We’re not Superwomen, We’re Women
When men tell me to smile I want to punch them in the face. I didn’t used to get mad, I used to politely ignore them and go about my business. Sometimes I would even continue to engage in conversation with these men. The HORROR! At 32, even though I’m mostly the same person, I can’t imagine being the girl who didn’t stand up for herself in that situation. But I was.
Now when a man says to me in some random bar, “You’re too pretty not to smile. I bet if I buy you a drink that will make you smile,” my skin immediately starts to crawl and I say “Actually, no. It won’t. Now go away.”
I’d love to attribute my change in behavior solely to self-reflection and personal development, but I think something more powerful is at play. I’m starting to see the women I grew up with, went to high school and college with, blossom into strong leaders. They’re making decisions based on what they want, being recognized for their work, getting raises, starting their own companies, starting their own companies while starting a family, making names for themselves, kicking ass and taking names, and they’re not afraid to ask for what they deserve. And they’re not the Hillary Clintons of the world. They’re the woman next to you in yoga. Yes, Hillary’s success will elevate us all — but in a way isn’t it also the success of every woman that paved the way for Hillary?
It’s these women that inspire me. They’re single, they’re married, they’re gay, they’re straight, they’re muslim, they’re agnostic, they’re white, they’re black, they’re raising kids, they’re not raising kids, they’re sisters, they’re daughters, they live far away and they live down the street. They’re doing what they want and they don’t have to wear a smile on their face to do it. And while I’m at it, neither does Hillary Clinton. So can we stop telling her to smile already?
We don’t call men “superheroes” when they achieve great things, so why do we do that with women? These are not “superwomen.” They’re women. They’re my friends and they keep me motivated to go after what I want.