This morning I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and came across a post that made me sit back and think. Oftentimes I find myself on Facebook clicking “likes” without really opining on the words. Usually it’s just a pretty picture. Perhaps it was the dirty chai or listening to Sirius POTUS (
somewhat crushing on, addicted to and obsessing over Pete Dominick these days, don’t tell my husband) during my hour long commute, but today I stopped and actually thought about the words. And for the first time in quite a while, I wished there were a dislike button for Facebook. While I don’t want to perpetuate the message of this meme/picture. I do think it’s important to post it to understand why it made me pause, and then disagree. It was originally posted by a 17-year old Philippine girl and then re-posted by the Fanpage of a women-owned small business, the call to action “click like if you agree”
At first blush, I was like oooh yeah, Chick Power Meme, Like! Then I read it again. And again. And came to one conclusion.
I do not want to look like a girl. I am a 38 year old woman. I like looking like a woman. I do not fit into the media-perpetuated rail thin, boy like version of beauty. I have voluptuous breasts and a soft buddha belly. I am confident in who and what I am. When I did look like a girl (because I was in fact, a girl) I had little confidence and loathed my growing breasts. It took over 15 years of yoga to correct the posture that tried so hard to hide them. I will not regress back to that.
I do not want to act like a lady. There is a time and a place for lady-like, however in my outspoken, sometimes crass, never demure, occasionally immature opinion it certainly isn’t 100% of the time. I think this is where my Adirondack heritage, sprinkled with a little NOLA and San Fran shines. Usually when I cross my legs, its in easy sitting pose, shoes off. Even in public places (restaurants!!). My lady friends south of the Mason Dixon line would be appalled. Hell, women I adore and respect, in heels and lipstick may be appalled. Acting lady like, feels like you’re trying to put me in a box of what I can and cannot be. There’s a certain undertone that wants to drag me back to 1950. Aside from the amazing vintage Airstreams and stellar coifs, I won’t have it. If I had been a voting adult in the 70s I would have burned my bra and tattooed ‘ERA’ on my ass (or better yet, my forearm, so people could actually see it). I am firmly planted in the Clair McCaskill camp. Remember, well behaved women rarely make history. Eleanor, you’re a rock-star. Meow. (brazen ‘wildcat’ reference).
I do NOT want to think like a man. I mean, really. This is self explanatory, right?? If not, please comment below and I will happily update an entire blog post on why I am completely satisfied and utterly delighted to think like a human being who has their reproductive attributes on the inside.
I don’t really want to work like a boss. Ok, this one really made me pause. (Mostly because They Might Be Giants were dancing like a marching band through my head). I don’t want to be bossed around. Being bossed around sucks. We all have bossy friends and really, they’re jerks, right? We don’t honestly like them. I can say this because I used to be one. I was one of the bossy girls in high school and I’ve worked hard on evolving out of that. Creative intellects that effect change and make a difference are not bossy. Yes, there is of course a semantic distinction between work and act, but this is a short, sweet Facebook Meme, designed to evoke emotion. The emotion that “work like a boss” evokes from me is not positive. I picture a starched uncomfortable suit, vagina suffocating panty hose, hair perfectly coiffed into a bun and sharp, manicured red nails pointing to a spreadsheet one of my minions is looking at, barking about how they just didn’t get it right. My brain went to an ugly place. Maybe it’s my bossy roots. I don’t want to work like a boss. I want to work like a visionary. A innovator. A creative. A designer, creative, founder, maker, mover, changer and shaker. The thing about working like that, you need a team of amazing to do it.
Listen, I am this weird breed of a 3rd wave feminist. I think our mom’s got it wrong when they said we could be a CEO and a mommy at the same time. I want to shatter the glass ceiling that to this day holds us back? YES. I think I can be a CEO. I think I can be a mommy. I think I can be anything I want to be. I don’t subscribe to the SCUM Manifesto. I value and appreciate the male perspective. But I don’t want to be a man. I don’t want to be compared to a man. I don’t want to be held to some arbitrary standard of what a woman should be; ladylike, soft spoken, what the hell ever.
I just want to be me. Through and through.
I want to live from the IN-Side Out.
I want to cultivate.
I want to Live. Breathe. Grow. into who I am meant to be.