411 Focus

She's been drilled: "You are pretty. You are delicate. You are pleasing to the eye." Success was a "grownup Barbie"!

Contributed By:Dorothy Nevils maslivend@sbcglobal.net

She: The evolution (2)

We see a woman. We look at her quizzingly. We lean toward the person sitting right next to us, and whisper, “Who is she?”

That question can be asked in a dozen or more different ways, and each one tells something about the one who asks. Often it says the speaker has already made a decision. Just the inflection, the way we say each word, what we do with our mouths, our eyebrows – yes, our shoulders… our whole bodies – answer, in part, our own question.

It’s an innocent question – at least, the words apart from each other are. Spoken together, however, they may tell more about the speaker than the person spoken of.

We’re moving toward the end of Women’s History Month, and the 2018 theme is "Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination against Women." However, as one who seldom – if ever – did what others expected, incurring the wrath – and the “ellum” switches – of one or the other of my parents, I will stay true to myself today. I confess right now: You won’t find a nice, friendly list of “celebrated” women: You’ll see “a whole ‘nother ‘non-laundered pile” of what the word woman conjures up!

Very early in life, and continuing even into my seventies, I’ve swallowed, via my ears, though not my mind, what the word “woman” conjures up. She is the cause of confusion, the reason behind the other gender’s problems, a trap for “the good man” to stumble into. Looked at with one eyelid elevated, if something goes wrong in a relationship, it’s something the woman didn’t do right. O, how many times we’ve heard the phrase “she should a did,” or “she could a did…”Women are supposed to be mothers on and off the clock!

Women have been taking to the grave dark secrets for centuries. Naïve, and already craving approval from those who can’t even choose the right tense, they have too often been victimized, then revictimized by the “holy” ones who cannot see through the smoke, thick and dark enough to burn their eyes. They get and keep for a lifetime the slings and arrows of labels, open for discernment like canned fruit in Mason jars, while trademarked metal cans and pleasing labels hide the deeds inside. “Back in the day,” they disappeared for a semester, but, returning, the “scarlet letter” still burned one chest – hers.

The “little woman” has historically been put in a box – and though decorated to be pleasing to the eye – his – a box… is still… a box! She’s been put upon a pedestal, glittering and delicate; but, there has been no room to turn, except to be viewed, no space to walk, no place to change her dress, to be her own person. She’s been drilled: “You are pretty. You are delicate. You are pleasing to the eye.” Success was a “grownup Barbie”!

That life is in the rearview mirror. Women have tossed aside the noose of dependency. We birth little boys, not little men. We call out abuse. We call out “gropers”! We decide when we are ladies, and when women. We embrace maturity. We reject dependency.

It is these women that henceforth paraphrase the last lines of “Invictus”: We are the masters of our fate: We are the captains of our souls!

Story Posted:03/16/2018

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