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Response 2

Women's Electoral Politics
UN Women's Watch
Global Gag Rule
Martha Nussbaum
Women's Well-being

Response #2: Cara

My Definition of Well-being:


A woman’s well-being, I believe, has everything to do with how she feels about herself. A woman needs to feel respected, equal, secure, stable, needed, loved and beautiful (inside and out) in order to have a positive sense of well-being. A woman needs to feel like she is respected and understood by those around her. She wants the men in her life to be in awe of her strength. A woman needs to feel like she is an equal in the places that she works and the places that she lives. A woman needs to know that the men in her life look up to her instead of looking down at her. A woman needs to feel secure and safe. She needs to know that she is protected, if not by herself, then by those around her. A woman needs to feel stable. She needs to know that if her world is shaken up she can still move on. A woman needs to feel needed. She wants to be able to support those around her and have them lean on her. A woman needs to feel loved and beautiful. Even if it is just her telling herself that she’s incredible, a woman needs to know how amazing she is. All of this may just be me projecting what I need as a woman. But I truly believe that a woman needs at least some of the above to feel good about herself and to have a positive sense of well-being.

One reason why I chose Cara's is because her entry was so different from everyone elses. She chose to make the definition very personal, female- oriented and focused on how others (particularly men) feel about her or women in general. Clearly this comes from her personal experience stated below. As a queer woman I found all three of these areas very interesting. She is coming from a particularly heterocentic perspective and I personally do not think she meant too, but it does help me raise questions. I personally believe that well-being is currently too gender focused. This is stated very eloquently in this essay when she talked about how she needs a man to feel about this really what well-being is? Or is well-being more instrinsic and influenced by external relationships? Can we say that well-being is completely intrinsic when it is affected by so many external relationships? Or is well-being more composed of how we react to external pressures than the pressures themselves? She is coming so deeply from inside of her that I was wondering if what she says about what women need is similar or different than what men her perception? I liked what she said I just wanted to see the similarities to what men might need and if there is a gender neutral idea of well-being or if it differs so greatly per gender? I am also interested for her to expand on why a woman's well-being encompasses how others (particularly men) feel about her as a woman. I can understand this concept and greatly appreciate it,I was just wondering where that comes from and if it would relate to same sex relationships or if it has more to do with the role that people in play in relationships (homemaker, money-maker, submissive, etc)? Or if it has more to do with just being a female? Her writing made me think about a lot of questions and I think that's awesome!

Life Experiences Regarding Well-Being:


When I was younger I went through a long line of boyfriends who did not respect me. At the time I thought that I was in love with all of them but as I grew older and learned more about the world I realized that I deserved more. About a year ago I met a wonderful man named Stephen who has done so much to flourish my well being. Stephen encourages me in so many ways and lets me know how much he loves my strengths. He also helps me improve my weaknesses. Stephen is such an amazing man because supports me and everything that I believe in, including my feminist tendencies. Stephen has always told me how much he loves the fact that I'm a strong woman. I never thought that I would be that woman who credits a man with flourishing her well being, but I am.

That is awesome. Again I go back to the fact that in order for a person to find well-being they need a community of support. That can include one person (like Stephan) or a family of people. I think it is wonderful to not only find a person that supports you but that you can support each other. This does make me ask the question how much does a partner affect your well-being? If it does affect it, then how and how much? Should a person's internal well-being be heavily affected by another person? How can we find well-being without a partner? Would someone be missing an aspect of well-being without the positive affects of a loving partner? These are all deep questions that I don't think I even have the answer too but her essay opened up a flow of them that I put out there for anyone to answer back or for Cara to think about. This type of questioning of each other is what makes the question of well-being so ellusive. It can mean different things depending on circumstance, experience or up-bringing. Even more potent than that is the current state of a person. Many people will focus on certain aspects more than others because they are currently struggling and giving heavy importance to them. When I read Cara's reflection it reminds me once again that well-being is so personal and with good reason. I give kudos to Cara for being a strong woman and coming out of her situation much better than when she went in.


 The time that I felt my well being was most damaged was when I worked with many negative, condescending co-workers who did not respect me or those around me. They were very disrespectful and did not back up my position in the company. They would go behind my back and tell people things that were supposed to be kept confidential. That really hurt me because I am a very loyal person and to see someone disrespect others, especially me, really damaged my well being.

I totally agree with Cara in this aspect! She is the only one who mentioned about co-workers specifically in her assignment. Co-workers can definitely affect your mood and your environment. I think all of us have interesting stories about work and co-workers. I have learned that you can work with anyone, if you call them on "their shit" pardon my language. People who try to knock you down and talk about you behind your back are trying to keep the upper hand. Having conversations with those people will improve one’s situation.

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