In a dystopic future, due to a series of environmental changes, women have developed a new nerve that exudes electricity – called the power of ‘zapping’. The beauty of this biological alteration is that women who have developed the ‘zapping’ nerve can pass it on to the women who haven’t yet –by a mere physical touch.
This is the setting of the book ‘Power’ by Naomi Alderman. I remember reading it as a lit-gender student and feeling truly empowered. There’s ample literature on how the book is a masterstroke statement in the relevance of feminist discourse today. But what struck me the most in this dystopia-story was the element of sisterhood.
And the intensity of Power that women are capable of, if they stand by each other.
In one particularly iconic moment in the book, a little girl helps women who were victims of sex-trafficking, escape the dungeon their oppressor had caged them in by passing on her ‘zapping’ power to one of the women, who then passed the ‘zap’ on to the other women trapped with her. Creating a ripple of empowerment so liberating that they could rise and emancipate themselves from their oppressor, together.
And that is the ‘Power’ of female communities.
The oppression, in the real world, may not harness itself in the same compelling manner. But as women thriving in a male-dominated culture, we’re imposed to similar metaphorical cages in varying degrees of intensity. And while there may be several ways to escape, working in a women-centric organisation has taught me that sisterhood is the most significant one of those.
Which is what we at Kool Kanya strive to create. We believe what one woman can do alone; several can do better, together.
So Why Should You Be A Part Of An Online Female Community?
1. To Find A Safe Space
Did you know that women are disproportionately targeted more in online bullying? The general tendency for women therefore, is to curb online behaviour on most social platforms. So where is the safe haven for women?
On online communities created for women, by women.
These safe spaces make it easier for you to be candid, original and authentic, because you have the assurance of being surrounded by like-minded people.
You can be part of conversations initiated by women in similar walks of life, where there is the promise of an open and encouraged expression of vulnerability.
Female-led online communities bear this very promise at the core of their inception.
2. To Find Your Personal and Professional Tribe
Picture this: you’re sitting in a room full of people who identify as men, trying to talk about your menstrual cramps, explaining why you need a day off from work. Or imagine talking about the struggle of maternity leave in a room full of people who a. may or may not have children or b. have their spouses look after the child-rearing responsibilities.
The best guidance is more likely to come from someone who has already tread the path you are struggling to walk on.
That is what a supportive community can help with.
3. To Find New Opportunities
The importance of relationships in life is not lost on any woman. While most women internalise this importance in their personal lives, this significance somehow gets lost along the way when it comes to their professional lives. Online female communities help popularise the notion of a professional tribe.
We’re quick to rush to our friends with the latest gossip or the hottest happenings in our friend circle. But this same agility somehow gets lost when it comes to conversations that have everything to do with professional accomplishments and guidance.
Being a part of a space where women can seek and share professional advice, help each other through difficult phases and render empathetic guidance forms the basic essence of an online female community.
And more importantly, it instills a communal sense of seeking out for professional opportunities. A space where women are engaging with each other regularly, sharing career advice and creating opportunities for each other, together.
4. To Find Inspiration
We tend to fall into unconscious patterns of behaviour. We operate in the manner we’ve been asked to without questioning it. And before we know it, we’re stuck in an inescapable rut. But here’s what can help in breaking archaic patterns – sharing stories where people have managed to break old patterns of behaviour and created unexplored avenues.
Click here to read all about why it is important for women to share their stories.
There can be countless reasons that hold us back from shooting our shot. But all we need is one ray of inspiration. Just one story where someone has managed to rebel against established norms and emerged victorious.
In being inspired and looking up to someone we deem aspirational, we forget that we can reach that destination too. To reach the point where we, in turn, can help inspire others.
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The Power Of A Community: Kool Kanya Network
Working towards finding success on any path involves several pit stops, various roadblocks and basically a lot of metaphorical cages like the aforementioned one. Your tribe, aka your female community is the place to seek alleviation from those metaphorical cages.
But there is one thing that online communities are incomplete without : Real life interaction and human connection.
This is the idea behind Kool Kanya’s inception. The Internet can have a ceaseless series of highly custom-curated advice but the void, which it can never satiate, is the need for real behind the virtual.
Which takes me to yet another instance where I felt the similar ‘Power’ of sisterhood –Kool Kanya’s series of #Unblocked events.
Kool Kanya Freelance Writers: #Unblocked
I keep circling back to the idea of metaphorical cages because we’re so attuned to being trapped in one. While the online community does so in it’s own right at multiple different levels, the influence of which perhaps cannot be quantified, the #Unblocked series is simply an extension of unblocking everything that is blocked or caged.
Kool Kanya’s first installment of the series was conducted for Freelance Content Writers. This was an intimate panel discussion on how to build a career as a Freelance Content Writer, how to network, get more work, and get clients which gradually grew into a networking summit.
Designed on the idea that the best person to render guidance is someone who has walked in your shoes and has found success –the panel discussion was conducted by some of the most successful Freelance Writers in the city.
Just how Alderman’s characters in the aforementioned novel rose to emancipation by sharing and reveling in their power, this event too helped every woman present rise to her power collectively by simply sharing their own individual power.
Click here to read all about the event highlights.
Kool Kanya Mental Health: #Unblocked
An intimate and one-of-a-kind workshop conducted by the reputed Dr. Alaokika Bharwani to help women deal with their own share of the ‘Superwoman Syndrome’. An exclusive gathering designed to help women alleviate their workplace stress, discuss realities about their mental health and declutter to lead a more fulfilling life.
Click here to register for the event
The sentiment behind these, and all the summits that Kool Kanya plans in the future (stay tuned!) highlights precisely everything that a women-centric community stands for.
Alderman’s ‘Power’ associated the concept with a physical transgression and an eventual empowerment, but with her narrative she also opened the doors for women to share their power everywhere.
Because the true meaning of ‘Power’ lies not in the ability to ‘zap’ but in the essence of sisterhood. In the ability to raise your power by helping others’ raise theirs’.
Watch out for the Kool Kanya Network. This unique online female-only community will be live on the 23rd of March, 2020. Stay tuned.