“You must understand: they fear you. There is nothing scarier in their minds than a girl who knows the power of her flames.” ~
To be strong women, powerful women, women who stand up for other women, women set ablaze with fierceness and desire, ones who are daring, adventurous, provocative, and bold, we must adhere to a few standing orders to avoid sabotaging our own interests.
The following 10 “musts” come to mind:
We must give zero f*cks about how we are perceived in the world. We’ll need to shed each and every label we are ever bestowed—the labels others give us, and those we smack on ourselves. The “bad” ones, for sure, like “bitch” and “moody”—but the “good” ones, too, like “selfless” and “sweet.” They do not serve us. Labels keep us locked in cages, set upon a shelf, cataloged, contained, and used all too often as weapons.
We must vote. We must vote in hoards and never stop voting, locally and broadly, for leaders who push for women’s equality on every playing field. We must vote for those who put our interests at the forefront.
We must stand united. It is not okay to gossip or put other women down behind their backs about their looks, their personalities, or what they’re wearing, for heaven’s sake. To be strong women, we must constantly check our own motivations, jealousies, insecurities, and behaviors. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. We know this. Gossip doesn’t make a single person feel good, or further our collective cause.
We must protect our bodies. As women, we need to fully understand that our vagina’s are ours alone. Unless we invite someone to the party, they ain’t nobody’s business. As a woman, my uterus is housed within my precious, life-giving, beautiful body, and therefore it belongs to me—not you. Those with fiery judgments and shame-filled opinions have no rights to our bodies or what we do with them.
We must take care of ourselves and our children, before we take care of the adult men in our lives. Selflessness is a wonderful quality, and there are situations that certainly call for it, especially with partners who treat us as equals in return. But fulfilling our own needs first is paramount, because guess what? No one will do it for us.
Adult men are qualified and capable. They can fend for themselves, always, and they do not get free passes for housework or parenting. It’s belittling to provide these expected “women’s job” contributions (historically speaking). They create resentments and power struggles inside even the most loving partnerships.
We must support our own spirit. Our minds and souls must thrive and feel wholly alive if we are to be strong in this world. We should eat delicious food, exercise, meditate, and masturbate, every day. We can stretch and think and create, every day. And we can rub ourselves silly for the sheer pleasure of it. We can seclude ourselves from all distractions and simply travel inward, to ourselves. We can relish our own “feel-good” needs without excuse or justification.
To be strong women, we must love ourselves religiously.
We must let go of our age. Age is a number, and it does not apply to our identity as vigorous, dynamic, earth-moving women in any way, shape, or form.
We must be financially independent. We can do this by working hard, yes, but also via growth mindset. We must stop referring to others who have done their homework, and do our own homework instead. We can all find something to be good at, and just be good at it.
Getting an education, assertively asking for pay raises based on merit, taking our jobs seriously, and “getting ahead” will yield a big fat bank account that may keep us secure and independent and able to help other women in need.
We must handle our own problems and own our sh*t. We can’t expect others to clean up our messes or fix us. We can ask for help, but our mental health, confidence, careers, emotional well-being, and creativity are cupped inside our hands only. We are already holding everything we need to succeed.
We must seek new experiences in order to learn more about ourselves. To open new doors, we women must unleash our inner wanderlust in a way that benefits our own fulfillment in life. If we sit back and watch the world pass us by, we will die unhappy and sour. Our lives, and what we do with the time we are given, matter.
Being strong isn’t about being fearless; it’s about harnessing power to weather our fears. Being strong isn’t selfish; it’s about feeling centered and independent.
We can certainly be sensitive, polite, generous, and well-mannered, but we can also stop hesitating and second-guessing every last little decision we make for ourselves. We can stop feeling guilty for wanting to be in charge of our own lives. And we can stop fronting, hiding our emotions, and acting like we aren’t all that important just so others aren’t uncomfortable.
When we rely on everyone’s opinion of us (and their reactions to us) for our self-worth, we lose our fire.
To be strong women, our fires must burn.