Tag: strong women
It came to me while I was slathering on the face cream—a cream made by my local farmer of beeswax so unprocessed that it smelled like honey—that what my society values in women is innocence, or the appearance thereof. We slather on the cream to hide the wrinkles that, god forbid, make us look like we have lived a life. It seems society prefers their women as girls. Untouched, inexperienced.
The United States is still a macho nation, alas, and so while wrinkles and grey hair in men are “distinguished” and “powerful”, the same look on women is viewed with aversion. Because what our culture wants in its women is not their power, but their fecundity and helplessness.
Well, it’s time to challenge that viewpoint.
We women are not powerless, and we’re not the inexperienced, innocent creatures society would like us to pretend we are. We have wrinkles. These wrinkles ARE our beauty. Wrinkles are the physical manifestation of a life lived, and what could be more beautiful than that?
There is a trend I’ve been noticing in the public forum lately–that of men publicly respecting their wives. Not the age-old, rather patronizing professed admiration for their mothering skills, but a real respect for them as partners beyond gender stereotype. It is perhaps most noticeable in Barack Obama. He clearly and publicly respects his wife and perhaps this has given tacit, sub-conscious permission for all strong men to publicly respect their wives. My own husband is a case in point, although he didn’t need the permission of the commander in chief to extol my virtues (as he sees them, others may disagree). He has been on my side since day one and made it no secret.
Another notable respecter-of-their-wife is mega-author Stephen King. I don’t know him personally, but I did read his “On Writing,” a book that is part memoir, part writing advice and a paragon of clear thinking. He doesn’t go on and on about how his wife, Tabitha, is the “wind beneath his wings.” He just tells it like it is, inserting her contributions into his success where they belong. There are plenty of them and they are pivotal. In this way, he is paying her the compliment of genuine respect—he’s not overstating it, and not understating it.
It’s a good trend—this trend of men being strong enough to be vulnerable enough to give someone else the credit they deserve. Women are strong. That’s just a fact. And as more and more men stop trying to ignore that and more and more women accept their own strength, we become the partners we’re supposed to be.