Picture via DVF
In an era when women marry after they get, at least, a college degree and many do not have a baby until they reach thirty, the unquestionable trend prevails: female power is growing as we speak. For your information, the world is changing (and it’s not just about technology or economic crisis). Women are changing. Better yet, they have changed. We are not interested in joining in holy matrimony just for economic and social responsibilities; we want a powerful man that will not be afraid of an equally empowered woman.
Of course, the old times were not liberating or empowering for women. I still get shocked when I listen to the stories my grandmother narrates about having to respect male authority or getting married as an obligation. To me, education has been the most important element in women getting what they want: power. Don’t take me wrong, this is not battle of the sexes. Feminism is not about being better than men; it is about recognizing both genders as equals in this war for survival.
In an effort to demonstrate to you all that powerful women are emerging from all places and all ages, I asked a few questions to my closest friends: Ivette, Andrea, Ivanna and Laura; a future accountant with a killer fashion sense, an International Relations student with an affinity for women in politics, a Political Science student with a strong sense of self, and an Art History student that is not afraid to speak her mind. Meet my crew of powerful bitches! (before you flip out, bitch, in the words of Kelly Cutrone, means: “Babe In Total Control of Herself”)
Ivette Rodriguez (Business Major at University of Puerto Rico)
“To me, an empowered woman is true to herself and her goals. She doesn’t follow the crowd. She’s comfortable in her own skin. She knows what she wants and works hard to get it, and inspires others to do the same”, spoken like a true power bearer. I met this 5 ft sweetheart when I was thirteen (yes, it has been six years!) and quickly learned that her short figure and nice attitude are just a cover. She is fierce, a leader, a true self-confident young woman who is not afraid to wear what her heart desires or tell you her goddam honest opinion. Industrious and empathic are some words she uses to describe herself, to which I would add: hilarious, driven and straightforward. As a friend, she is as loyal and supportive as it comes; whenever you need her to cry or make you laugh, she is there. Oh, and if you are a guy looking for a date with her just know that “ambition, willpower, kindness, sense of humor, and a strong sense of self” need to be in your DNA (apart from great knowledge of The Avengers).
When you ask this luscious blonde what she wants to achieve in her life, you might be surprised by the humanitarian aspect to her goals: ” I want to work with NGOs (Non-Governmental Agencies). I don’t want to be just another diplomat, my goal is to work hands on with people in need. I want my work to mean something much more than just a fancy position”. Considering some of her role models include Gioconda Belli, Ana Lydia Vega and Lolita Lebron (all very powerful women), it comes as a shock to discover a soft side in this blue-eyed bomb of pure strength and leadership. Andrea is my feminist influence; she has inspired me greatly in wanting to be an equal to men. She is not afraid to pursue her goals and sacrifice everything to fight for her dreams. I was a witness of her overcoming challenges to go study abroad at the university of her dreams: Syracuse University. On her opinions about the opposite sex, she says: “I think insecure men are scared of powerful women, but who would date an insecure man?”
Ivanna Rivera Figueroa (Political Science and French at UMASS Amherst)
Ivanna is the Serena to my Blair (see: Gossip Girl), as we would call each other in high school. But more than that, she is is a “hard-worker, driven, opinionated and strong” young woman. When I met her, she was in the middle of a common middle school debate between studying journalism or political science. I think you know which won by now. Quickly, I realized she was in the right field. Ivanna is a strong political advocate who wants to pursue a career in law and politics. In her life, her greatest influence has been her mother, who she finds to be the most powerful person she knows: “She raised me as a single mother and she never made me feel that there was something missing in my life. She taught me, by example, how to defend myself and my ideals, how to dream big, and how to be independent. She’s the reason why I am who I am today and in my books, she’s a heroine”. I have been a witness to her mom’s excellent ability to raise such a great leader and friend. And while my last two years in high school were spent without her, she still managed to show from a distance all the values her mother had taught her, especially defending herself. That’s my S!
Laura Rivera Ayala (Arty History at University of Puerto Rico) Photo: Laura and me while playing models
I met Laura on my first day of summer school in 2007. Our moms introduced each other and the rest is history. Over the years, we have bonded through our mutual love or art and photography. Let me tell you she is a great art enthusiast: ” I would like to work for a gallery or a museum, have my own artistic production and practice yoga”, she says as to what she would like to accomplish in her lifetime. As you just read, she is also practices yoga and has a deep respect for this discipline. In fact, one of her greatest role models relates to this affinity: “Honestly I don’t have any specific role model. But if i had to choose a wonderful woman that inspires me to grow into a better human being is my first yoga teacher, Shanti”. To her an empowered woman is one that “appreciates her feminity but understands that this is not an obstacles but rather a tool in taking the steps she needs to take in order to achieve whatever she wants in her life”. Don’t let this artistic face fool you; Laura is a strong, opinionated and very honest young woman who is not afraid to expose her ideas and beliefs. As a friend, Laura always makes you laugh and can sit down with you talk any matter, serious or funny. “My favorite quality is the inquisitive curiosity I have for everything that inspires me”, the love she has for literature, art and music is one of the biggest bonds she has with all her friends, including me.