• Flux Magazine

"What is a 'Liberated Woman', You Tell Me" by Becca DeMent

We are in a time unlike any other. More than ever before the welfare of womxn socioeconomically, politically, culturally, sexually, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. is receiving more effort and attention. This increasingly positive state by no means concludes that things are alright for womxn, especially not internationally, but by the efforts of WOMXN and men, we have come so far.


Since coming to college I have made an increased effort to educate myself on the issues of womanhood by talking to other women, reading books, articles, and surrounding myself in social media that focused on women’s empowerment and holistic wellbeing. I started listening to podcasts and reading threads talking about the mentality of womxn, and it's all this that has made all the difference. I can feel a huge shift in my mentality just about myself, how I value, respect, and empower myself by knowing my worth and having the strength to settle for nothing less. We hear this stuff all the time, I know I did, but it took a constant and conscious effort to implement it into my ​being​. I feel more liberated than ever before in my life primarily for truly recognizing my worth, and not being so insecure or socially pressured to follow ​anything​ that overlooked or undermined it; ladies, I know you know this is harder than it seems.


I can’t be the only one seeing or feeling these improvements, so I went out and asked over a dozen womxn and men that I knew and asked them, what is a liberated womxn? Here is what they said.


Grace, age 18

“A liberated woman is a woman who loves who she is. She is the type of person who ​fights​ for equal rights in culture ​and​ politics. She is one who tries to change the ​expectations​ of women. She is a strong, independent person who needs no shit from men. She thinks outside of the box and does it ​gracefully​. A liberated woman is a ​badass​.”


Zach, 23

“In my opinion, a liberated woman is someone who understands societal expectations and deliberately chooses to be her genuine self, no matter how scary it is. Being a liberated woman is fucking hard man.”


Lizbet, senior at SSU

“A woman who is so confident in what she ​embodies​, who she is, and ​how​ she carries herself in the world that she is ​not​ easily rattled in her personhood.”

What I’ve gathered here is the sense that, like Zach says, being a liberated womxn in this modern world is ​hard​. Modern culture says “yass queen”, to an empowered womxn in theory, but we all live in the classroom, at work, and in our social groups where we know acting on our own will and standing up for ourselves with little regard for its effects takes a massive amount of courage. ​It is difficult because of the backlash. I have been told ​constantly​ throughout my life that I am too ​assertive,​ ​loud, forthcoming, intimidating, and confident​, only some of which were used positively. Even when they were, however, the fact that it was even noted about my personality​ as distinct tells me that being courageous and unafraid to be myself was ​rarer​ as a womxn, and that my friends, is just wrong.


Daniel, 20

“In my opinion, a liberated woman is a woman who is not held down by​ society’s norms​. She has ​broken out​ of all mindsets and restrictions that might hold her from who she is meant to be. She finds herself free to act and behave how she wants without feeling the ​pressure​ or negative feedback that may follow. She is confident in herself despite what others say or what might be considered “normal.” She upholds her truths and morals while doing what she wants. She can look to ​help others​ in their struggles and trials because she has beaten her tribulations. She has acquired the wisdom and experience to fight with others. She doesn’t need to hold herself to society’s norms. So essentially the woman is ​liberated​ from the expectations, opinions, feelings, and beliefs that people may have on her. She has the freedom to feel and grow and believe how she sees fit. She can accept and reject who and what she wants without feeling remorse or guilt. She can be who she was called to be, ​she can be herself...​ this is what I feel “a liberated woman consists” of... and probably so much more”.


Zach, 23

“In my opinion, a liberated woman is someone who understands ​societal expectations ​and deliberately chooses to be her genuine self, no matter how scary it is. Being a liberated woman is fucking hard man.”


Tiff, 20

“I think a liberated woman consists of being ​free​. Free of ​expectations from society​, her family, her friends, her husband(or partner), or ​anyone​ that stands in her way. She is someone who doesn’t care if she is spoken poorly or highly about, for her opinion ​of​ ​herself​ is the only one that truly matters. A woman who is ​free​ to do what makes her happy life.”


Tana, senior at SSU

“To me what it means to be a liberated woman is to be able to do as I please without the ​fear​ of being brought down and ​shamed​ by other women who disapprove or men who don’t agree with my choices or judge them. This could be in how I choose to express myself sexually or the careers I choose to strive for. ​I am empowered to do anything and everything​.”


Society seems to present a lot of hurdles for women, and it takes a lot of courage to go against a whole society. Trends tell womxn what they should look like; their hair, face, body, clothes. Laws tell womxn what they should do with their bodies. Institutions tell womxn what they deserve to be financially compensated for and what jobs they can have. Finally, all of us tell women who they should be, but it's time we let the womxn ​choose for themselves​, with no restraints and no push-back. We support womxn, no matter what they choose.


Abbey, senior at SSU

“I would say someone who believes in ​herself​ and ​other women​, but it has to be ​intersectional​. It also consists of defending those who don’t have a voice such as ​minorities​, or even helpless animals.​ Finally, it consists of using her resources and voice to make herself and ​others stronger​.”


Andrea, senior at SSU

“A liberated woman does not do what others expect her to do. She does what she does because she ​wants to do it. If one day she wants to wear pants, she will. If she wants to wear a skirt, she will. She doesn't ​need anyone to protect her. She is not in any relationship where she is made to feel ​less than.​ A liberated woman fights for the equality of women and other oppressed groups. She does not ​have to be nurturing. She does not have to have children. She can be good at math. She can be the breadwinner. She fights to be paid an equal wage for equal work. She can choose not to marry. She does not think it matters if, when, or who she chooses to f*ck. She raises her voice when she feels the need to. She does not allow herself to be ​silenced​. A liberated woman has learned her ​worth and works to make sure ​you know it too​. A liberated woman can choose whether or not to cook. She can choose whether or not she wants to get a divorce. She does not and will not tolerate any form of abuse. She has learned how to recognize when something is toxic. She can wear what she wants, however, she wants. She can talk to whoever she chooses. She does not owe you anything, for any reason. She is a ​womxn​ , not a girl.”


Lexi, senior at SSU

“I think a liberated woman is someone who can see her own life like ​hers​. She recognizes her blessings ​and​ shortcomings. Liberated women dress in what makes them happy, covered or not. A liberated woman ​sees​ how society pressures women to look and act a certain way and ​fight against it. She sees her body as her own and knows she can use it in any way she chooses. A liberated woman allows herself to feel her emotions and express them without ​fear​ of being overbearing. She fights fiercely for what she believes in but knows ​not everyone is in a position to do the same​. She also sees how others are less advantaged. A liberated woman knows that there are plenty of women around the world that are denied their rights. She strives to fight to bring these women up with her. She also fights for others that are disadvantaged in other ways. She recognizes racism, classism, ageism, and other important issues beyond the scope of what applies to her personal life.”


A womxn is born knowing the struggle. She bares challenges simply for being ​born​. All womxn experience this. I remember when I first came to college and heard first hand, five out of six of my new friends, tell me something terrible that has happened to them for their womxnhood. Suddenly I felt devastated realizing that ​my people​ were enduring horrible violence, and are constantly under attack. I felt solidarity, and as you can read above, a liberated womxn ​knows​ that her sisters are in desperate need of her light. A liberated womxn seeks to protect, free, and empower all of her sisters as she knows that her struggle is not her own, but shared by all womxn. As we all face the huddles, let’s lift each other in solidarity. And to those who cannot personally attest to such hurdles, just because ​you cannot see them, does not mean they aren’t there. Help womxn make the jump so that one day we could all be running the same race.


Ian, senior at SSU

“I think a liberated woman is someone who can ​stand by their beliefs,​ emotionally and physically. Someone who is strong-willed, determined, hardworking and dedicated.”


Malorie

“Gets what she wants without being ​ashamed​ about it. Is who she is, without feeling like she has to ​hide​ it to appease a less liberated person, knows herself, loves herself, able to be herself, ​acknowledges her needs,​ that's how she ​gets​ what she needs. Has drives and the ability to do what is ​right for her.​ She can still be a housewife if this is what she needs/wants. Be a mother and wife if that's what fulfills her. Goes after what fulfills her. Without any bullsh*t letting her second guess herself; doesn’t let her second guesses wins. Always respect and give opportunities to liberate ​other women,​ strive to better herself, and help others achieve that level. ​Ruler of her destiny... in every way, shape, and form...”​


When first receiving quotes for this article, I had to decide if I wanted to use whole quotes or just parts, as you can see that some are very long... Keep it all in, I decided. Read the whole thing. Read every definition for every person because every word goes towards each person's full picture of what a liberated woman is. Here’s what we know for sure...

A liberated woman is ​free​, to acknowledge her needs and desires, ​strong​, enough to speak up for those things and manifest them, and ​understand​ that she is not alone. There is a whole world out there that needs her liberation and you better look out... because Here. We. Come.

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