Speaking up, dissenting; taking a stand – not my ambition as a youngster. My objective then, like many girls of my generation was to be liked, to fit in; be popular. Regrettably for that youthful goal, my edges were a bit too frayed and my opinions decidedly peculiar – finding me channeling the rebel; mouthy and belligerent.
Still, this eccentric girl learned the fine art of camouflage; it took me far and served me well – until it didn’t. My edges, they’re still ragged; those opinions – quirkier. The desire to fit in? Living (dang it!), but mercifully gasping for air.
The need to placate is fading. Biting my tongue so I don’t “offend” gets harder every day. My habits may be entrenched; my brain may fight to keep it that way, but the balance of my dueling needs are shifting. Gloria Steinem once said “Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.” I’m banking on it.
My feminist inclinations clashed with the world I was born to. I chafed at the roles available to me; finding them limited and restricting. But to fit in – I shoved my square self into those round holes; carving off bits and pieces of myself. Still, my 24 YO self was compelled to whack a guy over the head with a menu when he challenged my opinion that the Equal Rights Amendment should have passed. His argument? I couldn’t quote the damn thing.
Lesson learned. Now, when professing to believe something, I’m well informed on that professed belief. And I get it; women are held to different standards. So …
Equal Rights Amendment: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” – Wikipedia
How hard is it to agree with this? Apparently pretty hard. The ERA died in 1982 – three states short of ratification.
So mouth – get flappin’ … speak up; Resist. Being liked .. Hmpf; it’s not always what it’s’ cracked up to be.
“…her wings are cut and then she is blamed for not knowing how to fly.” ― Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex