I keep seeing an advert for “A woman’s place… “
And it’s pissing me off.
That usual one dimensional view of “strong women”.
Every version coming in the form of a warrior. And yet when I think of the warriors of this crisis I think of those doctors, nurses and carers who have been kicked about in all their caring. That I imagine inside are now suffering in what has eaten away at a part of them and is being felt deep inside in those moments that things feel a little more difficult in their own lives.
Doubting their strength as they aren’t feeling particularly kick ass and are just trying to take care of themselves and their families. Doing housework and cooking dinner on top of their jobs. That’s what those weak women of yesterday used to be. How disrespectful to our mothers and grandmothers. I know mine certainly weren’t weak.
Now women apparently are liberated because they can do what men do. As though that is the measure of success. To be equal to a man.
Having to constantly shout that out and prove it by taking offence if a man opens a door or offers a seat on the tube.
The women with real strength could not give a shit about such things and in fact would just be grateful to sit down for a moment.
Who are these people that have created this one dimensional version of a woman that I need to be to show I have strength.
Please don’t speak on my behalf and assume that every woman is like you or wishes to be.
Or that because you drink from a feminist mug that you are somehow a superior woman.
A real woman has many strings to her bow than just being some kick ass warrior. It takes more than that to fulfil the many different roles a woman fills in a lifetime.
Right now I am feeling what it is to be a woman and share in the worries of other women in that basic function of motherhood. Both for my friend who wishes to be a mother and is fighting for the chance and my girl who is anxious in a referral where the C word has been mentioned.
I’ve been on the floor today in trying to get my head around what it is to be a mother and a daughter and a sister and friend. To try to work and keep a home.
Did I march through my day swinging my sword and standing there like I could defeat an army single handedly.
No.. far from it. I messaged my friend with a story of childhood and my lack of confidence, I sat looking blankly at a laptop not giving a shit about any of it only caring about looking like I was doing enough to get paid for another day, I watched Tarzan wishing someone would swing through the trees and rescue me from all these worries and troubles, I cried uncontrollably on the bathroom floor when p and my girl went out, feeling like I had nothing left, I curled up in my bed and fell asleep wishing with all my heart that my girl and my friend will be ok, and I hugged my girl in the way she knows she is the most precious and wonderful thing in this world.
It doesn’t make for a beautiful and empowering image against the marketed version that is apparently the modern woman. Yet I know there is real strength in this woman despite being different to the version I am sold.
My strength also comes in compassion. It comes in love and care. It comes in gentleness and warmth. It comes in day to day resilience and routine. It comes in surviving another day in a life that isn’t full of perfect.
Perhaps we might celebrate real women with real lives and real struggles.
That for me would feel like solidarity in womanhood and would make me much prouder in standing alongside the many different versions of what being a woman really is.