How Powerful Sexist Men Are Advancing Women's Power Too (albeit not intentionally)

The current spate of accusations against powerful men is terrible, but may just have an upside...

Like Comment

Amidst all the sadness and anger of the current revelations and accusations of powerful men abusing women I am still hopeful for what this means for gender equality.

When I was a teenager it was accepted as routine that men and boys would make sexist comments to you; just leaving my home used to feel like running the gauntlet and as a young teenager I was hugely intimidated by it. It was so commonplace to be groped at work or on the way to school that we didn’t report it because we would be told to stop wearing mini skirts, take a different route, ignore them etc. I can remember being told by a teacher that men couldn’t help themselves if we dressed provocatively i.e. not perfect uniform and skirts covering our knees. That sounds sadly familiar, doesn't it?

There was a cloak of complicity over the actions of men and boys, even at a very minor level. When men hold the power all men are seen as powerful and all women are less powerful. And the consequences of that power imbalance shows in all sorts of ways; at its worse in the sexual abuse of women with women and girls not being believed by others in power. Or perhaps even worse, being believed but being rebuffed and belittled by the power of a society which accepted that men were superior to women and therefore this was ‘acceptable’ or ‘inevitable’ behaviour. You don’t have to think long to to bring to mind some great men in history and how they fell short when it came to their attitudes to women and the excuses made for them.

But that cloak is being swept aside by the actions of some courageous women; society is being forced to hold a mirror up against itself and it doesn’t like what it sees. People are asking why has this been happening for so long? And as more women and girls see women speaking out and being believed so will they speak out against sexism and the power imbalance. Just read some of the comments on the No More Page Three or Everyday Sexism sites and you’ll see what I mean

Wonderful women, recognising their own power, are speaking out and the times they are a’changing! More power and huge gratitude to them (and to the men who are supportive too). Most have paid a huge price but their courage is moving us nearer to the day when women will genuinely be treated by society as a whole as equals in their own right. True gender equality must surely follow soon!

You might also like to read Is Feminism on the Change?

NEW: Everything you ever wanted to know about adding RenewYou to your training portfolio, inc fees.

Jane C Woods

Women's Personal Development Specialist - Changing People, -

Hi, I’m Jane C Woods and I have an absolute passion for helping women achieve success in their lives. Be it the glass ceiling, the crystal maze, or very personal issues, I’m all about helping women achieve to their full potential and live the way they want to without being carbon copies of men. But I’m not about putting men down in order for women to get ahead, there’s plenty of room; I just want the guys to shifty up a bit… If my face looks familiar it's because I love Psychologies magazine (I've been buying it since the very first issue, such a good resource) and it's the only place I choose to advertise my courses. I write on women’s issues on my blog,, and am regularly featured in magazines, and on radio, but I’m probably best known for RenewYou. RenewYou is my one day personal development course for women. We have an international network of experienced, specialist women licensed to deliver it and empower women across the globe. Our goal is to reach one million women. It’s a big goal but… In 2013 we started with a single RenewYou specialist, me. Now you can find a RenewYou Courses across the UK, in the USA, Canada, Greece, Bangkok, Pakistan, South Africa, Belgium, with new countries being added all the time. My dream was to create a thriving and caring business on ethical, and dare I say, feminine terms, with a real community spirit of help and encouragement. And it’s actually happening with the support, expertise, and enthusiasm of my wonderful trainers. I think, (apart from my two lovely kids, a daughter and a son) that it’s probably my proudest achievement to date. Wonderful Changing People Women: One of the joys and privileges of my work is that I’ve connected with some really inspirational and wonderful women – from politics to entertainment to academia. They include: TV presenter, house fixer and matchmaker Sarah Beeny Amazing entrepreneur Sam Roddick of Coco de Mer Outspoken and entertaining academic Mary Beard Politicians like Siobhan Benita and Natalie Bennett Ex BBC broadcaster Miriam O’Reilly who bravely took on the might of the BBC- and triumphed A very rare interview with Sarah Montague, of the influential BBC Radio 4 Today programme I hope you like the posts and I hope they are helpful. Live life to the max and never hide your light under any bushels!