Thursday, June 9, 2016

No, You Are Not A “Strong” Woman

An open letter to “strong” women.

The idea of “strong women” is in vogue right now and I despise it. It is an utterly pathetic affectation used by two groups: (1) pathetic women who want to convince themselves that they aren’t so pathetic and (2) unlikable nasty women who want to justify their misconduct. Plus, of course, celebrities looking to sell you crap. Anyways, let me be blunt: you are not a strong woman. Now let me tell you why you aren’t a strong woman.

You are not a strong woman if you have to tell yourself that you are strong. Sorry. If you have to tell people that you are a thing, then you are not that thing. That goes for claims of being smart, nice and selfless too. If you gotta tell people about it... well.

You are not a strong woman if you think “strength” involves not falling apart when men look at you. That’s just pathetic.

You are not a strong woman if you look to actresses, singers or film characters as role models. All those songs about how strong the singer claims to be? All horrible advice. Delete your playlist now before you end up lonely and even more neurotic.

You are not a strong woman if you attack men for “sexism” but then think it’s cute or funny when you engage in the same conduct. Nor are you strong if you take offense to normal human conduct.

You are not a strong woman if you think it matters who the “first woman” was to do something a bunch of men already did.

You are not a strong woman if you are waiting for a man to hand you power.

You are not a strong woman if you think people should be judged/supported by their gender. Hello Hillary.

You are not a strong woman if you think accepting advice from men... or anyone... makes you weak.

You are not a strong woman if you think little girls needs films showing girls going on adventures without boys so they can learn how to be strong, or if you think girls need to master sports to be strong.

You are not a strong woman if you think “strength” comes from being like men.

You are not a strong woman if you think “strength” comes from cruelty, being discourteous, “finally being selfish,” or any other behavior that neglects or injures those you encounter.

You are not a strong woman if you read magazine articles or books telling you how to be strong. In fact, you are not a strong woman if you think you need to buy anything to help you find your “strength.”

You are not a strong woman if you think that having a particular job will make you strong.

You are not a strong woman if you think “surviving” a disease makes you strong. Sorry, but what was the alternative? Suicide? Not killing yourself does not make you strong... it just makes you not dead.

You are not a strong woman if you think being a “strong” woman is even a thing. It’s not. All of this emoting about strong women completely misses what really matters: it’s not “strength” that matters, it’s character.

See, this is what you will never understand. Strength isn’t what Beyonce and Oprah and your silly girlfriends told you that it is. It’s not about being selfish or rejecting men or not killing yourself whenever something bad happens. Strength is the ability to make truly independent decisions, regardless of how many other members of your herd disagree and want you to stop. Strength is being your own woman... charting your own course because that is you what believe is the right way... and accepting the consequence that you may become unpopular with all those scared little “strong women” who can’t stand you being different. It is achieving your potential. It is earning the respect of those you meet.

And if you have a strong character, then you don’t need anyone to tell you that. In fact...

You are not a strong woman if you need me to tell you that you are strong.

If my opinion about your strong-hood matters to you... if you need me to confirm your worth or if you feel compelled to tell me off because I’ve hurt your feelings by denigrating your strong-hood, then you are not strong.

I have met some truly amazing women in my life. I knew a woman who graduated very early from the Air Force Academy when nobody wanted her there. I’ve met a brilliant judge you couldn’t criticize no matter how much you wanted to. I’ve got a daughter who charts her own course regardless of the criticisms and who has the amazing power to analyze herself and repair any flaws she finds. Each of these women has my utmost respect because they’ve earned it. Each one of them is a truly independent thinker. They live their lives by their own moral code which doesn’t change to reflect the fashion of the day or to assuage the discomfort of the herd. They aren’t afraid to accept advice, but they always make their own decisions and not one of them could give a sh*t when somebody says, “Hey, girls don’t do that!” “So? I do. The end.”

Thank God for women of character!

And do you know what else? Every one of them is constantly, viciously attacked for being different by women just like you who like to think of themselves as strong and independent. Think about that the next time you tell your daughter to be “more normal.”


AndrewPrice said...

BTW, this was sparked by many things, but not the rape stuff.

I'm sick of hearing this crap in songs which tell girls to be nasty loners, in television shows in which nasty, nasty women start crying and others tell them how "strong and independent" they are as they infight, throughout the Hillary campaign, and in a breast cancer survivor episode of Skinwars where we are constantly told how these "strong" women are "warriors" for "refusing to give in" when they got breast cancer. Really??? Naturally, each of these "strong" women suggested that their doctors wanted to let them die until they forced them to treat them.

Koshcat said...

The breast cancer thing drives me crazy. It is a stereotype but it seems the loudest are those who most likely weren't going to die from it anyway. Most of those with the worst go through it with fear and worry and hope. Kind of like normal people. They don't want to be a hero; they want to see her daughter graduate from high school. What is really sad is the men. They are told to be strong and stoic but are just as scared and sad. Nothing compares to having a 6'4" man cry because he won't be able to walk his daughter down the isle.

AndrewPrice said...

Koshcat, That one bothers me too. Breast cancer isn't even the number one killer of women, but I doubt very many women know that. It reminds me of AIDS in the 1980s. You better not go against the conventional wisdom or point out that the lady selling the pink shirts is ripping you off or suggest that "raising awareness" of a disease that the media obsesses about so much is pointless. If you do, then you will be labeled and protested.

And there are so many false values wrapped up in this cult. A distrust of doctors. A sense of conspiracy. A sense that women are ignored by the medical community. A sense that men don't care about their wives or daughters. A sense that doing futile or counter-productive things is "powerful." Opening women up to exploitation. A sense that women are always victims. Etc.

I find it very annoying.

Kit said...

Breast cancer is deadly (40,000) per year and, if my estimate is correct it would be the fifth or sixth biggest killer —if you count each type of cancer (lung, brain, pancreatic, etcetera) individually. Lumped together it is the 2nd deadliest type of cancer for women, raking in 15% of all cancer-related deaths among women. By comparison, Lung Cancer (killing 70,000 women) is about 25%.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Heart disease is the number one killer of women.

Kit said...


I don't deny that. That is why I said it was the fifth or sixth biggest killer. And I do wonder why the media doesn't focus on that more (theories?).

Anyway, breast cancer is a classic case of politicization of medicine. Google "American Cancer Society Mammograms Controversy."

Kit said...

I actually do have a theory re heart disease coverage and I think you would agree with it.

Anyway, this is a good read on the recent Mammogram controversy.

Anthony said...

*Shrugs* I agree, but its not something I view as a big deal. If someone calling themselves something helps them get through a tough time its no skin off my back.

For a variety of reasons all sorts of labels are routinely applied in weird, sometimes false ways. That is kind of the nature of humanity.

Another overlapping problem is the sometimes vast gap between how we see ourselves, how others see us and/or what we are.

Along those lines, a lot of times social courtesy and respect for boundaries keep people from being truly honest with one another so 'That shirt of yours looks like something my dog threw up!' is something one would only say to a close friend or a bitter enemy or if you are a jerk posting from the anonymity of the internet :) .

The fact that most people show different aspects of themselves to different people further muddies the water. People go to say, PTA meetings and dance clubs for very different reasons, and the people who meet them there are likely to describe the same person differently.

To wrap up this somewhat rambling essay, I view the strong women thing as just an interesting cultural moment rather than something to be alarmed about.

Patriot said...

Andrew......I think Hillary is a "strong" woman. (Cue the attacks!) I just think she's being strong for all the wrong reasons. She takes things and stands up for them...until she changes her mind due to circumstances....and she is one of the shiftiest characters I've seen in my life (and I've been around 60 plus years). So, I believe she's strong, until it doesn't suit her and then she plays the weak female card to garner sympathy. Her mendaciousness is her strength. She will get up there and brazenly lie to the camera, the interviewer, the questioner, etc. It takes a strong woman to do that day after day.

Now having said that, I understand that does not comport with your definition of strength. Does she have character? Of course she does. It is of the worst kind in any human being, male or female. Your definition of strength is more one of character, as you state. And that can be applied to both men and women.

So, we are talking strength of moral character, not just the ability to withstand attacks. Any fool can convince themselves that they are strong by joining any SJW protest and holding a sign that claims they are strong and will not be silenced. Until someone hits them with a common sense question about their claim and they resort to chants, tears, anger and violence against the questioner. That's not strength. It's the strength of numbers...the mob mentality. Probably the weakest of all character traits in my opinion. Hide behind others for your beliefs.

I love real "strong" women. I come from a family of them and married one. There is nothing that strengthens the bond between a man and a woman than strength of character. It strengthens both the man and the woman. And I'm talking about that quiet strength that manifests itself in those late night conversations when the day is done and I'm bitching about something or another, and her strength is there to say "let it go, it's not worth it." That, and other things of course, is what defines a strong woman. One who can make her man a better person when it would be a heckuva lot easier to just go along with them with a "Yes Dear....They were a*&holes and you are right." They build their husband's character by standing up to them lovingly, and telling them when they are wrong. And vice versa also.

And it's a real suck when they are gone way too early in our lives. That's when we finally realize the strength they really had and how important it was in shaping character. Not only of the man in their life but their children and those they come in contact with.

A strong woman is a wonderful thing to behold and to be blessed with as a spouse. Strength of quiet character, not loud, public displays of proclaiming how strong they are.

All that being said, the "strength" that women like "HILLARY!" exudes, is cheap, harms society and keeps weak people riled up. I think it was Newt, Dole or Poppa Bush who said of Clinton in the early 90's..."What about character?" Many didn't listen then and many aren't listening now. Character matters more than strength, no matter how it's defined. It makes us better human beings.

AndrewPrice said...

OT... So Ali died. Now NHL legend Gordie Howe died. He was known as "Mr. Hockey." These things happen in threes, so watch out if you are a sports legend. Watch out Jim Brown.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Where the media is concerned, I see identity politics. Men die from heart attacks too, so you can't really use that issue to tribalize women. You can't even use something like colon cancer. You need something that no men get (or that you can pretend doesn't matter to men), and that means breast cancer.

Notice how often the breast cancer stories in the media read like: "evil male doctors laughed at her and patted her on the head, but she was brave... she fought back and demanded that they cure her. She is alive to today because she was strong." Note the conspiratorial aspect and the "men oppress women" aspect of these stories. And then not the utter hostility when people like doctors push back on the victimhood narrative.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I'm not alarmed, I am annoyed. I'm annoyed at the hypocrisy and the stupidity. I'm annoyed at all these losers handing out self-destructive and rotten advice to unwary young women who will find themselves lonely and failing through life if they follow this idiocy. I am annoyed at these herd creatures savage women like the ones I mention and like my daughter in the most smug ways because they dare to actually chart their own course. I am annoyed that gullible women by these books on how to be strong and end up ruining relationships and jobs, as they try to follow advice like "it's time for you to be selfish!"

It also annoys me that this attitude forms the core of the attitude that lets women fall for modern feminism: victimization.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, I agree actually.

A couple points in response...

First, I think the same thing that makes men respected is what the "strong" woman thing is supposed to be. The "strong" crowd just doesn't understand that. They have wrongly analyzed men through their own biases and they think that men are respected if they are selfish and have boss-type jobs. They've completely missed the fact that selfishness is not something respected men engage in, jobs are irrelevant to character, and character is what matters, in particular trustworthiness, selflessness, and calm resolve in the face of adversity.

Secondly, Hillary may very well be a strong woman. It is hard to imagine someone getting as far as she has with the worthless husband she has without having a lot of "strength." What makes me doubt her "strength" though is the utter lack of genuine supporters. All of the people I know who are "strong" have an army of people in their wake who will openly talk about how impressed they were with the person and how much they respect them. Hillary doesn't have that. She seems very lonely.

That makes me think she's more of a bitch, for lack of a better word ("bastard" in male terms). That is someone who makes it through sheer force off will and destroys their way to the top, killing friends, coworkers and bosses along the way, stepping on anyone and using anyone they need.

I see a lot of female attorneys who are like this, and they are vile creatures. The way they justify their conduct is by saying that they are only doing what men do. And they use the "strong" label as cover to hide behind so they don't need to answer uncomfortable questions about themselves like "why don't I have any friends?" The answer is, "Because I am strong and people can't handle that!"

I see Hillary in that category.

I totally agree that many mistake mob rule and being part of the herd as strength. I think the mentality is that if everyone else agrees with them, then they must be leading everyone or at least their ability to make decisions is validated by seeing that everyone else shares their opinion, hence they are wise and smart and all of that. They don't get that they are just herd creatures following the same crowd.

Like you, I have known many strong women, and many who aren't. I have found these strong women to be amazing women to know and I love being around them. I love people who know what is right and do it because that's just how it is, people who have real dreams (not fake consumer dreams) and who set out to make them happen, i.e. people who genuinely want to make the world better in some concrete way, and people who have a passion for whatever excites them and don't feel a need to reshape their preferences to fit the herd. Not to mention, I love people who have the strength the care for other people around them. Too many of these "I am a strong woman" types can't do any of that.

tryanmax said...

My ex was a "strong" woman. My wife truly is strong. And that's all I have to say on the matter.

Allena-C said...

Bravo! Well said, Andrew!

Anthony said...

Hillary is devoid of charisma and utterly amoral.

However, at times like this I keep in mind an old joke we used to tell in the Boy Scouts.

Two guys are running from a bear. The first guy says 'Man, this is hopeless, there is no way we can outrun this bear!'

The second guy replies 'I don't have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun you!'

Hillary's opponent is Trump. I'm not saying he's worse (lack of personality isn't one of his problems, but he has others) but there isn't much to choose between the two from where I stand and Trump seems to be doing what most expected and busily digging a grave with his tongue.

Anthony said...

The terror attack in Orlando is sickening.

It doesn't surprise me that the terrorist is a second generation American Muslim.

A lot of American citizens involved in terrorism (overwhelmingly abroad though that seems to be changing) have fallen into that category

Kit said...

I'm going to recommend reading Rukmini Callimachi's tweets on this attack:

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Allena.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, The whole thing is disgusting to me. There is something seriously wrong with the human race that things like this go on.

Anthony said...

Sounds like the shooter shouldn't have been walking around.

Daniel Gilroy said he worked the 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. shift with G4S Security at the south gate at PGA Village for several months in 2014-15. Mateen took over from him for a 3 to 11 p.m. shift.

Gilroy, a former Fort Pierce Police officer, said Mateen frequently made homophobic and racial comments. Gilroy said he complained to his employer G4S Security several times but it did nothing because he was Muslim. Gilroy quit after he said Mateen began stalking him via multiple text messages — 20 or 30 a day. He also sent Gilroy 13 to 15 phone messages a day, he said.

“I quit because everything he said was toxic,” Gilroy said Sunday, “and the company wouldn’t do anything. This guy was unhinged and unstable. He talked of killing people.

FBI Special Agent Ron Hopper discussed the Orlando gunman at a presser this afternoon and gave some details into why Omar Mateen was on the government’s radar before today.

The FBI apparently first looked into Mateen after “he made inflammatory comments to co-workers, alleging possible terrorist ties.”

So they investigated, interviewed him twice, and concluded that there was no “substance” to back up his declarations.

Then in 2014, the FBI looked into him again because of his potential ties to an American suicide bomber.

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