I’ve been thinking a great deal about what it means to become a woman in our society. Not a post-pubescent girl (which the media seems to feel females must be forever), but a grown woman, who thinks for herself, who stands on her own two feet, who is nobody’s fool, who exists far beyond her socially ordained role as an extension of men’s needs and desires.
Much (not all) of our culture (our world) is terrified of the strength and richness that live within the souls of women. We are so much more than the stereotypes Hollywood dishes out, so much more than sex objects and wives, virgins and whores. So much of what we are has nothing to do with sex (and our real sexuality has so little to do with what the media says it must be).
But glorious Womanhood lives on, in the souls of so many of the strong, beautiful, bold women I love, women that have “I love you” and “fuck you” flowing through their veins in equal quantities. Women who are not afraid to age, not afraid to be bigger than a size two (or smaller, if that’s what their bodies were born to be), not afraid to speak out, even in the face of oppression and condescension and censorship.
I love this song because it celebrates a multi-faceted woman. A decidedly imperfect woman. It celebrates the ugly and pretty of her, the strong and the weak of her. She’s not necessarily always nice. She’s not necessarily always cute. But she’s always a woman.
This goes out to all of the Women (with a capital W) I love, starting with my mother, Christine Hackett, one of the most powerful women I’ve ever know. She’ll hate that I used the “f word” here, but she has more appropriate rebellion against the powers that be in her little finger than some people have in their whole bodies. After I heard her preach yesterday, I told her, “Now I know where I got my public speaking abilities.” But that’s not really what I meant. What I meant is, “Now I know where I got my strength and my beauty and my unbreakable heart, my ability to get back up when the world tries to crush me, my capacity to speak my truth even when the whole world screams ‘shut up’ in my face.” My mother astonishes me. How could I not be powerful when I have a role model like her? (And yes, I do think I’m powerful. I own my power, my loves. It is great sacrilege to feign weakness when you are a bastion of strength.)
This also goes out to the beautiful, powerful men who have the capacity to see beyond society’s prescription for what women and men must be, who can love whole women instead fantasies. I was raised by a man like that. I raised a man like that. I meet men like that every day. They too are multi-faceted and beautiful, so much richer than the thing society tells them they must be. Boys do cry, my darlings. Boys feel the entire kaleidoscope of human emotions, and it’s one of the most glorious sights in the world.