Some of you might dissent and say that being a strong person is at the bottom of it all and strength is a generally necessary characteristic with no need for any gender partisanship. You might even think of me as a bad influence because strength doesn’t suit women. Women should be polite and delicate and courteous and generous and giving and accommodating.
You might think you’re disagreeing but let me tell you how a woman can be all that and still be strong and powerful, indomitable and unrelenting, scrappy and tenacious.
A woman needs to be strong because she has people to raise and other women to influence. Now some might say that men have people to raise too. Yes some men raise people but most men are still just producing people so let’s keep this particular blog post as close to reality as possible.
But ask women and they’ll tell you that being strong isn’t easy. That a strong woman is often times considered a difficult woman. That a woman’s “no” isn’t considered a legitimate answer that should be expected because it is one of the two choices. That when she doesn’t say “yes” she gets branded as stubborn, headstrong and rigid.
But here’s why being a strong woman and voicing our opinion is important to us and other women. It slowly starts to recondition society into seeing women as opinionated beings. It opens doors for people where they see women in a different light. Women start to get seen as just any other human.
Being strong also means being kind. When women are strong, they can channel more kindness. Can kindness also come from weak people? Sure! Kindness can come from anyone. But kindness can be most effectively practiced by people who can know in their heart that they would give it without the fear of consequences or repercussions. When we have strong women around us, we have twice the number of kind people that we have now. This changes the whole functioning of the world.
Strong women raise strong women. They also influence other women into being strong. They show that by yay-saying, agreeing with the hierarchy, adopting misogyny and saluting patriarchy, nothing is achieved. Standing up to injustice is sometimes our real purpose in life. When there aren’t strong women to emulate the world slowly goes back into the Stone Age where men did one thing and women were told to do another. There was a disparity in roles but mostly there was a disparity in the amount of respect for their roles.
And ultimately strong women live a strong life. They live a life that people are intrigued to know about. How they got out of a bad system, a bad relationship, a bad job are the highlights of their lives. They blaze the trails for their daughters and sisters. They remove the taboo from divorce, childlessness, poverty, disability and spinsterhood. They remove the stigma from a woman’s ownership of her body, mind and soul. They remove fear of the unknown from other women. They remove hesitation from stepping out and exploring more. They reduce the number of times a woman second guesses her decisions and questions her own principles.
You’re right that strength of character is a characteristic that everyone should have. But in a patriarchal world, for a woman it is a luxury to be strong. Some women can’t afford it. If we argue that everyone should have it then we should make it available to everyone, right?