What makes a strong woman?
In the United States, I think a strong woman is often characterized as being independent, fit, healthy, assertive, brave, and able to multitask a million things flawlessly.
This summer I read the memoir, A House In the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett, and just finished the novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Both of these texts have given me a completely new perspective of what it means to be a strong woman, at least in other parts of the world.
Both books touch on the beliefs of extreme Muslims and how women are not allowed to leave the house unattended by a man, they must remain covered by a burqa with only their eyes unveiled if they are out of the home, they may be married off to a stranger at as young as 14 years old, and overall, they enjoy very, very few of the freedoms that women in America enjoy.
I have to admit, I don’t know how strong I would be if I were put in that situation.
My reality is so far removed from that. Yesterday, my husband told me that he was sure I could get my car checked out at the auto shop without an appointment if I just put on a pair of yoga pants and a running tank and found a guy to talk to when I went in. Ya. That’s where I live.
Compared to what women are dealing with all over the world, it makes being a strong woman in the USA not seem like such a difficult task. And yet, I am thankful that God gave me two boys to raise, and no girls. Because I do think it’s hard to raise a strong woman here.
To get it right, you need to be assertive without being a beeeeotch. You need to be an athlete without being too masculine. You need to be feminine without being a spoiled diva. You need to be stylish without being provocative. You need to be friendly without being a flirt. You need to be confident without being conceited. You need to not eat too little or too much. And on, and on, and on!!!
In the end, no matter where you are in the world, it’s not a simple task to be a strong woman. But I do know for sure that we can make it easier on each other by being women who build each other up.
And by doing so, we are setting an example for the girls in our lives. And that, is how we can change the world.
**This blog is dedicated to my sister, Rondi, who just had her first baby girl, Dru Alohi, yesterday! I know she is scared to death of raising her, but I know she will raise an amazing, strong woman, just like herself.