By: Jeri Dyson
Being a woman in today's world carries different connotations for different people. Some young ladies are trained to believe womanhood is synonymous with "independence." On one hand independence is great! But independence to the extreme becomes "self-reliance" and that, my friends, is not a good character trait.
This past weekend I was in the grocery store and I saw another lady with a set of infant twins (one screaming at the top of his lungs), a shopping cart full of bags and a rambunctious 4 year old grabbing for candy in the checkout lane. The bagger asked if she needed help to her car and she quickly said, "No. I have it..."
The next day I observed a lady at the airport's baggage claim with waaaaaaay too many bags to handle on her own. A gentleman also waiting for his luggage came up beside her and said, "Can I help you remove those heavier bags from the conveyor?"
"Oh, no. I GOT IT" was her response.
All I could do was to think to myself: "It's OK to let somebody else GET IT sometimes. It doesn't make you less of a woman."
Being powerful while continuing to express your femininity requires a delicate interplay of skill and finesse. (Please note: I'm not referring to using your sensuality to manipulate people... that's a whole different blogpost.) When I saw these ladies I couldn't help but think: "Where did this Wonderwoman mindset come from?"
Maybe it was The Women's Liberation Movement? No, I don't think so. Women's liberation was not designed to "take away" our womanly traits. It was established to give women rights and privileges so we could be acknowledged fairly for our contributions to society. This movement was pivotal for women but I believe we moved past the intended mark into a different realm.
I have spent time with some very powerful women executives and discovered that there is a time to be the "Power Suit" but eventually you have to take that power suit off. This idea of women as "Supersexualized Sensual Sheroes" has also given women a bad reputation. You may remember the popular 80's TV commercial for Enjoli perfume that tried to make women think they were super-human:
I can put the wash on the line, feed the kids, get dressed, pass out the kisses and get to work by 5 to 9..
Cause I'm a woman...
I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan.
And never let you forget you're a man...
I can come home at five o'clock
Come home and read you 'Tick & Tock'
And if it's lovin' you want I can kiss you and give you the shivers ----
Women have become so accustomed to doing everything that many of us leave little room for people to come in and assist us. Ladies, it's OK to let someone else have your back! It really is.
Don't misunderstand me. I understand some women have been forced into these take-charge positions by circumstances beyond their control like divorce and separation. I am not downplaying our contributions. I simply want us to learn to “share the burden” when others offer to assist us.
I enjoy being a lady and I enjoy the freedom to implement my dreams as I envision them. Yes, there are moments when I'm "running the show" but I never let those moments of power usurp the times when I should step back and let someone else "run the show."
"Running the show" is one thing but "Running yourself in the ground" is a totally different matter.
Dr. Jeri is an adolescent medical physician with more than fifteen years experience practicing in the Washington, DC area. You can find out more about her at www.drjerispeaks.com, on Facebook and Twitter under drjerispeaks
Jeri A. Dyson, MD
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