Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Strong Women

I believe that the best things we can be as women are smart and strong. The same could be said of the human race as well. After all if we are smart, we know that compassion is an essential part of life, and that knowledge is best gained by error. And if we are strong, we have the ability to withstand the pain of those errors and continue on, hopefully a little wiser than we were before. So, yeah, I like the idea of being smart and strong as a woman as well as a human being.

But it is the former, that unfortunately invariably gives me trouble. As women, there is often a fine line we must traverse between strength and sexuality. There's a debate going on right now about women and sexuality. Does sexuality give strength or invite subservience? It's hard to say. On the one hand, women I believe for centuries have used sexuality as a means to acquire wealth, comfort, influence and yes, even power over men. But sexual give and take is complex and nuanced, and it is often hard to tell who has the advantage.

Thus, as a woman who no longer relies on sexuality to attain the upper hand, I am personally thrust into a category of women who are by and large threatening to the fragile insecure male. It seems that as long as personal or professional gain is achieved under a veil of sexuality, it is somehow acceptable. Otherwise, women such as myself who are capable, smart and ambitious and want to be recognized for those attributes are deemed to be pushy.

What's a girl to do?

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