Wednesday, March 8, 2017

International Women's Day...Part Deux. (That's 2 if you don't speak zee Fronch)

More Women's Day stuff, you say? Yes, I say.
Because strong women are what I'm made of, what I want to be, and when I'm my best self, are what I am. And while that's a really grammatically terrible sentence, I'm going to forgive myself and move on from it.

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be strong. I have a lot of role models for that. My mom was my first strong woman. Strong because she had to deal with her husband dying at the same time she had a very young newborn, and she had to move cross country, and figure out how to deal with grief, babies and relocation all at once. Strong because though the absence is always felt, I was never without the proper care and love, even with her having to work harder and longer than she would have if there were two parents in the picture.

My aunts are powerhouses too.  One has been a lawyer as long as I can remember and also manages Martha Stewart worthy Thanksgivings and hedges of hydrangeas that only appear in most people's dreams (and now holds state office). She gets.stuff.done. And she's happily married and has two daughters who are both successful and, like her, down to earth.

The other worked her butt off as a mail carrier and eventually ended up working at the Pentagon. She was my model career woman, but she was also my godmother who would randomly show up and take me to the Dells and ride every single water slide with me. She raised two awesome, successful men and kicked cancer to the curb while handling her own husband's cancer. See if she can't do something.

My grandma, she's the matriarch in the family. But she's the best example of speak softly and carry a big stick I know. She's gentle and kind and funny and She raised four kids alone after her husband died, worked at a factory FORever, and is now 92, smart as a tack, and still beloved by almost everyone she meets.

Sometimes, men mystify me because I spent so much time around women. There was a time I was even a little bit afraid of being around people's dads because I didn't really know what to expect or how to be and sometimes I thought of dads as enforcers and not much more.

But the GREAT thing I got out of the way I grew up was that all these women, from mom to grandma to aunts, show me all the time it's not one or the other. Family or career, stay at home or work, soft and feminine or hard and savvy. Each of these women can and have been all of those things, and are still them. I appreciate the men in my life, even more than most in some cases because I didn't HAVE men in my life I could count on til much later, but I think the women in my life made me feel like women could do anything, and I want to pass that feeling on.

Alone or together, we can do the thing. Which thing? Name the thing, then get a group of determined women together, and we'll do that.

I originally started this post in my head as a look at the sci-fi women that I loved, because they were the same things I admired in the real women I loved, and then, owing back to a stupid taco commercial, I thought, why not both?

I'm damned lucky that not only were the real women in my life fantastic examples, but there were a lot of kickass women (and ARE a lot) in the things I love. Here's just a few:

I love Topanga Lawrence, because she was not afraid of her weirdness. And she wasn't afraid to go against the grain and do the weird thing when it made her happy and that's how she got Corey. And for them, the weird thing was the right thing.

I love Captain Janeway. Because she's a captain under crazy duress. And she stands up for herself. And because dammit, she might be stranded wayyy far from home, but she's gonna still get her cup of coffee no.matter.what. She gets it done, she manages a weird balance between family and employee with the rest of the stranded crew, she maintains a gorgeous mane, and she seriously will blow up the ship if you're gonna try and test her. Love.her.

I love Kira Nerys. Because she is a freedom fighter, a radical, an activist. She has resting bitch face but is one of the gentlest hearts in the entire world. She's broken, but she embraces it and uses it to better everyone around her. She's fiery and fierce and she cannot be taken lightly. She's a full on warrior.

I love Scully. She's confident, she's open minded, but she's certainly not changing her position just because someone else (even a sexy someone else) tells her to believe. She's gonna science it out. She's not waiting for anyone to give her answers.

And Dax, who sciences, and manages to have her own life among lifetimes, and manages to Klingon better than some other Klingons while still remaining her. Jadzia Dax will fly the ship, fix the ship, solve the problem and get back in time to dress up as victorian princesses with Kira for a holosuite trip. And don't you dare try to tell her what to do. She's a great friend and someone who really knows how to have fun, but you can also always count on her. 

So...if you think you're alone, you're not. If you think it's better to be "one of the guys" because "girls are so mean to each other" it's time to change that. 

Because we're women. We should have each other's backs and change the world for the better.
We should battle and science and then paint our nails pretty colors and wear glitter because we can.

Let's not let anyone stop us.

She wouldn't.

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