Yuck!

A Strong Woman  looks beautiful as she is acts as her heart tells her to plays true to herself isn’t afraid to speak her mind respects herself  is passionate on her own terms treats her body like it belongs to her, not to someone else is the lover of anyone she wants chooses who to love  when to love how to show that love and when to stop loving protects herself when she needs to stands up for herself when she has to and doesn’t put up with this misogynist crap.

 

So, the poem or saying or whatever it is on the left was posted on Facebook by someone I only marginally know. My first instinct was to write a long comment about how icky I think the whole thing is and all the reasons why I think it is icky, but I deleted the comment without posting and clicked away. I do this quite a lot. Many people love to get in long, drawn-out Facebook arguments but that isn’t why I go to Facebook. Basically I like to see pics of my family and friends. Please post more kids, cats, dogs, and vacations. Also tell me how much you need coffee, how little you clean your house, and how funny things happen to you. I live for that stuff. And arguing about politics or feminism or religion just isn’t what I like to do there. So I tend to write these scathing comebacks or long thought out précis and then delete them without ever posting them. Usually that is enough. The process calms me and I can move on and enjoy Facebook.

But this one kind of stuck to me for a few days. It is just so icky on so many levels and the idea that someone posted it as an empowering meme just stuck in my mental craw.  So I dug it up and created the above comeback. I wanted to make the “international no symbol” more pronounced, but then you wouldn’t be able to read the original and see how much it actually sucks. There isn’t one line in the original that doesn’t offend me in some way. Even things that sound good, like “unconditional love” is really just a way of saying put up with my crap because you love me.

I thought about my own daughter as I wrote my response, thinking, what kind of person do I want her to be. I may have said “Be a Good Girl” to her a few times in her life, but what I really want is for her to be a strong, capable woman who can decide who she is and what that means. I don’t want other people’s ideas of what a woman should be, think, or feel influence how she acts, thinks, or feels. I also tried to think of all the different types of women I know (cis, tran, gay, straight, etc.) and tried to include all of them in my response. I hope I was successful. If you can say it better than I, please share!

 

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