I want to write about alot of memes and narratives I have seen doing the rounds on IWD about women being strong.
Strong leaders, the strength of women being celebrated, it is the strength of women that have got us to this place in the feminist revolution yadda yadda…..
Why are we obligated to be STRONG? Why is STRENGTH the character trait that is celebrated so much on IWD? Why is strong so idealised?
What about when we are not feeling strong. What about when we are feeling and being crushed under the wheel of a dominator government and social well-fair structures that purport to be in service to us whilst eroding through definition and narrowing the scope of the service.
What about when we are living in poverty or on the fringes of poverty, doing most of the blue collar work and almost all of the unpaid work.
What about when we are disabled in a society that is ungiving in the relentless obstruction to move freely and be supported, living with adrenal annihilating trauma and neglect, when menopause is kicking your arse and you have had 1 hour sleep from baby raising.
What about the stess of living in hostile society, that leads to ‘burnout’ and inspires you to spend what little money you have on
Why did Grace Tame have to be so strong and fight so hard to change a dysfunctional legislation. Why was her first letter, bringing it to the notice of legislators and law makers not enough? Why did she have to be so strong on top of living with the results of the very legislation she sort to change?
I see this celebrating STRONG WOMEN LEADERS, honouring the STRENGHT OF WOMEN, is annoying me, bothering me, getting under my skin.
I am wondering if this branding exercise is not yet another opportunity for so many of us women who have been indoctrinated in the water we drink, the air we breath and the families that we grow up in, to perpetuate the lie of labour and meritocracy.
I wonder what would happen if we stopped being so strong and all collectively, nationally took the weekday off and stayed in bed and napped and recovered, caught up on our rest and there were no women out being strong or providing all that strength to the revolution of fighting against something……….
I have a funny story to throw in here. Yesterday I was at the local supermarket with a very small trolley of food. I could have put it in a basket but I use a trolley mostly because who wants to carry all that food around in a basket when wheels were invented. So I am standing on my dot, in the line waiting to buy my food when a man comes up to me and stands in front of me but to the side a bit and holds up his packet of coffee. He says to me “ I am only buying this” and then proceeds to look at me like I am supposed to let him in.
I responded in the moment, without much of a thought “ yep, we are all in a rush and busy these days, including myself.” To which he replied “I’m not busy”. He then walked off visibly pissed off that I didn’t let him get in front of me. He didn’t ask if he could get in front of me. He didn’t request for his coffee buying to be made more important by me for the benefit of him. He positioned himself in the stance of assumption that because he only had one food item, it was my obligation to let him in line in front of me and the other people standing in line behind me. He went over to the self serve where there was a machine available.
>>>> I can hear the collective groan of woman reading this.
So I would like to send a shout out to the women who are not strong leaders, not blazing trails and lighting fires under the arses of the patriarchy. I celebrate the tired, vulnerable, frail, disabled, disenfranchised, impoverished women who are showing up anyway or not showing up at all because they just don’t have the strength anymore.
Much Love Lotus