On Being a Dainty, Strong Woman

This was written about a year ago on my other blog and I wanted to repost it because it made me smile. Some parts sound really arrogant now, but keep in mind I wrote this while I was shampooing heads 40+ hours a week and then it doesn’t sound so bad. And knowing I felt so confident at that time in my life makes me really happy.

I’m not sure where in our recent history of western womanhood we veered so off track. But somewhere along the way (probably in those rebellious decades that are truly so liberating and awe-inspiring) being outspoken became a coveted virtue, and riding on its coat tails was the perverse little sister: being a bitch. Now, this is a sensitive topic, because often times you will hear the argument that when a man is outspoken he is revolutionary and when a woman is outspoken she is just being a bitch. Yes, yes, this is a valid concern, but trust me when I say that I don’t like it when anyone is offensive, obnoxious or excessively (and vocally) ignorant.

And yet, I am addressing this as a woman’s issue.

The reason for this is because I feel personally attacked when I hear that there is a correct way to be a strong woman. I am quiet and gentle and, I have to admit, quite dainty. I married young and possess a truly unyielding and unconditional love for my husband. I am soft spoken and fairly private, frankly, rarely see the point in chronicling my complicated view points in conversation.

Some women take my gentleness, my devotion, my private nature, and chalk it all up to weakness. They see a diminutive female with good manners and think I am a victim of patriarchal society.

I will hear “outspoken” women speak to me as if they are more evolved, as if I won’t get what I want in life because I am not aggressive enough. It is true that I do not enjoy confrontation, but truly, who does? That seems only natural. Some people seem to seek it out, to display their prowess. I prefer a quiet, comforting confidence. And why shouldn’t I be confident in myself? Because I am passive?

I have walked away from many conversations because aggression and competition became more important than open, honest communication. I am intensely passionate about the subjects that interest me and it is painful to see concepts of interest to me twisted into perverse versions of themselves… And for what?

I see a lot of women who are timid like me, but with the most intense feelings of inadequacy. And “strong” women attribute it to their timid nature. The way I see it, there is an epidemic of feelings of inadequacy amongst modern women. Naturally outspoken women deal with this by being outright bitches, and timid women deal with this by hiding behind their quiet nature. Weakness and strength are present in every one and every temperament. It is foolish to see temperament as the main indicator as to whether or not someone is comfortable within their own skin.

I am not quiet because I don’t have strong views or because I don’t feel like I can defend them. I just believe everything has its time and place and I don’t waste my words on people who just allow me to fit a few sentences in during pauses in a monologue. A conversation, when working correctly, goes in two directions.

Do not pity me because I am quiet. I value calm, I value patience, I value acceptance and peace. And, more to the point, I almost always get exactly what I want.