Strong Women—An Editorial
It must have been at least twenty years ago that I first saw a bumper sticker with the phrase “Uppity Women…” At the time it was cute. Now it is as dated as tie-dyed shirts, granny dresses and other ‘hippie’ paraphernalia. I also came across the phrase ‘Pushy Woman’ as part of a logo recently. That really got me to thinking.
I admire strong women. I think I am basically one myself. The thing is, those who really fit that paradigm have no need to advertise or claim the title! I just can’t imagine Aliy Zirkle, Deedee Jonrowe or Jessie Royer with an “Uppity Women” sticker on their dog truck! What they do speaks for itself. They are real kick-ass women.
Let’s look at some other examples. Most of us have now heard of Holly Holm, the “preacher’s daughter” from
who won a big fight against the gal who was supposed to be the toughest woman
on two feet. Do you think Holly has anything about uppity or pushy women on her
car, luggage or boxing gloves? I don’t think so but who is going to dispute the
fact she is one very tough young lady? I don’t think Rhonda Rousey will! Albuquerque
Take a look at Serena and Venus Williams. True, they compete with other women but if it came down to that I would bet on them to give Roger Federer or the Joke guy a real run for their money! And I would bet half that big lottery jackpot there is not one thing about uppity or pushy women in their gear!
Betcha Margaret Thatcher, Golda Meir and now Angela Merkle didn’t ever have the words uppity or pushy on their business cards or stationery. When you are head of a powerful nation, that pretty well covers the situation. The thing is, you can be a woman, a lady and speak very softly while carrying whatever big shtick you may wield in the course of your career, avocation or life! Being a bitch is not being strong, it is just being a bitch!
Tough heroines are very popular now in science fiction and fantasy stories, some of which are also romances in which these gals have no need to be rescued and may even bail their guy out of a tight spot now and then. Agent Carter doesn’t have to claim she is uppity or pushy! Even Kate Beckett on Castle would not dream of putting such words on anything around her but those who have followed that show know she is one tough lady and now a Captain on the NYPD.
My point is, these tired and outworn tag lines may have served a purpose thirty or forty years ago when the so-called Women’s Revolution was just getting underway. Actually though I think even then the really strong and tough ladies did not need to hide behind phrases and sassy, hollow words. Belle Starr, Calamity Jane and Annie Oakley just let their guns and guts do the talking. So did some of the early women who competed in rodeo such as the Greenough sisters and others now enthroned in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame. They were not cowgirls, really, but cowboy girls. One of these days I will lay out the difference but this is not the time.
Anyway, I don’t call myself uppity or pushy. I don’t need to. I have handled bad mules and horses, struggled to load the carcass of a deer I had shot onto my saddle animal to bring home meat the family needed to survive on, carried a gun which basically ensured I did not have to use it or ever fight off a would-be rapist. I’ve told a few colonels what I thought of them in very ladylike terms and earlier or later the same day changed a tire on my SUV. I know who I am and what I am.
I’m a notch below my heroines, some of whom I have mentioned here but I am way beyond the pretenders and the wanna-bes who have to crouch behind a bumper sticker, a slogan or an in-your-face façade that really does not conceal the fact they don’t have the gear! Get real, ladies; if you’ve got it you don’t need to flaunt it. And you really don’t need to be nasty to be strong. Nasty is a lot more about bratty kids than people with courage and power. Think about it and what you really want to convey…