I Can’t Say Anything Nice: BUT I Can Stand In My Power

Hydrangea Aging, 2017, photo by Glenda Clemens

“My father had taught me to be nice first,
 because you can always be mean later,
 but once you’ve been mean to someone,
 they won’t believe the nice anymore.
 So be nice, be nice,
 until it’s time to stop being nice,
 then destroy them.”
 ― Laurell K. Hamilton, A Stroke of Midnight

I am having trouble being nice. I am struggling these days about a lot of things. So I haven’t been writing. I haven’t been writing because I want to be a light in the darkness, a voice crying out in the wilderness and a fighter for equality. Yet with all the current angst in our society with the liars, the cheats, the sex scandals I’m finding it difficult to say anything nice. So I am finding myself in a miasma of anger and futility. So be fair-warned if you read one more word: THIS POST is not me being nice to make you feel better. This is me spilling my guts in words about what we as a society are going through.

“If a man whistles at you,
 don’t turn around.
 You are a lady not a dog.”
 ― Niall Horan

Well. No one has ever mistaken me for a lady but I’ve sometimes been called a bitch (as if being a bitch is a bad thing!). Men do not whistle at all women. Just some. It is here that I have to say, I love, love, love seeing a beautiful woman BUT when I look at any woman I feel and see beauty. So why would we ever base beauty upon only what our eyes behold? Why would women struggle so with beauty? Why are women, in general, not aware of how we objectify ourselves?

“Some women attract desire.
 Others do not.”
 ― Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl

I’ve been having thoughts — -they are present every time I think of sexual assault — -that we as women are underestimating ourselves and our thoughts about our appearance. We have sold our beauty of the altar of the external. Every day I see advertisements about how to make my hair look more full, how to make my skin more vibrant and young, how to have fuller eye lashes, how to eat or drink just the right thing to make me a skinny, beautiful woman. What if advertisements talked about men and how to make their penis appear bigger than it really is like push-up bras make women’s breasts look like they have bigger tits? We would be appalled at telling men they would only be desirable if we could see how big their dicks were and then judge whether or not it is good enough. Why do my skin, eyelashes, tits need to be something different than they are to be desirable or even acceptable as a woman?

“The depths of her thoughts
 will have you never
 wanting to surface for air…”
 ― Maquita Donyel Irvin, Stories of a Polished Pistil: Lace and Ruffles

Is not my starting to wrinkle, 67 year old face becoming enough as it is? Are my eyelashes not beautiful enough? Is my obviously abundant body not beautiful to more than just Rubens? Are the thoughts in my head not valuable? Is my love not enough?

“You only fix something, when it’s broken.
 And you — are far from broken.”
 ― Abhijit Naskar, The Bengal Tigress: A Treatise on Gender Equality

When I’m not feeling so much angst I know that I am enough just as I am BUT I have a sneaking suspicion that there are some lessons we as women could learn (and probably might have already learned). If we focus on becoming externally desirable we should not be surprised when we are judged by our external experience. (You have no idea how much courage it takes to have written that)! If we focus on fitting in we should not be surprised when we fit in but may not be happy. If we focus on what is wrong with ourselves we should not be surprised when others find fault with us. Maybe I’m wrong — but I don’t think so.

“A beautiful woman is like a painting
 and remains beautiful no matter how old she is.”
 ― Chloe Thurlow, Katie in Love

If this quote is right, what is the cause of the turmoil in our society around women and men and how they interact and treat each other? We talk about root cause. David and I have been having discussions about toxic masculinity as being a possible answer to the root cause. However, just because we now have lots of powerful men behaving badly and being caught at behaving badly doesn’t mean that men bear all the responsibility for this. I’m NOT saying that those women are to blame for the horrible things that happened to them. I am saying that in general, we women have a responsibility to ourselves and an acceptance of ourselves. If we consider ourselves only as a physical body that must fit some mold of desirability then we should not be surprised when we are treated as sexual objects.

“Say to yourself, I am perfect, the way I am.
 Say to yourself, I am beautiful the way I am.
 Say to yourself, those who do not accept me
 the way I am, do not deserve me in their life.”
 ― Abhijit Naskar, The Bengal Tigress: A Treatise on Gender Equality

I started this blog years ago wanting to express myself as a woman of power. I am forever grateful to the Feminine Power courses I took and the women who have supported me in my Feminine Power journey. But even among these women there is still a lot of anxiety and concern about our external selves. I have a sneaking suspicion that if we work as hard on accepting and loving ourselves just the way we are we will be stronger and an expression of the fullness of being a woman. It doesn’t mean that we will never be treated poorly. It means that we will build each other up JUST THE WAY WE ARE. Women: we need to quit judging each other. Women: we need to accept each other. Women: we need to stand in our power together. Women: we need to be this:

“…unforgivingly, and forcefully magnificent…”
 ― Maquita Donyel Irvin

Just as the Universe created us.