Emancipation of a Woman in "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou
549 Words3 Pages
Any girl could say she is a woman. It takes a strong woman to be a phenomenal woman. A phenomenal woman does not rely on others for financial, mental and social needs. A woman like this takes pride in her-self and doesn’t let anyone put her down. Throughout the times a woman strives for her independence to become her own individual in life.
Phenomenal Woman, written by Maya Angelou, is a poem which is an anthem for all women’s strength in their own womanhood. (Angelou 1) The poem speaks out to us women as far as of where we are in society. “Look at me!" "I am beautiful in my strength, in whatever shape that is mine.”(Angelou 2) The poem reminds women that they are filled with beauty and strength and they should love themselves for…show more content…
An example of a financially dependent woman would be a female college student. Attending college, and earned a Louisiana Tuition Opportunity Program for Students, which is known as (TOPS). All schooling was paid for then the she met the wrong person, in addition she started skipping class and becoming more dereliction and later dropped out of college which caused to lose the scholarship and grant money that she wanted so bad. At the age of twenty-three, she now has four children. The student lives back at her parents’ house, because she was unable to pay the rent for their apartment and does not have a job because of the lack of transportation. Now depending on the mother for help, the mother has welcomed her and the four children in her home. A mentally phenomanal woman believes in herself. Whenever a woman chooses to believe in herself, she does not let negative feedback get to her. Myself for example, depended on a man that really did not care for me. He used me and manipulated my mind. I did not have what it took to be mentally independent. I was weak minded and did not have the confidence and good judgment that it took for me to continue my education at the time. Targeted by my child father, I deprived myself for him. I was no longer living for herself. Having social independence a phenomenal woman can choose who she want to be around. If I had social independence at the time, I probably would not have made the mistake of being a young mother.
I’ve read this poem, “Phenomenal Woman” years ago but I have never forgotten it ever since—such is the power of Maya Angelou’s words. Whenever I feel sad, or experience anything that blows my self-esteem to smithereens, I think about this poem—it is one of the few that can instantly make me feel uplifted and empowered. It stirs the soul and affirms the human spirit. “Phenomenal Woman” is all about feeling good about oneself.
It sends a positive message to women and is a kind of affirmation of the female identity. Upon reading the poem, there is a shock of recognition, the recognition of the identity that all too often lies defeated under the weight of oppressive tradition. The first line, ‘Pretty women wonder where my secret lies, I am not cute or built to fit a fashion model sizes’ pretty much sums up Angelou’s message—that a woman’s true essence isn’t something that can be judged through outward appearances alone.
Angelou uses very simple and unsophisticated wording to convey a deep message: that identity and sexuality are not all about the aspects of a woman that she has no control over (her looks) but also about what she feels, and chooses to feel, and in how she chooses to convey her feelings. One can truly be phenomenal if one believes herself to be. The poem does not only apply to women but transcends gender, race, and social status.
Angelou’s message is universal, one that touches on the very basic fabric humanity: A person’s worth is not something that is ought to be dictated by society’s standards. The poem makes me love the body I’m blessed with, asserts my identity, affirms my sexuality, and paves the way to a deeper understanding of myself. A woman need not have Barbie’s vital statistics or a perfect bone structure—it’s good to have these characteristics but a “real” woman is more.
Those traits that men “can’t touch”—a woman’s “inner mystery”—however unfathomable, truly makes us special and unique. “Phenomenal Woman” is a reminder of our power to control our own outlook. We are not mere slaves to circumstance, but participants in the game of life. And the most important thing is—to love myself unconditionally, because I’m a woman. Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman. That’s me.