The Female Power Tag

I have been quite enjoying watching this tag make it’s way around the blogosphere and learning about so many different women, real and fictional who are powerful in different ways. But I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to tackle it. Alas, Pinkie, my beloved blogging bestie got me.

And so I procrastinated about it for a few days. And then decided I would enjoy featuring some women who might be a bit different from the typical choices. For instance;

A Woman Known For Great Physical Strength

Attribution:
Ben Herman, BH123 at Flickr, from Ridgewood, Queens, NYCCC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Joanie Laurer, more well known as Chyna was a strong woman in more than one sense. She survived a difficult childhood and many ups and downs in her career choices. Although she’s best known as a professional wrestler who was one of the first women wrestlers, you don’t hear much about her work for the Peace Corp, or that she could speak several languages fluently and held a degree in Spanish literature. No, it’s all about she was a pro wrestler and she posed in Playboy and did some porn films. My takeaway from that is I think it is fantastic that a strong, athletic, muscular woman was considered SEXY and attractive when for so many years physically strong women were thought of as … not attractive. Wikipedia actually has a good biography of her, and she also wrote her autobiography, If They Only Knew.

A Woman Known For Her Intelligence

Mayim_Bialik_at_the_36th_Annual_Gracie_Awards_Gala.jpg: Mingle MediaTVderivative work: Tabercil, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mayim Bialik not only plays a neuroscientist on The Big Bang Theory, she IS a neuroscientist in real life, with several research papers and books to her name. I admire her as proof perfect that it is possible to do more than one thing in your life and do it well. She has a great acting career, as well as a PhD and science career. In addition, she is an astute businesswoman, and she’s even done voice acting for video games.

A Woman Who Powered Through Difficult Times

Daniel Ogren, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

So everyone knows the story of how J.K. Rowling was on the dole, a single mother, writing in spare moments on napkins in coffee shops. Did you know she is a survivor of violence and abuse, sexual and physical? She doesn’t talk about that much, she isn’t begging for your sympathy, but she does reveal it in this excellent opinion piece where she also speaks out about some of the toxic B.S. that goes on in social media. J.K Rowling has not only survived, but she has created a universe where many of us of all ages retreat to for solace when the world outside gets too insane, or our internal world is making us miserable. Myself included. (Thank you, Ms. Rowling, more than you will ever know)

A Woman You Want To Be Roommates/Friends With

I’ve often said I want to be Yuukio Ichihara when I grow up. Since Tohru of Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid is taken I’d love to be roomies with Yuukio. I can imagine being up all night drinking and dancing with Mokona and talking and talking and talking while Watanabe and my hubby gossip about us in the kitchen and make us delicious nibbles. I must admit Tohru Honda of Fruits Basket was a close second but more about her later.

My hubby woke up a little while ago and asked what I was doing. He says he wants to live with Annie Lennox. He like tough, butch little women. Lucky for me, he has not met Annie Lennox.

A Woman Who Would Be A Good Role Model

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62639888

Let me first say I have issues with the whole idea of “role models”. I do like Pinkie’s definition in her post of a role model as someone who inspires her, rather than a person to emulate. I’ve lived a good long time now and seen many people who have been held up as “role models” for young people shot down in flames. I don’t believe real life celebrities are ever appropriate role models because we don’t know the person, we only know the way the media portrays that person to us – and often those put on a pedestal as heros are later learned to be far from perfect as human beings. So I chose to choose a fictional person because in fiction we get to know someone inside and out in greater depth than they often know themselves.

Tohru Honda could be on this list as someone who powered through tough times. Dealing with her mothers death, and the very uncaring attitude of her relatives, she was literally homeless and living in a tent. When someone did offer her a home she insisted she be allowed to work and did so, not only in the home for her room and board, but also an outside job to pay her own school fees and no doubt things like buying school uniforms and so on. She accepts help with grace, she works hard, but most of all she is a great role model because beyond all things she is the epitome of unconditional love. And unconditional love is the one super power that could save the world if only all of us would practice it.

A Woman Who Deserves The Spotlight

The unwritten but understood part of that headline is (but doesn’t get it or hasn’t had it), isn’t it?

I remember a time when it was acceptable to say “behind every great man is a good woman”. Yes, sisters are doing it for themselves now and that’s awesome. But along the way we have devalued a vast group of women, we have dismissed their valuable efforts as non-existent and undeserving of acknowledgement or value.

When a man makes the choice to stay home and raise the children because his wife makes a better living or has an extremely demanding career we go all gushy about how wonderful he is.

For hundreds of years, many women have CHOSEN to be the support for their children or their partners so that they may be all they want to be – Olympians, artists, politicians, activists – any career or life path that is all absorbing can only be followed if you have someone behind you who is taking care of paying the bills, washing the dishes, and feeding the dog while you are out saving the world. Sometimes she is not only doing all the background day to day living things, but also working some menial job to make the money that pays for someone else’s education, sports equipment, or simply leaves them free to write or draw or go to auditions until “the big break” comes.

There’s another related group here, too. The women who willingly take care of others who are unable to care for themselves for whatever reason, be it a disability, a debilitating disease of the mind or body, or simply old age. I’m not talking about nurses, I’m talking about the wives, sisters, former lovers, daughters who are taking care of someone for free or “room and board”. Not only do these women often do tasks no one wants to do, they are also denigrated by everyone around them for doing it, and generally accused of “living off of” the person they are caring for and treated with suspicion.

You can disagree with me, but to some extent I include so-called trophy wives here, too. Their “job” if you please, is to support a man who is generally too involved in his career for a “real” relationship or who for whatever reason has decided to marry someone who looks good, behaves properly in public, and strokes his ego on a full time basis. It is NOT an “easy” job by any means. Look at poor Melania Trump.

I had the opportunity to do this – and he was a nice man – but I knew I could not emotionally sustain a full time relationship based on “like” and “I’ll buy you anything you want but you have to do X, Y, and Z for me and be at my beck and call”. Any woman who can spend years doing that has my respect, and she deserves every penny he spends on her. (Of course, this is not true of every trophy wife marriage – but it is true of some of them)

Every woman who worked menial jobs while her partner went through college and got a degree so s/he could make the big bucks deserves a spotlight. Every woman who dropped out of high school and worked crummy jobs so her kids could have everything they need to have a better life. Every woman who set her own passions and ambitions aside to work and support someone else until they were successful – and then got dumped by the one they supported, or treated with disrespect.

I think it’s awesome that woman now have the amazing opportunities they have today in much of the world. But just because these opportunities are there does not mean that anyone who chooses to spend their life supporting another person so they can pursue their dreams has somehow lost their right to respect as a human being. Hardly.

Well, that turned into a rant. I knew there was a reason I was reluctant to tackle this tag.

One last little thing. I think we’ve all gone a little overboard. Just as an example, Black History Month, Native American History Month, Women’s History Month, LGBTQ History Month (we don’t have it yet but I bet we will), -etc. Yes, it sucks that for years (most of my school career) these groups (and many others who continue to be ignored) and their contributions were ignored. And there has to be a balancing of the scales.

But we will have made TRUE progress when we don’t need any of that anymore. When “women’s history” and all the others are simply “history”, alongside that of every other group (even *gasp* white men) THEN we will have made REAL progress to a world of equality. Just dreamin’ here, don’t mind me.

Blessedbe

Oh yeah, I haven’t tagged anyone because I think pretty much every female blogger I know has been tagged – but if you haven’t and you want to be just comment and I’ll magically tag you in this post 😉

5 comments

  1. Pretty nice post and defo some strong women in there, I do disagree with the pick for one of them, but all the others sound pretty amazing!
    I think every woman or man has a side to them we can classify as strong.
    Some challenges a trophy wife faces would more than likely destroy your average soccer mom, or the other way around. While a pro athlete has some very obvious strengths, there is also a lot of strength that can be found in dealing with the whole circus that comes around it.

    Maiyim Bialik seems like a very fun and smart person and really does show that brans and charisma meet! She is my favourite of your picks! Thanks for doing this despite your reservations!

  2. I love your insight and comments, Foovay!
    And it is so true- equality and value for all- even those we have labeled as ‘privileged’.
    I personally love role models, and I agree with Pinkie’s take on rolemodels as well.

    For example, I have always admired Batman, but I definitely don’t want to be him 100%
    Other female characters and celebrities I have admired is Grace Jones (especially in Conan the Barbarian- hah!), Sophia Loren, Iman, Kathryn Hepburn, Helena Bonham Carter, Gillian Anderson (honestly don’t know if it is the actress or her roles. Loved Dana Scully and Lily Bart in the House of Mirth. Might as well add Edith Wharton in there- what an author!), Maya Angelou, Hyolyn, Sori Na, Mari Madrid, Bailey Sok, ok… I better stop. Oh wait- She-Ra! Hahah!

    I loved reading your comments as well as the rant.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Foovay!

    1. Yes, all of those, and the few I didn’t recognize – well, there’s a rabbit hole for another day! Thank you for your comment 😀 I very nearly chose Maya Angelou for powering through though times, and Whoopi Goldberg would have been a good one, too. I wanted to sort of reach out for those that aren’t everyone’s first thought.

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