Walking among giants, sitting among men.
My sudden fear of being woman
I am sitting at my desk, enjoying a cup of very bland coffee staring at a heavy brewed article. The heading I forgot but the words, so precisely chosen, still sticks. I felt empty moments after reading, I felt empty but heavy. Heavy with insult. Empty from the infertile words I just read.
Here‘s what stuck:
- Woman are supposed to be strong, stronger and even the strongest
- Woman are supposed to be alone, single and strong.
- Strong woman succeed better in life. Strong. Strong. Strongidy McStrongface
I was heavy because next door to me, my sweet, caring and strong husband sat with his head in his work but his heart soaring somewhere in the mountains. I was heavy because suddenly I felt I should defend him, I should defend us. I was left empty by the first statement because of the amount of times I have to read those words on a daily basis. The amount of times I have to feel small, weak, insecure and vulnerable in this pool of strong women, because:
I have a child, and most my days don’t revolve around my own dreams and aspirations. I live in a home…and not in a trendy apartment above a trendy coffee shop selling trendy books with trendy titles like: How to grow your own beetroot for your vegan beetroot and quinoa salad. I crave choc chip ice cream more than once a day.I still love Spongebob.
I was left insulted by the second statement because, since when did we begin to live separate from other humans? I am struggling to find the perfect words to describe the phenomenon that is now becoming culture, like changing the word Woman to Womxn…’’cos’ there is no place for a man in my life’’…I guess in some cases changing a word empowers, and in some cases it is needed. But don’t you sometimes get tired portraying Bonnie and Clyde, Han Solo and Chewbacca…Simon and Garfunkel? Since when did committing to someone become an insult?
I was brought up by a mother that taught me many things, one of them was to respect all things that add value to life…whether man, woman or antelope. I was brought up by a father that taught me many things, one of them was to respect myself by adding value to all life…man, woman or antelope. Adding to life involves adding to humans. No exceptions…man, woman or antelope.
Luckily we have beautiful examples in women around us who add to life, woman that do incredible things, say inspirational words and live admirable lives, I love thinking that none of them wants to be remember for their ability evolve separate from others. I love thinking that in their most vulnerable times they felt the strongest.
That’s why the third statement left me heavy.
I want to, with all my heart, walk among the giants of this world. Mia Angelou, Anne Frank, Kathryn Bigelow, J.K Rowling, Beyonce, Madame Curie.
In some ways I do, I am benefiting from their courage, wisdom and flair. And if it wasn’t for them I would not have the right to vote, be confident in my opinion or even shake my booty to a song about being single. But how will I be able to walk with giants if I refuse to sit with mere men. To acknowledge the human in each conversation, shared bagel or a sneaky Grey’s Anatomy binge. How, if I skip right to the top and take my place as a ‘strong’ woman before I even experienced the small things that made these woman giants? They had to add to life. When they were most vulnerable, they wrote the most beautiful poetry, the most well known fiction, the diary that changed the world.
Am I afraid of being woman. Yes, for now.
I might miss out on all the good stuff; all the juicy, beautiful, teary, vulnerable stuff that gets me there, because we are constantly pushed to rise above.
I want to sit on my porch on Saturdays and sip warm tea while my family fills the space. That is it. Changing the world might come later.
Today I will be a woman. Tomorrow a Giant.