powerful women

Bad [good] feminist

Roxane Gay has a powerful message about the many faces of feminism. It is not just about feminism, but the female voice. Listen closely starting around 9:30 of her talk about what happened to her voice and what she did about it.

We are all bad feminists if we think there is an ideal to which we must aspire. I am a human who wants equal access, equal opportunity and equal rights. Whatever that looks like, that’s what I want.

Using my voice is very important to achieving equality. It is vital. I will use my voice.

Thank you, Roxane Gay.

Self-Deprecating Women

In my weekly knitting group I sit among some amazing, extremely gifted women. Not only are they artistic and creative, they are intelligent and well-spoken. I consider myself lucky to be in this group. To look at us and to even hear us speak at times you might not think much of us. But that is the way of women. We do not boast and certainly do not toot our own horns. Oh no. We are women.

We figured out yesterday what we considered the definition of artistic, and we are it. We discussed what we considered talented, and we are it. We looked upon one another and declared that each of us really is creative, intelligent and certainly not just mechanically capable of executing the womanly arts. We don’t just use knitting needles well or wield wire cutters and needle-nosed pliers well or ride a horse accurately. Oh no, we are not just okay knitters (though knitting isn’t really one of my talents at all). One of our group is a true horse whisperer and designer of exquisite custom Aran shawls. Another is a connoisseur of teas, a brilliant theologian, and a lover of people (a great gift in my book). Yet another creates her own designs gifting what she makes to others freely while discussing politics with flair. One of our members, one we rarely see, is a jewelry designer and a true artiste who travels the world. As the youngest of the group (not by much), I learn something new every week.

We meet in a humble room in a tiny, humble library. From the outside of this small, New England building you would never know what goes on down in the basement. I have figured out that women are self-deprecating. It is either part of our nature or so ingrained in us culturally that we just accept it as a part of our nature. In contrast to the ways of men, with the beating of chests and the boasting of great exploits, women have wiped brows, held families and communities together, and accomplished amazing things in math, science, and history all without a cheerleading squad and certainly without much renown. It truly amazes me. And it pleases me.

I have tried to think about any negativity associated with this behavior, and yes, it is probably rooted in patriarchy, but this is one characteristic that makes women truly lovely. There is a beauty in humility. I could go into the ethics of virtue, but I will just be happy that I do not feel that women need to become like men at all to be effective, powerful people. We do just fine the way we are.

Celebrating womanhood today!

Disclaimer: Powerful women who self-promote while advancing in business and politics, academia and research, are a modern phenomena. I celebrate this new, modern way of women. I have been hired at every interview because I could sell myself. It doesn’t feel natural to me, though. I can do it, but I don’t like it. I hope that the evolution of womanhood retains the beauty of this humility while gaining power and influence in an egalitarian society. That is my hope.