“Strong women. May we be them. May we raise them.”
“She’s a strong woman!”
The foregoing are comments made by both men and women, and which are supposed to validate women – only, they don’t always, exactly do that, but quite the opposite. They create a disparity among women and give the notion that some women are strong and others aren’t. Or put it more accurately, that all women are weak, and only a few excel, i.e., ‘the strong ones.’
The irregularity of this ‘validation’ is made more evident when we consider that there is no category of ‘strong men.’ Instead, what we have are ‘men.’
Teach the boys ‘how to be men.’ Be a man. Act like a man…etc., but rarely will one hear the dissonant praise of ‘he’s a strong man.’ So why do we qualify women this way???
Are there categories of ‘weak women?’ If so, what and who might they be?
By what standards, do we qualify ‘strong women?’ and is that standard lacking among all women?
I would argue that I do not know a girl or woman who is not ‘strong!’
Whereas men are jostling to ‘be (like) men,’ women are already being women from the day they are born – strong human beings all the way!
It takes incredible strength of character and mind to live among people (even your own family) and be told and shown that you don’t matter as much as your brothers, uncles, boyfriends, etc., for no other reason than that they possess penises and you don’t.
It takes incredible strength of mind to love such people (which literally means everyone you meet!) rather than hate or hurt them for always despising and placing you second and third and fourth (for those who have experience being placed beneath their husband’s, brothers’, and fathers’ properties, even!)…
It takes incredible strength to be held up to the same academic standard and still excel academically, despite the fact that every month, you might be sick for at least a week. It takes strength not to chuck your duties to self and others during this period and not to resent the fact that no one makes allowance for your suffering at this time. It takes strength to repeatedly overcome this inherent, physiological vulnerability, to participate in a life of productivity, no less than your male counterparts, and yet be told that you are not good enough!
It takes great strength to live with and love your abusers.
It takes great strength to bear and or raise children.
It takes great strength to remain on the sidelines for no reason than your gender and the color of your skin.
It takes strength to keep going, despite all of this and not quit living, working, serving, and loving both God and others.
Strong women? We are already them, because we are women!