A lot of the women I admire are a certain way. It’s hard to explain, but if you’ve ever seen Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton you get an idea about it. There’s a certain sense (they have, almost always accurately) that they’re always right. Non-apologetically. There’s strong opinions and disappointment in people who don’t do their job. And the disappointment is voiced in a specific way. Again, it’s hard for me to explain.
I used to be more like that. More confident. More willing to take a stand. More willing to believe in myself and my power. Less willing to “put up with fools gladly”. More willing to write off -ist naysayers as the tools or idiots they are.
I’ve drawn back. Become socialized. I’ve forced myself to do this, changed to become a “better person” and doing so I’ve lost some of my ability to win against odds. Drive is still there, but not the will. Not the ability to brush everything off and not get hurt.
And that’s hurt.
But it’s also who I am now. Wishy-washy too much one way not enough another.
Maybe I’ve always been this sensitive. Secretly worrying that I’m wrong, that I’m confidently making bad decisions.
And I know I seem confident and secure to a lot of women, and I am, or at least more so than average. But that’s only because the patriarchy beats women down into under-confident second-guessers. And I have a perfect family and a strong belief that my current level of sins and insecurities will not and cannot threaten them.
I can’t go back, and I’m not sure I would want to. That’s not who I am anymore. Once you see shades of grey, it’s hard to unsee them. It’s maybe a little easier to be likable and soft, even if it means I’m less admired and have to put up with more excrement. It’s hard to say. Or maybe by fighting the patriarchy harder I’d be dealing with even more -ist poo. But at least I’d be feeling virtuous about the fight.
It’s hard to say.
(Print it out and color it in!)