February 8, 2009

A Strong Woman

What defines a strong woman? I ask myself this question every day, trying to become a "strong" woman. But what does strong mean? I asked my mom how she reconciles this issue. She said that it comes down to the difference between militancy and a more balanced strength. She likened Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton to militant women. They both emit this desperate energy to conquer all who would try to weaken them. The result is there appearance as fearsome and hard women who compare themselves to bulldogs and tough candidates.

I don't think that a woman should have to liken herself to a tough canine in order to be strong. She must commit a balancing act by holding onto to her beliefs and character in the face of adversity, but also acknowledging that she doesn't always have to be right. My mother gave examples of Maya Angelou and Mother Theresa, citadels in terms of their life achievements but also incredibly gentle and soft spoken women. There is poetry in their work and words of wisdom. They are not there to show themselves as being something more than others, but there to give themselves to others. Perhaps that is the secret of a strong woman: one who gives herself to the world and in return, finds her true character and inner strength.

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