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Masum Momaya, Curator
Masum Momaya, Curator
United States

What Does Power Look Like?

In April, the Women, Power and Politics exhibition asks the question: What Does Power Look Like? We explore everything from media coverage to fashion to leadership styles.

Some people say that in order to be effective leaders, women have to be authoritative... but not too “bitchy.” They have to be feminine... but not too "girly." And they certainly cannot "mannish!"

We want to hear your thoughts! Do you think having the right combination is important? Do you think there is room in the highest offices for women leaders who don’t fit this mold?

power

It's a great question... Power is when we are able to suspend and emancipate ourselves from fear of expression. Power does not need to be something loud or obnoxius, it is a strong feeling of self-confidence within-- only then the transformation of ideas, vision, goals can take place. Power has no colour, creed, nationality, gender, nor religion -- it is a seed that grows within us --depending how we nurture the seed to full fruition. Power is not given nor taken, only discovered when we form our own paths -without fear, guilt or judgement.

Lalita Raman
Lalita Raman
Hong Kong

The Looks of Power

Does Power necessarily mean only for a leader of a political party, a CEO of an organization, a Captain of a cricket or hockey team. Invariably, POWER is almost considered akin to those who hold positions similar to that mentioned above. However, is that POWER.

Self awareness, and ability to even help out somebody in need (which may be as simple as a task of helping a blind man cross a road), is also POWER and that is the Power of making a difference to somebody' life . For those that hold positions as leaders, effective use of that Power is important and there in itself is a litmus test.

Each of us can make Power look like how we want it to be. Power to me is, To make a difference, and if I believe I can, it can be achieved and fulfilled with a positive attitude & conduct, regardless of the position I hold in my various roles in day today life.

deZengo Moore
deZengo Moore
United States

self em "POWER" ment

I agree with your combined voices on the issues of power and it is always one with mixed signals and emotions. Some signs of "physical" power look unnatural on a woman. We are NOT men, but part of them lies within: Wo(men).

Changing our world daily through our actions, thoughts and deeds in my opinion is POWER! Just being aware of the importance and significance of each specific women and the role she play in her immediate universe can lead to change. Positive change in ones local environment is power and it is a candle - a glimmer of hope for the rest of us that we can make changes too.

At one point, I was confused & angry at the creator for my human form being that of a female. I felt weak physically, believed I was only complete with the love of a man, and in many ways prefer being submissive by nature. Realizing at an early age that men especially wanted women for their physical attributes and that hate crimes against women were common, made a distorted imprint on my psyche.

There are of course some cases where our womanly wiles are used and become be a POWER / Weapon used for self serving purposes. I refuse to accept that sex was created as a weapon for manipulation. It is this woman's opinion that the most powerful tool a woman has is LOVE. Love thy self, love thy neighbor, love thy planet and see the amazing changes. Which is exactly what you are doing through sharing thought provocative subjects that so many of us go through and will encounter at some point in our quest for truth.

We are women – hear our united voice. We have the power within.

Michael DeLong
Michael DeLong
United States

To the infinite power

Thank you so much Lalita for pointing out that we need not necessarily conflate leadership and power.

deZengo Moore
deZengo Moore
United States

Breaking the Mold...

After rereading the initial question/post, my previous comment is not really on topic. Please disregard.

The question of women in leadership and what characteristics tend to produce the most significant change is a great one. It would seem to reason that “balance” would be the key. Intelligence, strength, wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, communication, and love can be used in different combinations as the situation calls for.

Mother’s are the first significant female authority figure that children are exposed to. Perhaps in the future, parental styles open to equal distribution of “power” within the marriage / home will provide the exposure and prepares the next generation. In the meantime, as we discuss the current political paradigm it is evident that women are aware of the need for change and that true effectiveness comes from the willingness to examine our expectations and change when necessary.

On a personal level, I have begun to realize I am not power(less) and that was the beginning of change! It has been suggested that Knowledge equates to Power. If true, does Change = Power? Therefore, is it safe to say that with the knowledge of our potential (Women and Gentle Men) that true power will be the capability of those to change and inspire humanity toward random & selfless acts of kindness? When world leaders, parents, friends, co-workers, neighbors, strangers…can inspire and motivate another human being toward the higher message (the Creators Message) then we will see what real power can accomplish.

The change is now and we are part of that change. I have always been told you can get more bees with honey than vinegar. Does that hold true for women in power as well?

narrow the gap between "feminine" and "mannish", focus more on effective management

I don't think "feminine" or "mannish" is the right word to describe a leader. However, no matter to a female or male leader, being "authoritative" is a key to achieve effective management. After all, what a good leader need are leadership skills such as good vision of strategy and decision making, the ability of persuasiveness and motivation through communication, etc. Management sometimes can be a "neutral" area. The point is whether you can win shareholders and employees' trust and support.

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Tags: power , Self em"power"ment


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