Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.
The first tremendous Women’s March after the last inauguration suddenly thrust women into the attention of the world. It reminded some that women have opinions and are not averse to expressing them. Although women have traditionally been shoved into the shadows, regardless of how valuable their contributions have been, at last we’re beginning to realize we have to cooperate with our own trivialization if it’s going to take effect. We have to agree that our bodies secretly belong to men as playthings and our futures require male domination. We can choose to say no. Little wonder, then, that so many women are beginning to vote in contrast with their husbands. They remember the sacrifices women made to earn our vote from men who refused to believe we were capable. We don’t have Constitutional equal rights officially yet, but we can have our own permission to be human.
Today I spent time exploring the ThruLines on my Ancestry DNA site. The computer uses DNA to suggest ancestral connections that run from history to today. I’m no genealogist, but I was impressed at how far back my lines might go. Here were women who worked beside Revolutionary War soldiers and fur trappers and homesteaders, who dared to emigrate to this country for freedom and opportunity, who dared to believe life could be better. If these men and women hadn’t survived their difficult times, I wouldn’t be here. It’s a weird thought. I’m not the dependent type…apparently, for good reason.
I know many of those ancestor women with unfamiliar names stood up against terrific odds. I wonder what they’d think of modern women and these times and power brokers who denigrate us anew. I know too many women who still retreat or shout out someone else’s sentiments as though they were original to them. They seek obscure passages from the Bible to excuse them from taking responsibility for themselves. Many see women as children, needing guidance. They mock the women or girls who dare to stand up for their families, their world, or for themselves as though standing up makes them peculiar. They separate women into cultural groups to which they assign differing values.
I’ve mentioned that one of my favorite films is HIDDEN FIGURES, because for once, real women weren’t afraid to be intelligent, assertive, and feminine. A soft body doesn’t indicate a soft mind. We don’t have to use qualifiers in our language such as “maybe it would be better” or “if you don’t mind.” We don’t have to mock women who take the time to know what they’re talking about. We don’t have to translate envy into ridicule.
I’m proud to be opinionated. I’m not always right, but my opinions are mine, not secondhand. I use my age to free myself from the people-pleasing at which I once excelled. I’m finally truly proud to be female—to be me. I’m ready to make my voice heard. I want some footprints to be mine.
This, my friend, is wonderful. Evocative, sobering, true. “We don’t have to translate envy into ridicule.” Good writing.