On Being a Damsel

I was raised to be a strong, intelligent and competent woman.  My parents never played up the beauty side of being a modern woman, hence it was never really an issue.  I accepted that I may be the one who is described as a the girl with the great personality…in reality, I could carry the cute thing off well enough but simply was a force to be reckoned with.  Living in an environment where I was held to the same level of expectation and competence as both my brothers resulted in the belief that it would the same way everywhere else too.  I was full into my twenties before I realized that wasn’t going to happen.  It was exhausting having to work so much harder  to prove my competence than my male counterparts.    Being a damsel was so much more attractive and efficient in garnering attention than fearless self-reliance.  But it seems you couldn’t be both smart and sexy successfully unless you were on a TV show where everyone, of course,  is smart and sexy and never has to go to the bathroom.  In real life, both sexes have their strengths and weaknesses…and because it is difficult to admit it we are at odds a lot of the time.   It’s exhausting being so strong all the time.  There are moments when it’s  nice to put competence aside and allow myself to be pulled off the train tracks even though I could probably do it myself…and still respect myself in the morning.   I think it’s good  to feel all weak and dependent once in a while, because none of us are invincible and it is important to be reminded of that fact.  Perhaps its just a rationalization, but I like to think that my occasional journey as a damsel offers someone else the opportunity to bring out their inner hero…and that is always a good thing.

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