By IVY BECKENHODLT
In a society that has historically viewed women as inferior, it is important for many to show just how powerful women are. Women empowerment can be in the form of activism, but it can also be powerful in everyday life. For Peyton Johnson, feminism is more personal.
“Feminism means uplifting women around me,” Johnson said. “I try my best to uphold that because I feel that women have it really hard as it is.”
Johnson shared that when she doubts herself, it is women who have helped to lift her up as well.
“Any big person that’s had actual influence in my life that I can see myself thanking them for in my Tony Awards speech, which I plan on having, has been a woman, aside my father.”
While men have helped Johnson, she shares that women have poured into her. Not only have women been more supportive of Johnson, but she shares that they acknowledge her opinion more often than men. Johnson is not alone in this dilemma. According to the “Journal of Social Issues: Gender and Social Influence” by Linda Carli, men resist female influence more than women do. This effect of gender roles can have consequences in the workplace and one’s social life. In order to combat this, many women take it upon themselves to empower other women.
According to Student Activists for Gender Equality (SAGE) President Emily Bauer, women need to empower one another more here at Drake.
“I think we need to show up for each other more, in all different kinds of ways,” Bauer said. “Both when times are going well and in times when our campus is in crisis or going through something bad.”
Bauer shared that she has learned that in order to alter societal conventions regarding gender norms, there needs to be an open conversation. Prior to becoming a Drake student, Bauer said she viewed feminism in a black and white way. She stated that when someone did something wrong, she thought they should be cancelled, but that her approach changed at Drake. According to Bauer, she learned that as long as someone is willing to listen and learn, there should be an open conversation.
“I just really want to open up that conversation instead of just shutting somebody down, because then we just keep having these same problems over and over again,” Bauer said.
While there are struggles associated with being a woman, Johnson shares that identifying as a woman can be powerful. According to Johnson, women often downplay their accomplishments, but women should feel open to sharing them and sharing how “good it is to be a woman.”
“Empowerment comes from everything, sometimes the wind blows and I feel empowered and think it is so good to be a woman,” Johnson said. “Some days I’m able to help someone, anyone, and I’m like wow, it is so good to be a woman. Some days me and my friend can be vulnerable with each other, and I’m like it is so good to be a woman, and to feel and have all these emotions.”
Photo courtesy of Ivy Beckenhodlt