I am often astonished by ignorance. I shouldn’t be. You’d think, at some point, I’d get used to it… but I don’t. Ignorance always astounds me.
One of my friends recently posted a picture on her profile, she looked absolutely smashing! Yet one of the first comments posted insisted that she was “not a girl” and went on to list all the reasons why she’d never “pass” as female. This particular friend, despite the ignorance displayed by this commenter, held her head high, and exhibited more poise than I’d have mustered. She knows this individual may not ever truly accept her for who she is, yet she still shows nothing but kindness and love towards them… and THAT, above all else, screams of Womanly grace.
Why must we hold Women, and girls, to such high standards? Are we not all people? Do we not all have faults? Why must we be bombarded by the tabloid version of feminine beauty? And why, oh why, must there be jerks out there who feel that is the way it SHOULD be???
What makes a person a Woman? Is it her uterus? Is it her breasts? Is it her soft facial features? Or is it her strength?
Women are powerful, women are beautiful. Women are amazing. And there is no definition of “Woman” that you can give that would be acceptable to me.
I am a proud third-wave feminist. And I believe that Women cannot be boxed up, put on a shelf, and slapped with a definitive label… And anyone who tries to do just that does a greater harm to themselves than they could ever do to us.
Gabrielle? This post is for you. You are beautiful, you are strong… And he’s right, you’re not a girl… you are a WOMAN!
BTW, when my daughter saw this picture she said “Wow! She looks like a girl from the movies!” 🙂
The Lentil Ladies (our collective kitchen group) met today. We made all sorts of wonderful dishes: curry with cauliflower and sweet potatoes, tomato soup (from scratch), and wonderful organic filo pastry apple desserts. But something happened that made me stop and think…
Lily-Ann was wearing her baby doll (whom she calls “baby suzie” and who is sometimes male and sometimes female depending on the day you ask her) in a sling I made for her. When she plays with her doll she wears her constantly – like I wore her. One of the mom’s in our group commented to me that “She’ll be a good mom some day.” This filled me with great pride, because I understood what was behind her words, but also made me grieve a little too.
Lily-Ann will be a good mom, if that’s the path she chooses. And my friend’s compliment means the world to me, because she knows our children learn by example. But, the idea that someone would assume for my daughter the role of mother does bother me. What I hope for her is strength, compassion, love… And while these traits can be found in the best mothers, they can also be found in the best business people, the best artists, the best politicians, the best teachers, the best activists, the best of us.
Seeing a girl child holding her doll close to her heart brings about dreams of the future and what it holds… and for many all they see are stereotypical gender roles. Instead, I see a girl with endless possibilities. A person who is not afraid to love, openly, outwardly, fully. One who will hold children close, for they are precious – but that doesn’t mean she’s destined for motherhood.
With passion I see her building with blocks. With enthusiasm I see her painting. With zeal I see her “cooking” for anyone who’ll sit for even a moment. With joy I see her performing song after song for us, her captive audience. I see her doing all these things, taking on all these roles and so many others… and then I see her stripping down and declaring that she wants to be “nekkid” and doesn’t want to wear anything but a legwarmer and a bracelet. 😀 She is, after all, only two.
So… I implore you… next time you see a little girl playing with her doll, don’t assume she’ll grow up to become a mom. She may become a boxer. She may become a novelist. She may become a mechanic. She may become an architect. An engineer. A vocal coach. A custodian. A playwright. Just because she’s a girl, don’t box her in. She has enough on her shoulders just trying to grow up, without having to grow through your expectations.
And you know what? There’s no reason she couldn’t grow up to be ALL these things… AND a mom. 😉
Okay. I’ll get down off my soap box. Here’s todays picture. Nothing special. Nothing inspired. Just a girl, taking a break from play, having a drink of water. Just a girl with endless possibilities.