October 11, 2012

What is a Powerful Woman? ~ Caitlin Heather Vincek

A truly powerful woman does not have to fight her way to the top. A truly powerful woman is not even concerned about the top.

Fortune Magazine’s latest issue boasts the cover story: “The 50 Most Powerful Women.”

The woman on the front page stands in a tight, yet not shapely, black dress, with a clenched fist glued to her hip. Her smile (if you can call it that) is pencil-thin, neither showing teeth, nor curving upward to avoid creasing her perfectly emotionless face. Finally, the shot was craftily taken at such an angle so as to drastically diminish any semblance of feminine curves.

The photo should have been enough of a warning as to what to expect from the article, but I couldn’t help myself. Even for someone who has made it a lifestyle choice never to read publications like Fortune Magazine, an article claiming to be about powerful women was not something I could pass up.

My shock upon seeing the list of The 50 Most Powerful Women was greater than I could have imagined. A slew of CEOs, Presidents and Chairmen from the following corporations and companies: IBM, Pepsico, Hewlett Packard, Kraft Foods, Fidelity Investments, Proctor and Gamble, Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart, Campbell Soup, McDonald’s and North American Pharmaceuticals, to name a few.

My first thought:

If the most powerful women in our country are heading up these companies, we are beyond f*cked.

At the risk of sounding accusatory, these are the companies that are killing people and killing the planet. This is the direct opposite of what women’s bodies are quite literally created to do.

Last I checked, there are no organs of mass destruction between my legs.

My second thought: what is their criteria for a “powerful woman”? A woman who has found a way to play with the men at a game that was invented by and for men? A woman who has sacrificed all that is natural to her as a woman—and stuffed it inside that horrendous black dress—in a desperate effort to resemble a man in as many ways as possible, without actually cross-dressing?

The average age of these so called “powerful women” is 50-something. Is that really how long it takes for a woman fighting her way through the hierarchy of suited penises to get to the top? No thank you.

A truly powerful woman does not have to fight her way to the top. A truly powerful woman is not even concerned about the top. She is strong and unwavering in body, mind and spirit. She radiates confidence—neither from a tightly clenched fist nor a restrictive black dress, but instead from her soft belly and womb. She is in touch with her capacity to create, nourish and sustain life all within her own body. She smiles at the world with the knowledge that she is the reason any of us are alive, (even those men in the suits!).

She is a healer, a mother and a survivor.

She listens to the innate wisdom of her body; that is how she knows what is most nourishing for her own health, the health of her children and all those around her (and she knows it is not Pepsi, Campbell Soup or McDonald’s).

She honors her ancestors and heals the Earth with her awareness of what is necessary for the sustainability of life on this planet.

She is wise and she is beautiful. She does not hide her femininity, but rather embraces her curvy hips, her gentle belly and her round breasts. She knows in every cell of her body she is a miracle, and none other than her kind has ever birthed a living being from their pelvis.

She is the mother of eight children; the priestess who remembers the ancient ways; the maker of medicine; the dancer; the artist; the grandmother by the fire. She is the one who stopped the rapist in his tracks by asking him his mother’s name. She is the one who loves fully even though they removed her clitoris. She is the one crossing the desert with a baby suckling at her breast. She is the one they tried to kill but couldn’t. She is the one with the unbreakable spirit.

She may not have millions of dollars in her bank account, but she has millions of eggs in her ovaries, each with the potential to grow into a human life. She may never see the inside of a limousine, but she herself is a life-bearing vessel.

Please take a moment to consider the powerful women in your life. Thank them for embracing their true power as women, and for not giving it up in an attempt to be more like a man.


After dedicating her academic career to the study of linguistics, Caitlin Heather Vincek has taken a hiatus from spoken languages to explore the fascinating language of the body. She is now a certified Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist and a student of women’s ceremonial arts and spirituality in Boulder, Colorado.  For more about Caitlin’s work, visit www.radiantinside.com.



Editor: Jennifer Spesia

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