• Malar Villi

Bye Feminism , Hi Humanity

The month of March has indeed been of particular interest to me as I had the opportunity to moderate two forums and one speaking slot on well-being. All these were in conjunction with International Women’s Day's celebration. In fact, this is my first year celebrating this event.

In the forum that was organised by Women Who Code, a young lady Caroline Louise Thomas came up to me and asked what does International Women’s Day mean to me? It kept me reflecting for days.

‘Every woman should have a fair opportunity to make the right choices for herself and the space to express her talent and passion.The birth of the joy of living fully and authentically is the reason for the season. She believes that her environment will empower her as the surrounding encourages her. I look forward to the near future when the discussions and questions are on how we can be more of, who we truly are and have the raised expectations of who we can be. We will celebrate the bygones where discussions were about how to remove the obstacles and work even harder to live our dreams after having fulfilled the dreams others hold us accountable to. Every girl will talk about her dreams on how she will get there, where the true celebration of, being, begins.’ The death of feminism and the resurrection of humanity it will be.

This forum was indeed a celebration of Wonder Women from the coding world. More than 60 women gathered to find out the secret of success of the panellist of women who have made it in the man’s world. There were different types of questions around the topic, but one distinct pattern of thinking emerged between the panellist and the audience.

The audience were curious about how these women succeeded among men and how they managed competition from men. Instead, the panellist surprised the audience as they operated from a space where these thoughts did not exist. They were not even thinking of men as competitions nor an obstacle to their growth. In fact, some of them had mentors among the men. The mindsets were two worlds apart. 

There was a feeling of liberation from the unknown enemy in the room as the group opened up to have conversations about moving forward in their career and having a support system that will enable them to pursue their passion. The possibility to have it all as they transcended from the superwoman syndrome to wonder woman by having clarity of their identity and making the right choices for themselves and people who mattered in their lives. Did I mention that there were men among us to support the celebration?

In a separate forum organised by SALT, I met women from various walks of life who were attracted to the topic “Facing Adversity, Finding Joy". The highlights of surprises for me started with the Huminodun Pantomime , a tale of sacrifice. It followed suit with the forum where it was a blessing to sit with Hannah Yeoh, the author of, Becoming Hannah, A Personal Journey . She openly shared with clarity and confidence on how she discerns and stays true to her vocation as a politician while finding her anchor in her other roles that were equally significant, a conflict many career women experience. What does it take to be committed when one is questioned, challenged even criticised in her role? It takes clarity and character strength, Hannah's spiritual gift . I understood what it meant to be being one in Hannah Yeoh’s presence. Hannah's confidence was the result of her discerning for clarity, acquiring skills to manage her role, keeping a check on herself for accountability to her commitment and staying resilient when criticised . She knows her purpose and she was accountable to herself and her creator.

Dr Anasuya Jegathesan, transitioned from a panellist at a forum to a talk show expert as women asked her questions around their nagging emotions and I watched Dr Anasuya Jegathesan passionately help women see their worthiness to be loved. She was the epitome of how one transforms one's own pains into pearls as she briefly shared the grief she experienced when she lost her mother suddenly and later, her brother's suicide, which led her to her current work in counselling. She answered many questions that were addressed to her regarding emotions, with so much of compassion and empathy for the self.

It was an emotional space when my eight-year-old daughter asked me ‘ How come there were so many questions to the Doctor and not as many to Hannah Yeoh? In my heart, I felt bruised by the truth as I wanted to say, "Well, we have basic needs that we don’t even know is our right. Perhaps, we are not ready for the conversation around vocations and spirituality just yet. Instead, I smiled at her, muttering “Great observation and yes you are right", ensuring she understood my tone, which was dismissive. I was glad that she did!

The hope resurrected for the uprising of women to be their best versions of life itself. Then the wrap-up came with an invitation to speak for an hour, on stress management, to a wonderful group of women in Zurich Insurance. This time, we remembered and celebrated the need to laugh, love and live entirely for the soul, clothed as women who are unique beings with the gift of birthing, nurturing and persisting. And we remember to seek joy unconditionally. We became aware of the need to accept and to serve the self as we serve others.

#With the likes of Nakia, Okoye and Shuri being able to stand on their own and make the choices, the right one that represents their identity and be the new warrior women colourfully adorned right to their nature is indeed a sign of the resurrection of humanity. We have a beautiful vision of what we all could be, with the mindset around us shifting, the revival of humanity has just begun.

I feel grateful to all my past mentors, the women who have inspired me to feel the pain of helplessness and the beings who have helped me find light in the hopes of a better future together.

Welcome April, as we embrace inclusiveness, especially the differently-abled we label as autistic.

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