More often than not our self-esteem is called into question, and it is the job of the individual to maintain a healthy and positive view of who they are. On March 8, 2017, the women of the world hit the streets to celebrate our existence and highlight the importance of our presence in this world. Puerto Rico was no exception. The women on this island, and the men that support them made sure they were being heard. Our campus participated in this manifestation. The entire university was filled with people chanting: “Si nosotras nos paramos el país se detiene” and “Mujeres contra el machismo, mujeres contra el capital, mujeres contra el terrorismo neoliberal”. The energy was contagious, people were united not just to draw attention to the injustice that women live every day (from lower pay, to laws that intend to regulate what a woman does with her body), but to empower themselves as human beings.
And in the mists of all this organized chaos was Her Campus at UPR, we joined these beautiful people to ask them a very important question:
How do you empower yourself?
This is what they said:
“Through the participation of citizens in events such as these, us women can empower ourselves. As a mom, I feel being here with my daughter I am helping construct who she will be as a citizen so she will consistently participate, so she will empower herself and so she will always fight against injustice”. – The Mother
“I’m a poet and a writer, I use writing as a powerful medium and as a tool to empower myself and others. I surround myself with powerful and strong women, and I feel empowered when I help empower others”. -Ana Portnoy Brimmer aka The Writer
“Building strong female relationships, be against girl on girl hate, tell other girls that they’re beautiful and make friends with them. This way we all come together and we all the defeat the stigma that says that everything is a competition between women”. – The Lover
“Society fucking sucks, so you have to believe in yourself always, not judge other people and be confident in yourself regardless of what others think”. – The Reject
“I empower myself everyday that get out of my house, everyday day that I come to university, I wear whatever I want and I do whatever I want”. – The Free Spirit
“Screaming, to be heard, so people hear what I think and feel. Writing, taking pictures, making art”. – The Artist
“I empower myself by getting in a zone where I go do things I want, feeling in control gives me a sense of empowerment. It can be something super simple like going to a museum or creating something new”. – The Flower
“I find empowerment through consciously trying to accept my body as it is, being the best version of myself, supporting other women and their lifestyles, and by embracing the true meaning of feminism by abolishing traditional gender roles”. – The Liberal
“I empower myself by believing in myself. If a door closes I don’t give up, I just look for another one. Even when I doubt myself, I always try to be optimistic and just believe”. – The Go Getter
Whether you’re The Mother, creating and example of yourself, The Flower, trying to get through the day, or The Liberal, learning to accept yourself and others, it seems that if we look hard enough we will realize that we are surrounded by people who are just trying to make the world a better place. This is why we have the privilege to be alive and why we should celebrate waking up in the morning, it is an opportunity to be better, to strangers, to our loved ones and to ourselves.