There seems to be a prevalent victimhood mentality surrounding womanhood in America today despite everything women have historically overcome.
We are told women are at a disadvantage or a minority struggling to survive when, in fact, we are a majority that is thriving like never before. Today there are equal opportunities and resources available to women, and in some cases, we are taking advantage of them more than men do. Nearly 60% of college students are women, the Wall Street Journal reported and over 55% of law school students are women, according to a study by the American Bar Association.
Women are undeniably better off today than at any previous time in history, but it sometimes feels like the opposite. The reason is that instead of promoting the positive achievements and change women have accomplished, we are focusing more on whatever obstacle may arise.
Opposition never stopped strong and determined women from accomplishing their purpose. Throughout history, millions of women have fought hard and stood firm in their beliefs to realize their dreams. It is because of this that women are victors.
We must stop calling ourselves victims: victims of inequality, victims of abuse, victims of discrimination. We cannot allow our circumstances to define us. Women are not victims of these difficulties, rather victors.
Changing this mindset can make a key difference. If we realize that our circumstances do not determine our outcome and that prejudices do not limit our potential, everything becomes possible, and nothing can stop us.
Yes, women can be victims of terrible predicaments, but we can also be victors. Harriet Tubman was a victim of slavery but then became a victor over slavery. Though she suffered, she’s most often remembered for breaking free and leading others to their freedom, not in shackles.
It is time we recognize women for what we are and not focus on the obstacles before or behind us. Our history is not about the injustices we’ve faced but about our resilience in overcoming them.
Strength, perseverance, and courage are necessary to overcome this modern mindset of victimhood. We would have never achieved equal rights if the women of the past had seen themselves as victims and pointed at inequality and oppression as valid excuses to sit and complain.
And in other countries, women are still fighting for basic human rights. Those efforts deserve all our support, energy, and attention.
In Iran, a 22-year-old woman called Mahsa Amini died under police custody after being imprisoned for “improperly” wearing her hijab. She was arrested in September 2022 by the morality police in Tehran and beaten severely, according to her family and local media. Although world leaders condemned the actions of the Iranian government, nothing has changed, and millions of Iranian women today still face the danger of an outcome similar to hers.
In Southeast Asia, women get paid meager wages and work under unacceptable conditions, many for over 60 hours of overtime, according to Fashion Revolution. Most of the t-shirts saying “the future is female” that women buy in America are made by exploited women on the other side of the globe. Wearing clothes produced under unethical and unsafe conditions is not supporting women in any way, even if the shirt says, “fuck the patriarchy.”
Today, feminism in America means little more than sharing graphics on social media or going to publicized protests once in a while. It is time we cast away this selfish victimhood mentality and self-pity and focus on what can be done to make a difference.
The women around the world facing these severe challenges are truly victors. We can all be victors if we push for change and set our minds to it, remembering how far we’ve come without obsessively fixating on it.
Isabella Albertini is a 23-year-old mass communication sophomore from Lima, Peru.