NeW Conference Countdown: Scholarship Winner Kara

June 22, 2010 | NeW Staff

Our first-prize winning essay comes from Kara at Arizona State University. Here’s what she had to say about NeW’s role in changing her perspectives on women and filtering what Hollywood claims.

All children try to find their own place in the world; such as the teacher’s pet, or the soccer king. As they attempt to find a groove, the world teaches them where they belong.  As I personally got older, I began to ask myself where I had learned my roles. From Sleeping Beauty, to Mulan: and even TV shows such as Bachelorette or Grey’s Anatomy, Hollywood teaches women to fit into two major roles; either a feminine, helpless, beautiful, damsel in distress or a masculine prodigy in overcoming a woman’s weaknesses. In short, we are taught to become the object of a man’s greatest desire, or to completely deny our true nature as a woman. 
Personally, I never wanted to be overpowered by a man. I put myself into the second category. I never accepted a man’s coat when cold, and I made it a personal goal to be better than all the guys at school and I refused to admit that I might want a family to replace my career. However, I was always bothered by the fact that somehow I knew families are what bring true happiness, and that I strongly believe a mother’s nurturing power was necessary in a family. I finally concluded that I was going to have a family, but I resented it.
I believe that NeW has given me an insight about women. My first contact with the organization was a seminar with Bay Buchannan. I was impressed by her talk on the dangers of feminism. We are feminine, and that is a wonderful thing. But that does not mean we are not powerful. We don’t have to fit into only one of the two Hollywood categories. I can ride my ATV wearing pink! I can pursue both a career and a family. I can go to my 20 year reunion and be proud of my accomplishments with my 4 children at home! 
Hollywood perhaps displays some truth in its views of women. But it shows two dimensional women in a three dimensional world. We each possess both sides. To be feminine does not mean we must be helpless, but we can be protected. To be influential does not mean we have to be a man! Another perspective lost in Hollywood is that men and women are different, but equal and complimentary in their differences! 
 I feel that my eyes have been opened to be who I really am!  More than that, I really believe that I now allow myself to be who I really am. I embrace the difference of men and women! Every day I feel more grateful for conservative culture that reserves the values, and a way of life that I really believe to be healthy. My life is different in the way I talk about myself, and the way I view myself. I do not see my womanly roles as demeaning. As small as this change may appear on the outside, its colossal effects will change my entire life, and my family’s life, and perhaps more.  
Thank you NeW for lifting a harmful perspective from my life. I have grown significantly from my short involvement with this club, and I am excited about every opportunity I have to participate and spread what I have learned to other women like me. 

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