Is it possible for a woman to be empowered and be happy? This book by Tracy Uloma Cooper explores the question from a research perspective, utilizing the method of narrative analysis to examine women’s one-on-one interviews. What makes this book special is the focus on the narrative voice of the women participants, which differentiates it from previous explorations and research.
Our participants are among those Western women who are a part of the vanguards who infiltrated the male dominated workforce and advanced toward significant professional empowerment. The findings suggest that a fear-based survival mode is keeping women, who outwardly seem empowered, from an inner feeling of empowerment and thus from happiness. The participants spoke of being called to greater fulfillment in their lives and recognized that conscious active responsibility would be necessary to satisfy those needs, though in many cases it remained unclear whether they would decide to act upon the realization or not. It is of great importance that we pay attention to such women’s interpretation of their experiences.
Society needs to attend to the findings we will explore within this book. These results are critical to psychological health and reflect deeply on how to help women find the courage to move forward. Because a healthy society relies on women rising, owning their experience, balancing their priorities, and having access to steps for health, it is clear that women’s emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual health would be improved through access to specific programs that will promote unconditional love, integration, and conscious awareness designed to access the individual’s inner sage and as yet unrealized potentialities.