I used to think when a woman is being called a “strong woman“, it was a compliment. You know, STRONG ~ full of strength and vigor. Never shows any signs of emotional vulnerability. The superwoman who wakes up, cleans her home, cooks, washes the clothes while backing the baby and pounding yam. Strong woman. Superwoman.
I looked closely. No. I don’t want to buy into that macho crap about strong women not having emotions. That is one express hell of a way to self-destructive behaviors. I don’t want to be perceived as a superwoman. A mystical being who looks glamorous, wearing cape on the outside while the world rests on her shoulders. ILLUSIONS OF A STRONG WOMAN. Appearing tough on the outside while breaking on the inside.
“Strong woman” connotes accommodating oppression, suppressing your emotions, and managing suffering to me.
Don’t call me a strong woman. Don’t call me a superwoman. I am a real woman. REAL ~ living in FACT. Not imagined, not supposed, not fictional. REAL.
The world as gender-stereotypical as it is, gave us the beautiful name, “strong woman“. The world of women-should-come-second. We sacrifice our will and ambitions, on the table of gender inequity.
A real woman is courageous. A real woman stands tall in the face of adversity. A real woman loves herself. Self-love and self-care cannot be over-emphasized. A real woman is inherently valuable. She is prayerful, she is upright and principled, she is prudent. She is not some unicorn with mystical powers.
Who are those applauding the “strong woman” syndrome?
A woman is a real woman. Not strong, not ‘perfect’, not super, but real. That is who you are.
Don’t live under the illusions of a “strong woman”. No one sets the standards. Take responsibility for how you choose to live your life. Don’t let the world ruin it by their “strong” standards.
You are you. The real deal.
Happy international women’s day celebration ~ In the pursuit of balance.
©Jessica IJ Hugo.