Its no secret that a woman in today’s world lives by a double-edged sword.
In fact, women are so oppressed, they struggle to just be women at the most fundamental layer. The expectations and labels heaved upon the females, and those who identify as such, are so heavy that we as a feminine whole cannot fully operate to our potential.
We are held down and held back, as female children, to school aged girls, to young collegiate women, to girlfriends, to wives and partners, to career women, to mothers, grandmothers and eventually, to both caregivers of our loved ones and as care receivers in our final days.
As a woman, a mother, an entrepreneur, a grandmother, a wife, a wellness coach and a purveyor of fitness and health, I have the opportunity to change these labels. Every day, I awake and breathe in a new breath of air. I take a few moments to myself, whether by journaling, meditation or writing. I begin my day with the highest of intentions to be fully present and live in the beauty of the day’s gifts, and yet, it is almost a guarantee that something I say or do AS A WOMAN who is being a WOMAN will trigger another individual into a state of conflict!
If I FEEL emotions as a woman, I am chastised for being sensitive. If I become internally irritated over another woman texting my husband or flirting with him when we are together, I am being a jealous woman. If I take control of a class or a situation, I am being a bossy woman. If I take a few moments to relax or rest, I am being a lazy woman. If I honor or praise myself for a milestone or success, I am being a showy woman. If I get onto my son for doing something in error, I’m being a mean woman. If I remain silent in conflict or in a situation, I am being a checked-out woman. If I take the time to ‘get pretty’ or do my hair or nails or toes or makeup or dress sexy, I am being a vain or attention-getting woman. If I wear comfy leggings and old sweat shirts, I’m being a slobbish woman. If I cuss or stand up for myself, I’m being a mouthy woman. If I SPEAK MY MIND about a feeling, a person, a situation or an event, I am being a rude woman.
We as women are expected to be silent. We are expected to be seen in our ‘loveliest’, most beautiful moments only, looking seductive, pretty, demure and thin….as a good woman SHOULD. We are expected to be ready and willing to accept the advances of our suitors in the most flirty, luscious and dirty of responses; but NOT TOO DIRTY. We are expected to lead with grace, forgiveness and compassion, no matter how we are treated by a person or group.
We as women are expected to remain quiet in the very moments we are accused of speaking out of turn, in defense or in such a way as to offend another.
We are expected to eat like birds, look like a 70’s model, exercise like an Olympian, preen like a queen, obey like children, fuck like a porn star, parent like Jesus and perform housework like June Cleaver.
Women of today struggle with trying to figure out HOW to be….women.
They follow “trends” set forth by wealthy industry males who have no concept of a woman’s needs but rather, focus on a ‘bottom line’ through marketing, all in order to appeal to others or their actual and potential mates. Nowhere in the process do women as a WHOLE look at themselves and with honesty say “I DO THIS FOR ME AND ME ALONE”. They are always wanting more…bigger breasts, bigger eyebrows/lashes, plumper lips, better relationships, more appealing physical attributes in their partner, beautiful jewelry, fancy automobiles, pristine homes, expensive name brand clothing/purses and of course, more money. They want to be CARED FOR by someone; to be adored and feel safe. They want to be desired and yet, have someone who just holds them.
The cycle is all-consuming
I HEAR story after story of women whose very own mothers speak to them with such contempt about their size or shape, shaming and teasing them as they enjoy a treat or calling them names relative to their body like “thunder thighs”. Body shamed by their own MATRIARCHAL role model!!!! These women often turn to self-shaming or even extreme measures of body aesthetics and standards of beauty that are too high to achieve.
Stories of women who magically give birth after tireless hours of labor and pain, only to look over to a partner and give praise to them for their effortless presence; who spoke a few words during the process and reminded her to breathe. I want to scream “NO…YOU DID THE WORK! ITS YOUR DAY; NOT HIS!”. Aye, but to no avail.
I listen first hand to hundreds and hundreds of men speak ill of women, calling them stupid, flirting and revealing their sexual encounters with women who aren’t their wives, silencing their partners or overtalking them, accusing them of doing something they did not do. I hear male after male speak of women as objects or with contemptuous words.
I sit back and observe women who OBEY the demands and opinions of their partners who tell them HOW they should spend their day, how ‘inappropriate’ their words were and how to speak, dress, eat and breathe! Partners who rely on addictions and intoxicants as a means of living their lives,and yet who abuse those who give to them LOYALLY and continually in spite of the yelling, the slamming, the abuse, the mean words and the silent treatment. And yet, what happens when these women finally say ENOUGH? They are further degraded through twisted stories and abuse!
When do we STAND UP for ourselves as WOMEN?
When do we STOP listening to what other people THINK about how we should BE and start being who we ARE in all of our RAW AUTHENTICITY?
I’m not saying be mean or intentionally hurt others or even ourselves, but when do we get to be women without being shamed, criticized, humiliated or made fun of, whether with sarcasm, joking or seriousness?
Our emotions, our tears, our questions, our concerns, our desire to be held close and with intimacy, our longing to be the ONLY ONE, to be safe and to grow old with that ONE without being abused or neglected or betrayed or ignored.
We as women DESERVE to be LOVED in all of our EMOTIONALLY VULNERABLE RAWNESS.
I should NEVER as a woman have to worry about what my husband secretly thinks of another woman or ANY of her parts, especially when I am in my most vulnerable of states. A man who ogles the shallow or succumbs to the seductive greetings and conversations of another woman is NOT a man, as he holds no respect or integrity for the one he claims to love.
Women deserve to walk out into the world without makeup or hair dyes, free of criticism, negativity or even fear that someone will compare them, even in the mind’s eye, to another younger or more “made-up” woman. In fact, a woman deserves to feel like she is a goddess when she enters and the ONLY person in the room when she is with her man.
Women deserve RESPECT, for respect is LOVE.
A woman who is fully respected as a woman in her womanly element is a woman who is allowed to be a woman, free from the fear of being yelled at or ignored, cheated on or beaten, humiliated or walked out on, especially by the one she loves. A woman who is respected can say NO without the fear of being betrayed or be retaliated against by a vengeful partner. Revenge in any form is never LOVE, never RESPECT and never OK.
Women deserve to be held close and spoken to gently, even under circumstances that might be conflicted. NO ONE has a right to YELL or get STERN at another person, and this includes a woman. A woman that is ignored, silenced, told to “Shut Up” is a woman who is a threat to another and is the target of oppression and control.
Women deserve to SPEAK back, especially when TOLD how they SHOULD ACT. When they speak back, they also deserve to be listened to with kindness, no matter their response. A woman who is TOLD what SHE HAS DONE WRONG and who RESPONDS with her own views, but is over-talked or told that she is trying to “make excuses” is a woman who is experiencing GAS LIGHTING; the treatment of another person who always NEEDS TO BE RIGHT and who, no matter how much one tries to find a resolution or defend themselves, the other will NEVER be heard.
Women deserve to DANCE, PAINT, LAUGH, PLAY, CRAFT, GARDEN, DRESS and EXPRESS themselves in a manner that feeds their authenticity and happiness WITHOUT FEAR or the REALITY of being made fun of, humiliated, told their art is “stupid”, being called names, childish or even lazy. A woman who is told that her pure and authentic laughter is SILLINESS and not acceptable is a woman who is being caged in a prison of control and expectation.
Women deserve to hold opinions! They are allowed a voice in the conversations of politics, religion, human rights, parenting, wellness, education, finance and business. If a question is asked and they choose to answer, their answer deserves to be HEARD with attentive ears and closed mouths, free from being made fun of or lessened.
WE as Women are NOT objects of lust. We are not an ‘ass’ to ogle or a ‘rack’ to covet. Women are not a size or shape or label. We are not a potential for usage. We are not something that is good for a moment, a show, an event or a status. We are not totems for a shirt or the back of a motorcycle. We are not designed to stand, walk or be left behind, but rather walk together or ALONE and leading the fucking pack!
We are not overemotional, moody, yappy or silly because we are women. We are not meant to be small, weak or frail. We are not just youth and the bearer of children.
We are BIG, POWERFUL, INTELLIGENT and ESSENTIAL COUNSEL to all things of authentic success.
We are WOMEN!