What are empowered women like now?

Mariam Woodman is an author and Jungian analyst who is known for her work on the feminine energies. What are the embodied feminine energies that Marian Woodman talks about? She describes this feminine as the earth itself, a soulful living energy pulsing in our material world (source). I didn’t know about Woodman’s work on the feminine when I began my research into contemporary feminine values, but it makes perfect sense now.

This project started with a survey of 6 questions that I sent out to women of various ages about what empowered women are like now. I got 55 responses. I felt that a photo, painting or drawing would fail to capture the full energy of what these women had shared with me about their values. I decided to create a relief sculpture replica of classic Inanna image, seen on the left in figure 1. In allowing the creative process itself to dictate how the image should or could be different in 2016, I got the resulting image see on the right in figure 1.


Images: Top Left is The Burney Relief  (source). Bottom left is Inanna (souce) and. Middle top and bottom are my photo from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art exhibiton: Puja and Piety: Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist Art from the Indian Subcontinent (source).

Working with the clay was magical. The material itself is pleasurable. As I worked on the goddess in clay I felt as if I was working on my own body. The connection between the clay figure and me became joyful as her hands transformed into two modern signs. She makes a peace gesture with the left hand and the Vulcan salute for ‘live long and prosper’ (source) with the right hand. In the end, I created a short film that combined some of the results from the survey with video from my creative process and the final result. The video titled Feminine Values is at the top of this post.

Take the Survey, add your perspective!

Answers to Empowered Women 2016 survey

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  • Sophie from Howls moving castle
    Inanna, Sumerian Queen of Heaven and Earth
    I have no idea. A Hindu Goddess of death & rebirth maybe.
    Sailor Moon
    None come to mind
    Dumbo’s Mother
    Ellen Ripley
    The little mermaid
    Neytiri from Avatar
    Not sure, I’m not very good at other’s fiction:)
    A unicorn. I’m always a Unicorn. But if I have to choose on the list then Wonder Woman.
    Daernerys Targaryen
    Hermione Granger

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  • Mothers everywhere
    Mother Theresa
    maya angelou
    Harriet Tubman
    Queen Elizabeth
    Hillary Clinton.
    My mother
    Many women I know that face difficulties and overcome them
    My daughter.
    the mother
    Malala, the Pakistani activist for girls’ education
    My mom
    Michelle Obama
    Michelle Obama
    Marianne Williamson or Mata Amritanandamayi
    The one who cares, generally speaking
    Mother Teresa
    Unsure. Define power ??
    Since I perceive power in the holy order of God Presence, I do not have an answer to that question.
    My mom
    The One I Am in the process of embodying. Every Woman aligned wth the Truth of Her Own Soul.
    My daughter 🙂
    Angela Merkel
    Mother Teresa

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  • that’s a tough one. ??
    Material wealth
    The opinion of others.
    Anything but the above

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  • Divine!
    I do
    Doing the right thing is the best way to live.
    How I feel
    I do
    Is it weird to say ‘myself’? I have to be OK with my choices.
    The people I choose to surround myself with; me!!
    My mom
    My Inner Truth
    Family & close friends
    My self and my family
    My Heart
    Heavenly Father

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  • Creativity
    True education empowers our children and our community.
    Community Self-knowledge


Additional comments from Empowered Women 2016 survey.

Wow, power is tough to define but if women had equal rights in the areas of freedom of movement, equal wages, free healthcare, 2 years paid maternity leave, education from age 4 on up I think they would be able to be leaders in society. Without recognition and support financially, it is difficult to care for family and be a force in our communities that implements progressive change for improving everyone’s lives – people, flora and fauna. Thanks for helping us in our pursuit of artistic expression!

They are decisive, fearless and supportive.

We collaborate with each other rather than compete

Complicated question — had several and-if and but-thens to add to each query….

For me the ultimate goal is balance. Somehow figuring out how to respect yourself, run the world, and still nurture your family.

Empowered women are able and committed to supporting other women.

empowered women are loved, activated women with support. they act like theyre…..loved, activated and supported.

The only safe thing is to take a chance -Elaine May

I have a new respect for working mothers.

They look confident, strong, are honest, loyal, good heart.

empowered women do not need men to define them. But they can choose to love men if they enhance their lives.

I think empowered women in 2016 are courageous, stand up for what they believe in, live by their own rules and inspire others.

Strong, stable, motivated, dedicated, passionate, compassionate leader

I think empowered women of 2016 are independent yet interdependent, strong yet gentle, fearless, not fearful, supportive and empowering to other women, inquisitive but comfortable knowing that we have all the information we need within us

As a feminist, I believe that empowering women around the world is more important now than ever. It is so valuable to continue the conversation regarding equality, health care, and women’s rights. These are not issues of the past, they are issues that empowered women need to bring attention to as we continue to speak up for ourselves and fight against oppression. As an empowered woman, I want to remind all women that we need to unite and encourage each other to be the best and most authentic versions of ourselves and not apologize for staying true to what feels right regardless of what society expects of us. Lead the way with love and kindness…

An empowered woman can look like anything if she is truly empowered..she will try to be something she’s not to fit a social standard

They are self-reliant and confident in pursuing their passions. They do not need the approval of others and do not follow the crowd but blaze their own trail.

An empowered woman today uses her voice to speak for the silent. She uses her visibility to shed light on the unseen. She walks in integrity, aligned in action with her beliefs and values. She helps other women and prioritizes being of service to others. She speaks her truth, walks her talk and models this embodiment for others knowing that the work she does on and for herself is also for and impacts the collective of the feminine field.

They are hard working women who never give up. They work for the wellbeing of their family and community. They are optimistic and try to find a solution for every problem They look at challenges as opportunities. They are supportive of their friends just as much as their friends are supportive of them .They are always hopeful.

An empowered woman takes an unbiased and informed look at events and circumstances before acting. She looks confident, curious, and approachable.

Compassionate and wise

She sees herself and others with clarity and love and expresses knowing every thought, every word, every action counts.

Empowered women don’t need validation from anyone in order to succeed. Women know their own worth.

When women become truly empowered, they won’t look that much different than everyone else but will have a calm center from which to exercise that power

We are all about balance, connection and self-care. We know our shit. We know the difference between what feels good and what is shit. We love our shit but we daily strive to transform our shit. We take care of our shit. We don’t leave our shit lying around, expecting others to take care of our shit. We’re not waiting for someone to save us, we’re saving ourselves. We’re helpful/supportive when necessary and when not needed/asked to be, we stay in our own “hula-hoop”. We can distinguish between what is a problem we can solve and what is outside of our reach/hula-hoop. We don’t waste energy on things that don’t concern us directly. We love and nurture our relationships. We recognize that we need to first love ourselves before we can truly, deeply, love others. We give of ourselves but have healthy boundaries. We don’t give til it hurts. It either enlivens us or it’s time to reassess our commitment to a barrage of suffering. We recognize that suffering is in our own hands and that it’s our resistance to life on life’s terms that is at its root. We strive to bring harmony and serenity to life in every energetic transaction. We realize we’re not perfect and can laugh whole-heartedly at ourselves!!! We love our imperfections and strive to unravel the knots in our heads and hearts with a daily spiritual practice, even if it’s just “thank you”. We don’t have to tell others how powerful we are because they can feel it. They feel safe and protected around us. They gravitate to us because we are walking the walk. We are “enlightened” because we’ve experienced our burdens being lifted by our divine guides, our Higher Power. We give grace because we get grace. We don’t believe we deserve good things because if we did, we’d also have to believe that conversely, we deserve bad things, too. We are MORE than feminists, we’re humanists. We don’t just want equality for ourselves, we want equality for EVERYONE. We know that it’s possible. We know that it’s an inside job. We’re prepared to do what it takes for the rest of our lives if that means we leave the world a better place than we found it. We are soft and we are hard. And we dance in the in-between spaces.

See above. Plus my son says that I remind him of Piper from FallOut 4.

Empowered people both men and women are respectful to themselves as well as all living things.

Bold, decisive, intelligent, compassionate, savvy.

An empowered woman in this day and age is someone who recognizes her own value and strength in her community and how her actions effect it. She is one that is looked to for guidances and often goes unseen but appreciated. She is influential and well connected. She loves to watch other’s succeed and encourages others to follow suit.

Very confident, demanding, underhanded.

Best of wishes Mitra! ♡♡♡

An empowered woman is all right with herself – mind, body, soul. Centered and strong in her core.

Happy and Loving

Empowered women, in my opinion, are those who are responsible for themselves, active, independent, confident but not arrogant, and can influence others positively. They don’t need to be physically beautiful or look powerful in anyway. The way they see the world, the way they treat other people and what they choose to do will make others perceive them as empowered women.

Empowered woman have many faces… For me I am empowered by my beliefs my morals, my character and embracing my flaws/ attributes and learning from them. Growing everyday and choosing happiness every morning when I wake up! I do not let others dictate how I should feel or how I should act! I say what I want with out much filter… Though I think before I speak! As a mother I am not influenced by other mothers or parents or by the rule book! I am care free and honest about everything I contribute to my self and to others. I believe in empathy and compassion but have little wiggle room for close minded people. I am happy with a small group of friends who are true to them selfs and to me… I also believe what goes around comes around! Treat others as how you wish to be treated! Empowerment comes from within and loving yourself first!

She is in touch with her deep truth and expresses it through her clear voice. She is am amalgam of her done feminine and masculine aspects. She creates her life through her conscious choices and knows that the Highest Good always prevails, we is no such thing as losing or winning, we are all one, and her Power is Universal.

Fully authentic and in alignment with themselves and their hearts, and thus nature and the cosmos, and able express fully and radiantly from that place and to live according to their truth with love.

I think we have only just begun defining a woman in the modern world.

Empowered woman support and protect others.

it’s all about Love.

In 2016 empowered women come in all shapes and sizes. From stay at home moms by choice to young women of varied ethnicities finding their voice in politics to advocates in every social justice movement to grandmother’s still kicking it in the boardroom. Empowerment now means being the truest version of yourself fiercely and with pride.