! A great movie that got me thinking about that time in history as Vera's book is considered a classic in feminist literature and spans the years from 1900-1925 for its portrayal of a woman's pioneer struggle to establish an independent career in a society only grudgingly tolerant of educated women. It was during this time that Vera joined the Suffragette movement and part of the First Women's Revolution to give women the right to vote (please see my blog post titled 'Girl Power' - June 2013). She never lost sight of her early commitment to feminism and her subsequent public lectures and addresses revolved around feminist issues. What a gal! I thank and rejoice in her and all those other women who have helped fight to give women the opportunities they have today.

The Second Women's Revolution was led by Betty Friedan - in 1963 she wrote 'The Feminine Mystique' which laid the groundwork for the movement - and Gloria Steinem who fought to expand the role of women in society from 1960's to the present day, only faltering for a few years in the 1980s. I remember as a teenager, the "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match in 1973 when Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs and it's contribution to the women's movement and its effect on society. I remember thinking at the time - this is the future............hurrah! The Second Women's Revolution is unfinshed and continues today...........

Arianna's Third Women's Revolution is to change the world that men have designed. She says 'The current model of success, in which we drive ourselves into the ground and in which working to the point of exhaustion and burnout is a badge of honour, was created by men. It's a model that's not working for women and it's not working for men either. Our work places are fuelled by sleep deprivation.' So this is not just a feminist issue but women can help drive this change forward. I think women are respected enough now that men will listen and follow their example. When women get it - that will take the pressure off men and they will thank women for allowing them to have a life too!

The Superboomer's (50-69 yrs) generation I believe are the banner holders for this revolution too. I happen to be one of the late one's and we are healthier, wealthier and better educated and more mobile than any other generation entering retirement before us. 72% evidently would rather spend their money to enjoy retirement instead of leaving it as an inheritance. They definitely seem to have Arianna's four pillars of "well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving required to be pioneers of this Third Women's Revolution. In this crazy world I believe there needs to be more self-esteem - you are entitled to have a wonderful life and not be bullied by some ogre of a boss who wants you to work 24/7 for the bottom line! It's bonkers - there are too many casualties. Better to start your own business and create your own rules - where people can flourish and have a life!

My conclusion is that I think there has never been a better time to be a woman but that is with huge gratitude and thanks to all the current and previous generations of women who fought for the equality and rights women enjoy now. The work continues but the fact that a 17 year old Mulala Yousafzai can share the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in fighting to give other young women the right to an education is celebratory!

Wouldn't Vera have been proud?

'The secret of a good life is that you have to put yourself on the list of the people you most admire' - Socrates - 2000 years ago!

Girl Power!

"Who runs the world? Girls!" - Beyonce

Girl power
Girl power

My friend Olivia gave her baby shower last week for her friends, mother and new baby daughter called 'Rosie'. Can you believe that Olivia is the one in the pink dress who had her baby only 3 weeks earlier and her mother is in the blue dress and I'm holding the baby!!

It was such a fun, great occasion with mostly Olivia's female friends that it got me thinking about the world that Rosie has come into and how as a female she will fare. The era of the woman has been building for the last 70 years or more and it arrived on January 1st  2013 - the shift from a masculine patriarchal society, to a feminine, Gaia, society from this date was predicted by many trendspotters, astrologers, futurists and marketeers.

In the last 100 years the evolution of women has accelerated and the right to vote came into being in 1918 thanks to the Suffragette movement and other brave women before them. In the last 50 years women have taken giant steps. Women have become Prime Ministers, CEO's, Supreme court judges, doctors, lawyers, Film and TV Producers, Film Directors etc., etc., and hopefully in 2016 we'll see the first ever female USA President in Hillary Clinton. Female members of the UK Royal Family are to be given equality with men in the rules of succession. So Rosie will be in good company................! The next Royal baby due next month will be the first British monarch born in the 21st century - the age of the personal brand. There is no mention of gender yet of the Royal baby but I'm sure she/he will be the first Royal baby with a registered URL and twitter account! So this is the world that Rosie has been born into - yes, I know there is still a long way to go but women are already succeeding and on their own terms. I believe there has never been a better time to be born female!

I am an auntie, great aunt and godmother and I believe womanhood has to be taught. As Steve Biddulph says in his book 'Raising Girls' (a must read I believe for all parents raising daughters): "Modern womanhood is tough. Your daughter will need to be self-reliant, clear thinking, emotionally strong, good with people and responsible for her own life. They will need mum, aunties, great teachers and other older women to help them get there." I believe with great parenting and education you can teach your daughter to evolve spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. However, I do believe that to embrace Eastern philosophy which offers a much more profound view of the world is so important and that's where Rosie will be very fortunate!

To teach her that this life is an inside job - the way you think creates reality for yourself - your thoughts create your life. The law of attraction is a science. So teach her to make a conscious decision to be happy because that is infectious and attracts other like minded people. I also believe that by living naturally and exercising regularly, the body will tell the mind to be happy. There is loads of data that proves that the mind can believe itself well by optimising the body's natural self-repair mechanisms. Most doctors now agree that the mind has a profound effect upon a person's sense of well-being. The mind is the most powerful tool we have - so teach your child how to use it by opening up their mindset to bigger picture thinking with travel and life enhancing experiences that broaden their horizons and help them find their spark!

Here are a few more tips I'd like to tell Rosie:

  • Learn yoga and meditation and deep breathing - it will do wonders for your peace of mind!
  • Remember that there will be people around you with low self-esteem who covertly undermine you to make themselves feel better. Don't listen to gossip - it corrodes the gossipers and those who listen! Those who gossip are usually jealous of you - so rise above it. Do as the Royal baby will be taught "never complain, never explain."
  • And remember there is no 'glass ceiling' only the one you create in your head

Finally this is my Buddhist blessing to Rosie:

May you be safe and protected

May you be happy and peaceful

May you be healthy and strong

May you carry your life with ease and grace

Go girl!

With love


PS    "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."  - Oscar Wilde

PPS  And remember boys are wonderful too!!