Vicky Prefers Voltaire to Vogue: Obstacles to the Self-Actualisation of Gifted Women Within Social Systems

27 Pages Posted: 29 May 2019

See all articles by Kate Kingsbury

Kate Kingsbury

Department of Anthropology

Francis Heylighen

Center Leo Apostel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Date Written: May 2, 2019

Abstract

Giftedness is characterized by high intellectual capabilities and ambitions, unconventional thinking, and a drive to learn and be creative. We argue that gifted women face specific obstacles that, for many, have precluded their ability to develop their gifts, hindered their educational development and career, and made them feel frustrated and unfulfilled. We analyse testimonies of gifted women that we collected from across the globe to provide concrete evidence of these hurdles, thereby highlighting their struggles, while noting in particular their experiences of shame, guilt, fear and self-doubt. A full understanding of these issues requires a deconstruction of the symbolic paradigm that underpins the social system we live in. As gifted women are by nature drawn to creative, independent, intellectual pursuits, they deviate from the norms imposed by the social system. The resulting negative reactions frequently lead them to believe there is something intrinsically wrong with them. This produces the painful emotion of shame, which potently suppresses self- actualization.

Keywords: giftedness, women, self-actualization, feminist theory, shame, intelligence

Suggested Citation

Kingsbury, Kate and Heylighen, Francis, Vicky Prefers Voltaire to Vogue: Obstacles to the Self-Actualisation of Gifted Women Within Social Systems (May 2, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3381601 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3381601

Kate Kingsbury

Department of Anthropology ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R3
Canada

Francis Heylighen (Contact Author)

Center Leo Apostel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
http://www.vub.ac.be/
Brussels, Brussels 1050
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/HEYL.html

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