22 Aug 2011 4 Comments
18 Aug 2011 1 Comment
A recent blog on a well-known newsy site claims that women have “lost sight of what it means to be a bad-ass, strong, tough woman” because of a newly-rediscovered affection for cooking, gardening, and all other things “girly.” The blogger praises such characters as Xena: Warrior Princess and Buffy the Vampire Slayer as the trailblazers in the “imminent zombie-vampire-Tea Partier apocalypse.” (really?) Apparently, the new Women’s Movement away from the “tough bitch” image jeopardizes our “reign of awesomeness.”
She’s entitled to her opinion.
Nonetheless, this article offended more than a few women. Feminism isn’t an attack on, or shaming of, women for doing what makes them happy. Here are some of the conclusions presumed in this anti-feminist article:
Presumption 1: Women, as Feminists, should all be Fighting Warriors. There’s more than one way approach a situation with which one does not agree. Fighting is one way. Supporting one another through our challenges is also a valid approach. So is diplomacy. When life gives you lemons, you could write an angry rock song about it, you could stage a protest of the unfairness of citrus fruits, or you can make a lovely lemon meringue pie…the choice is yours. Fact: Women, as Feminists, are exactly the kind of women they choose to be.
Presumption 2: Gentleness and sweetness are weaknesses. On a field of combat or contact sports, this is certainly true. However, in most of life’s challenges, an attitude of dignity and respect is effective and efficient. As Mama always said, “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Fact: Gentleness and sweetness are two of the many qualities of whole, healthy human beings.
Presumption 3: Love isn’t Power. Happiness isn’t a value. Anger and indignation may fuel a fighting spirit, but approaching conflict with a win-win mentality promotes the interests of all parties involved. The best arrangements between any two individuals, clans, groups, etc. necessarily include the assumption that we all want what we want. When we seek mutually beneficial outcomes, anger and indignation give way to contentment with the way things need to be…at least until there’s a better idea/approach/arrangement. Fact: Love is the Ultimate Power. Happiness is a primary value in human existence.
Presumption 4: The future is full of struggle and fear. No one can truly predict the future, but change and challenges are inevitable. There may be struggle and fear in the future, but there’s always a way over, under, around, or through them. To assume that one must always fight to be right makes life painful, dreadful, and exhausting. The past was full of struggle and fear, but there are also many examples of the triumph of the peaceful approach to any situation. Fact: Life may bring struggle and fear, but humans are capable of overcoming nearly anything. And we have.
In answer to your question, Virginia (aka Peg Aloi, freelance writer for the Huffington Post),
Yes, Tough Gals do still exist. They exist in all shapes, sizes, colors, races, creeds, religions, education levels, gender-identities, and personalities. Tough Gals are able to care for their families, work their jobs, balance their checkbooks, blog about “the way things are,” bake cupcakes and lemon meringue pies, knit, scrapbook, and still find time to love the people, places, and things they see as blessings in their lives. They live, love, and laugh despite the economic, social, and political strife in the world. They live and let live, they eat-pray-love, they harm none and do as they will.
And Tough Gals will let you know when they don’t like what you’ve written about them.