What does a strong woman mean to you? Does your mind instantly go to physical strength such as the lovely woman above? Does it make you think of a steely and determined businesswoman? Or maybe something closer to home? And does this idea of ‘strength’ help or hinder us?
In the past few years, I’ve been told that I’m ‘strong’, emotionally. That I can hold shit together when it all goes wrong. The thing is, I don’t think I have a choice because I’m a woman I get on with it. When I was growing up, I saw my Mum as the glue that held everything together. Dad would do 12-hour shift work, so I spent a lot of time watching as my Mum organised, cleaned, sorted birthdays, got me and my sister through tough times. She just kept going and I thought, as a woman that what you did.
In literature and film, we have ‘strong’ women who can fight and survive in a physical manner. Many, are irritated that a strong woman must be considered physically strong. Take, for example, Hermione Granger, we are told how brilliant she is, how smart, however, I never saw Hermione described as ‘strong’ because she was using her mind, rather than her physical strength. On the other hand, Katniss Everdeen is often described as having strength because of her physical capabilities and the fact she can fight.
It strikes me that these ‘strong women’, often have to prove themselves, in a way that is reminiscent of men, at least in a traditional sense. While I love women showing their bodies are powerful, there are so many other ways a woman can be strong. Women in the face of adversity, women who have changed the world (like those in Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls ).
On another Harry Potter note though, think of the strongest woman in the series that you know. Mrs Molly Weasley is easiest the most kick-ass woman who has unwavering strength throughout every book and film. She is a strong woman, she’s a mother and housewife. I’d love to see more of the strength in everyday women portrayed.
What does a strong woman mean to you? Let me know in the comments below!
2 thoughts on “Feminist Friday: A Strong Woman”
I consider myself a strong woman because I take action when I see a wrong. I see many wrongs coming from the leaders of the National Organization for Women (NOW). My action is to write about those wrongs at every opportunity. Mostly I write blog posts providing detailed evidence that NOW leaders are glory addicts who make NOW members unequal to keep the glory fixes coming. Since July 2017, I’ve been writing comments to blog posts and articles about the carefully planned vote suppression that takes place in NOW national elections.
July 2017 saw the election of a new national president and vice president for the National Organization for Women (NOW). Only NOW members who had the money, transportation, time, and substitute care for children, parents, and/or spouses to attend the national conference had voting rights. Feminist NOW leaders chose Orlando, Florida in the middle of the Florida peninsula for this election conference. Orlando is about as far away from the rest of the country as is possible to get. No absentee voting. No voting through state chapters. One of the candidates for president was a Florida resident. Guess who won.
Fewer than 500 members had voting rights to elect a president and vice president for an organization with 100,000s of members. The National Organization for Women is THE champion at voter suppression and rigged elections. Vote suppressing Republican politicians should take note.
I will continue my strong woman actions for the sake of equality between women. Why should men create equality for women as long as women create inequality for each other?
For the record, I have a degree in women’s studies. I stopped calling myself a feminist after I read this from Gloria Steinem: “The only alternative to feminism is masochism.” By that time, three different directors of the same women’s resource center had verbally and emotionally abused me. Those three directors plus a fourth verbally and emotionally abused other women as well. I would have been a masochist to continue associating with those feminists.
An interesting take, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.