Women of Strength – Not for the Faint of Heart

Queen – Bitch – Goddess or QBG for short

Is there ever a point in time when it is acceptable to say, “This is me, it may get better some day because I decide changes need to be made; but this is me and this is as good as it gets.

I believe this statement is particularly important for women. We should own it and teach it to our daughters. We should say it in our heads as if it were a mantra, a healing chant and then sometimes we should get up close and personal and snarl it to whomsoever dares to question our value as humans or as women. For all the self-help books, videos and television ‘doctors’ out there promoting various ways in which we can improve our lives or just ourselves, there are few that simply encourage self-validation and acceptance. Sure, many say acceptance is the place to start your journey but what if I don’t want to take any trip, what if the statement above is the entirety of it all.

“This is me, it may get better some day because I decide changes need to be made; but this is me and this is as good as it gets.”

Taking it one-step further, here is the rest, to be snarled at the deniers, the self-help gurus and those who believe we are incomplete or in need of fixing.

“The journey to get here was long and sometimes harrowing so I think I will just stick with the me I am. Don’t like it? Please do feel free to jump off the ME train and find another as your opinions are of very little interest to ME.”

Does that sound harsh? Does it sound as if I might be touched by anger or even bitterness? I am not really but let me posit the following and perhaps this will help place my statements in better context.

Literature offers up four archetypes of the female personality, which we accept without question. While the conventions for these archetypes have changed with the inclusion of more modern heroines the basis of their personality remain consistent and fit our a universal unconscious mind. The female archetypes are as follows:

  Damsel (in distress) or Virgin
Take them home to mother and marry them.

Wikipedia – 1950’s Pulp Movie

Mother (Healer / Crone)
The Queen, our Mother.

Google – Mother Theresa

  Femme Fatale (Prostitute / Bitch)
Love and Hate her, demean her and scorn her.

Google – Scarlet O’Hara

Warrior (Avenger / Goddess)
Flawed by life she is strong but feared.

Google – Xena

From these archetypes are drawn all of the variations that typify how women are perceived by and interact within society. Usually we don’t fall into a single archetype but combine aspects them all with one being the most dominate. Depending on life experiences and how we process these, by the time we are adults we will have fallen into our primary ‘role’, our ‘This is Me’ personality and we shouldn’t be forced to apologize if we make others uncomfortable with how we turned out.

Queen – Bitch – Goddess or QBG for short

I was eleven the last time I fell under the Damsel designator from that time on I begin walking a path that was entirely my own, often with no particular destination in mind but a clear idea I wasn’t going to

ABCPrague Czech Crown Jewels

be a victim. These days my this is me statement is, “QBG all the way, I am certain any improvements will be entirely accidental in nature.” It used to be I was insulted by Bitch when used in combination with my name, these days I own it. I earned the title the hard way and hold tight for the sake of my history, for everything that came before; it is mine all mine. My title, my crown signifies my strength as a woman, not to be taken lightly not to be set aside or in need of improvement simply because I don’t fit the norm or others expectations.

What is a woman of Strength?

What do you think this means, when someone says you or another woman is strong? Do you think it is in reference to strength of character or ability to endure hardship without folding? Do we look upon this woman of ‘strength’ and her accomplishments because they are greater than what we would expect of her gender, or because she has overcome greater obstacles to achieve them despite her gender?  There are those women who we label strong because of what they have achieved despite great adversity. We see their strength as an outcome of events and applaud their ability to overcome their circumstances rather than inherent to their core personality.

Art.Com – Burning Joan of Arc, the Heretic

When we speak about the strength of women individually or as a gender is there something we are tapping into culturally, something that has the potential to make us uncomfortable? To be a strong woman often means sacrificing a fundamental aspect of ourselves. Historically women who stepped out of traditional roles had to hide their womanhood, such as Joan of Arc who ultimately burned at the stake; or give up parts of themselves, such as Elizabeth I of England who gave up marriage and love to rule.

Society does not allow for strength in women simply as a part of our personality without attaching often demeaning labels to us. It seems the ideal is still the Damsel rather than the Warrior. Am I a strong woman? I like to think that I am. My strength is inherent to my personality, it is core to me. Has my strength allowed me to survive situations in which others might have crumbled? The only answer I can give is yes. I believe that my life has proceeded along certain paths because I have the personality of a Warrior. Has this made my life more difficult at times? Certainly, however, it has also made me capable and given me the tenacity necessary to fight the battles I needed to fight to survive. Though these are stories for another day, one of my siblings once said to me I was chosen to be carjacked, shot and left for dead because I was the only member of my family strong enough to survive the event. At the time our family required ‘saving’, this event helped to bring us together thus saving us. Obviously my ‘strength was necessary for this happen and clearly also for my own survival.

Women are born with the ability to meet every challenge placed before them, just as men are. Many of us fail to live up to our potential or even understand our potential due to social conditioning and expectations. Just as men, we are rarely any single thing, rarely just a Warrior or a Mother. Rather we are a combination of all the archetypes. As we mature and take on experiences one type becomes dominate usually through circumstance. Strong women – are we victims, bitches, warriors; or are we simply multi-dimensional human beings?

For me I will continue to answer this question this way:

Queen – Bitch – Goddess or QBG for short

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