If I were a boy...
The world in which women navigate
"Be the kind of woman that
when your feet hit the floor each morning,
the Devil says,
"Oh crap, she's up."
Words to live by, non?
Harvey Weinstein was a man with enormous power and a 'dirty little secret,' that, by all accounts, was neither so little nor so secret.
Talk to any woman and she will be able to share her own account, or that of a friend, who has experienced sexual harassment, assault or discrimination.
In light of this, I wish to revisit an article I wrote almost a year ago.
And, in light of the innumerable women who have added their names to the ongoing list of women who have experienced some form of sexual harassment, I wish to add my own,
Back in the days of Queen Elizabeth, there was quite a bit of resistance to a female leading a country. There was an overall feeling that a woman was simply incapable.
She was after all, just a woman.
But, as we well know, Queen Elizabeth was a woman who embraced her power whilst at the same time acknowledged the perceived limitations and restrictions accorded her sex.
So, how did she maneuver within a world that perceived women as the weaker sex?
She used language and symbolism to great benefit.
By creating powerful images through words, she was able to captivate her mostly male audience and admonishers.
She recognized the power of language to inspire and rally those around her with unyielding enthusiasm and act as an effective defense against her many critics.
Elizabeth's famous speech in Tilbury in 1588 is a perfect example of language used to great effect. As her troops stood on the shorelines of Britannia awaiting imminent invasion by the Spanish Armada, Elizabeth, dressed in armour, spoke these words,
"I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman but I have the heart and stomach of a King and a King of England too."
By intoning the power of her position and her SELF with the innate strength of the words "King and a King of England too," Elizabeth effectively acknowledges and dismisses in one fell swoop her previous statement that as a woman she was "weak and feeble" of body.
Now why is this even relevant to this day and age?
Words still have power.
They hold energy and symbolic meaning.
In the rhetoric of this day and age, many such words continue to be used to great effect.
As a woman, I continue to hear the dismissal of our 'fair sex' in everyday language...
"you throw like a girl"
"stop acting like a girl"
and...many other such expressions.
Nearly 500 years on from the Elizabethan era, we are still using language and symbolism to subvert and undermine an entire sex.
By continuing its usage or dismissing its use as playful banter, we are, in effect, acknowledging and condoning the message behind the words as fact.
Whether intended or not...its' effect is real...
...well into womanhood
This is not an issue of man versus woman.
This is an issue of simple awareness.
This is a call to action for all women and all men.
It is time...
for women to embrace their essence, their talents, their abilities and their voice...
It is time...
for women to claim their opinions and places within the world with calm and steady purpose.
And men...beautiful amazing men,
it is time,
for you to fully recognize (if you have not done so already) the phenomenal women that occupy this globe...ready and willing to fully engage and participate free of limitation and pre-conceived judgements.
We are, after all, more alike than we are different.
Within each of our natures,
be they man or woman
lies the heart of a
filled to the brim with
strength and courage
love and compassion
kindness and creativity.
It is time
for our true natures to reign free and unfettered.