Freedom is power. It’s a principle on which this country was founded, something women have fought for for years. Freedom is a fundamental human right, not a privilege. It is the ability to think, act, and speak freely, without control or impediment from others. Everyone should have a right to pursue life as they see fit, provided it causes no harm to anyone else. Women have long struggled to enjoy the same freedoms as men. The right to an education. To vote. To own property. To claim one’s own assets. To hold positions of power. We have not had these freedoms for long, so it can be hard to know what to do with them.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“As women we have struggled to become free, we have tried out various forms of freedom. We used to think we were free when we were the kind of women men wanted us to be. Then we thought we were free when we could be like men. We thought we were free when we could treat men the way we had been treated.
We thought we were free when we had access to jobs where we could reduce our lifespan through stress-related diseases. We thought we were free when we had made the team and were allowed to play games in which we had no interest. We thought we were free when we had money, power, and influence.”
Freedom is, in fact, none of these things. True freedom is being accepted for who you are, exactly as you are. It’s the ability to be yourself without fear of harm or anyone infringing on your basic human rights. Women have often confused freedom with being the same as men and doing exactly as they do. Being the same is not synonymous with being equal. Being treated the same and given the same rights and privileges is, however. Freedom is having a choice and exercising it without repercussions. It takes time to grow into freedom, as any adult knows. Luckily, we have plenty of time.