Women, Recover your Power in a World that Wants you to Remain Silent

Women, Recover your Power in a World that Wants you to Remain Silent
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Despite all of the positive steps we have taken, even in the most advanced societies, women still have to face additional challenges merely because we’re women. In many cases, it’s not due to a written rule or due to an explicit custom. Simply put, many women feel these difficulties and usually can’t identify them easily, because they appear to be disguised.

For example, one desire is to have the right and freedom to speak, express oneself, denounce events that threaten your rights, and work. Another is for the use of this right to be socially accepted. Or for a woman’s environment, even the people closest to them, to them.

In fact, social pressure makes many women feel obliged to remain silent. To stay home and focus their lives around their family, forgetting themselves. They feel forced to behave a certain way, ignoring the true needs of their feminine soul.

A woman with depression is crying thinking about women

Is it worth speaking or better to remain silent?

One of the great problems that women face is being considered as a sexual object. This doesn’t only hinder many women from fully and freely enjoying their sexuality, it also makes many of them feel dirty when they do. Or if they are victims of abuse.

Maybe you remember the recent case of allegations of sexual abuse against Harvey Weinstein, a Hollywood producer. Big movie stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd belong to a long list of women who were victims of his sexual abuse.

In truth, these allegations referred to acts which presumably began in the 1990’s. Only the passage of time has empowered some of these women to denounce these events. Slowly, others have joined them. What’s more, these types of cases are  constantly being discovered – influential men who abuse women. In many cases these women are now considered important and powerful.

Why the secrecy? Why the silence?

But, why do these women keep this secret quiet for so long? Why do others never manage to report the abuse? Why do women remain silent when the law, reason, and common sense are on their side? Fear? Shame? Is it the social price they have to pay for defending themselves? The label, the tarnish on their reputation, the social loss of privilege? Is it the feeling of guilt or responsibility? Or is it the lack of social support that makes them feel ashamed of the situation?

Remaining silent in order to forget simply does not work. If it did, so many cases like this wouldn’t come out as time goes by. The pain remains. However, when these allegations are revealed they leave a mark, a stain. They can end a bright career, a promising future.

The truly sad part is that this fear, this shame, is well founded. Defending yourself makes sense only when you are 100% supported by your environment. When you have the certainty that at the end of the process, the guilty party will still be guilty. When you’re certain the roles won’t be switched, both in the eyes of society as in the eyes of justice.

Women, recover your power on a daily basis

The case we mentioned is an extreme one. It is the tip of the iceberg, one of the most clear and sinister ways in which society encourages women to remain silent. But there are many other situations in which we feel obliged to keep our mouths shut. Sometimes it’s with subtle gestures, others it’s with clear and palpable reactions.

As a woman, you have to show your worth and empower yourself in order to recover your place in this world. Your opinions, needs, and priorities don’t have to be adapted to what society mandates. You have to defend your autonomy and integrity over any obstacle or chain which threatens your freedom of thought and actions.

The following strategies will be of great use to you in order to recover your power. The power which allows you to be yourself. Which allows you to decide what type of woman you want to be. The power which allows you to nourish your feminine, creative soul.

A woman with her eyes closed and lilac watercolor paint.

Take care of your mind and body

Take care of yourself inside and out. Caring for your body is not an aesthetic hobby, nor does it have to be an external imposition. Try to find that point in which you feel comfortable and content with your own body, regardless of external commentary. Take care of your skin, your hair, your physique. This is health, both physical and mental. If you take care of yourself others will take care of you too.

Others will respect you as much as you respect yourself. And even if others don’t at least you’ll know that the most important person in your life looks after you. And that person is you.

Take care of your mind and your spirit too. Breathe, enjoy and live the moment. Nourish your creative soul and grow to achieve your goals. Get to know yourself, and explore your inner world.

Know your own strength

Fear and shame, when the subject doesn’t merit it, are fruits of a lack of knowledge about one’s own inner strength. We grow up in a society that claims to be egalitarian, but in many cases is actually extremely sexist. The language is sexist, the clothes are sexist, the roles are sexist, the toys are sexist. The songs, the games, the hobbies, the fiction, the education…

Discover the strength hidden inside you. Make your own decisions. This doesn’t mean that you have to think differently about everything. It means you can do what you want to do, and you have the power to do so.

Women, constitutionally, have less physical strength than men. But, what about our inner strength, our emotional strength? That is the aspect you have to strive to improve.

Observe how your inner power grows

Your inner power grows as you defend your integrity and personality. Your thoughts and beliefs strengthen as you take support from other women. When you focus on your inner power, you become stronger. You discover that you can speak up, that you can set limits without feeling stigmatized.

Maybe not everyone will agree with this. You might even be deemed crazy by demanding your own worth. But many other voices will rise up with yours. Many voices will find bravery in your actions, many will be inspired by them. This, in turn, will make you feel even stronger.

A happy woman has flowers on her back.

Speak up, loudly and clearly

Set the limits and speak clearly. Express who you are with words and gestures, with the way you behave, the way you are. Be yourself. Don’t attempt to be whatever society expects you to be. Because, at the same time, you’ll be filling a chest of distant dreams and hopes within yourself. Don’t say things simply to confuse people or express them half-way. Don’t expect people to read between the lines as you speak.

Whatever you have to say, say it, loud and clear. And don’t leave any room for misunderstandings. Do this in private as well as in public. Acquire the habit of being true to yourself, of being authentic.

Do whatever makes you feel strong

Whatever makes you feel strong, do it. Don’t ever deny what your body and mind ask of you simply because you think it is frowned upon. Don’t allow yourself to feel labeled for something that makes you feel strong. Be free of limitations set by age, motherhood, marriage or anything else that could influence your decision to do something empowering.

Design your own life, and defend it. The true war can be found within yourself.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.