52 Weeks of Thankfulness: Week 2, Women Power

Fridays are Feminist Friday on Haddon’s Musings; although, I do not claim the title of feminist, I do advocate women are strong. I raise my daughter to be strong and competent, and kind.  I believe a balance amongst these three traits is essential. I will also agree, during times of necessity, one trait should be displayed more than others due to the given situation. Wouldn’t you agree? 

I would like to bet Kate Chopin might concede with me, at least I would like to think she would. In 1899, she published The Awakening, a scandalous book (deemed so in the 19th Century) that portrays the life of Edna Pontellier who test the boundaries of womanhood in accordance to a misogynistic society.  I am thankful for Kate Chopin and her advocacies in The Awakening.  And I am also thankful for the bond that women hold amongst each other as well as our power to unite during life’s challenges. 

Check out the images below. I think the pictures display Edna’s hopes in the novel: strong working woman, strong mom. We could argue this idea, but I believe she hoped for both representations in her life. 

However, the challenge Chopin faced was a society who could not understand her ideas: 

“Mrs. Pontellier was beginning to realize her position in the universe as a human being, and to recognize her relations as an individual to the world within and about her” (14). 

I am thankful women like Chopin forged through. Her strength is commendable, specifically when her book received negative criticism. The public found her novel shocking and tasteless. I imagine she knew many people wouldn’t agree with her novel, but, still, she set these truths free. She chose to sail forward and made a significant chip into how women express their individualism. I would like to share a few significant quotes from the book, and if you would like to comment below please do! Here goes: 

“I would give up the unessential; I would give my money, I would give my life for my children; but I wouldn’t give myself. I can’t make it more clear; it’s only something which I am beginning to comprehend which is revealing itself to me (46). 

“I’m going to pull myself together for a while and think–try to determine what character of woman I am; for candidly I don’t know. By all the codes which I am acquainted with, I am a devilishly wicked specimen of the sex. But some way I can’t convince myself that I am. I must think about it” (79). 

I don’t want to spoil the book in case you might like to read it for yourself; however, a few insights may help you understand Edna’s dilemma. Basically, she leaves her husband and her children to pursue a path of self-discovery. Edna has many hopes and dreams, but she feels imprisoned by her current role and societal expectations. Through Edna’s character, we learn of a wife and mother who feels she cannot discover herself without her own walkabout. Like Edna, Chopin meets the world with little support from her female counterparts. 

Thus, here’s the lesson: as women, we must help each other soar. So, too, should we be honest about our flight. I want you to consider this quote which I have located in various sections of social media: 

“The bird that would soar above the level plains of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings” (79).

 I found it interesting that a significant piece of this quote is often omitted. It’s a bit misunderstood like Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Note Taken” and I think we miss a bit of truth and honesty when we don’t fully examine these messages. Here’s the rest of the quote:  

“The bird that would soar above the level plains of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to the earth” (79).

See what I mean…changes the message a bit. So what is the lesson here? Stay strong, soar above the plains of tradition and prejudice, but remember…a flight of birds is much stronger than a single bird. Hail to girl power, and let’s not forget to stick together. And for all the guys out there….there’s always room for you on my voyage. 😉 

Works Cited

Chopin, Kate. The Awakening: A Norton Critical Edition. Edited by Margo Culley, 2nd ed., W.W. Norton and Company, 1994.

52weekwHaddon’s Musings


14 thoughts on “52 Weeks of Thankfulness: Week 2, Women Power

  1. Thanks for this inspirational post about Kate Chopin. The term feminist, as I define it, means strong women living the life that they want and loving the people they want without the restrictions employed by society to keep them a second class citizen. I think we need to be examples to our children and help them attain a society where there is love and mutual self-respect.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It was a blast! I had a wonderful career with many great people. I’ve had a few challenges and left a few impressions. What’s most amazing is watching a few of my people grow to become amazing leaders. And honestly, I feel the people I served with allowed me and even encouraged me to succeed as a woman, as an Airman. A few rough patches from time to time, but all roads have a few bumps. As I stated during my retirement ceremony, “I drank the Kool-Aid, I’ve always bled blue. It was an absolute honor to serve.” 😉🇺🇸

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, I have always felt we as military should write more about our experiences. I have said that for some time. Of course, that is coming from someone who served in Professional Military Education. Not everyone feels comfortable writing or sharing their experiences, but I hope more will convey the positives as well as the negatives. I love hearing from our older veterans, they really are amazing. So many stories of overcoming challenges.

        Here is a short story I had published if you would like to hear more. It’s not long, but if you’re interested here you go. The link is at the bottom of the blog. 🙂

        https://leadership2mommyship.com/2016/12/10/reflecting-on-iraq-a-milspeak-publication/

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Leadership2Mommyship and commented:

    Greetings followers! I wanted to share my thoughts on International Women’s Day as I have read so many discouraging comments regarding this celebration. If you have a minute please read and also take a look at my blog post’s ending. I had no idea when I wrote my final comments that it would become a much-needed thought for today. Basically, if we are women who have commanded a certain stature in life, able to meet our dreams, let’s go about helping others do the same and be an example to live by rather than gloat on our accomplishments.

    It’s International Women’s Day! And it’s no surprise some of you are upset about the day as you have made it very evident on Facebook–and some of you openly admit you know nothing about the day–ignorance is not bliss folks! In a snapshot, it’s a day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women AROUND THE GLOBE.

    If you are a woman in the US who finds this celebration unnecessary because we live in a country where we are very much encouraged in so many ways, I ask you to consider honoring the women alive today who have worked very hard to help the rest of us get to where we are.
    And really, you think the world is perfect and all women need to do is jump right in with the guys? Um not all countries share our beliefs–why don’t you take a minute and discover what an honor crime is. And if you know what it is shame on you if you denounced this day.

    Like

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