Watching Oprah stand up, speak out, and ignite a fire of purpose within the hearts of women around the world on Sunday night floored me. I was so captivated by the power of the words coming out of her mouth, I didn’t even feel the tears as they cascaded down my face.
The issues she spoke about were not ones that I had identified as having an affect on me, prior to that moment, but as her words permeated my soul, I felt myself become connected. In that 9-minute window, I recognized that these issues, this movement, is not necessarily just about sexual abuse, misogyny or the overarching sense of patriarchy that casts a fog over our society, but about the power of women in general and the strength that we have when we all stand together.
If you know me at all, you know that I am the ultimate girl’s girl. I believe in #babessupportingbabes, the power of a girl’s night and the flat-out fact that we are just as effective as our male counterparts.
I wrote a blog a little while ago, and it was posted by a fellow blogger who I have been lucky enough to know for many years. I wanted to share it again, because I believe it’s relevant in the current climate, which is rife with the essence of change. It describes the importance of women banding as one, standing together and building each other up, instead of competing with each other and tearing each other down.
There are SO MANY types of women in the world, each encompassing a unique set of attributes that should be applauded, and lifted up.
I am proud to be a woman and proud of the women around me. No matter who you are, what you’re doing or whether you think you are currently the best version of yourself, you are enough, you are worthy, and I am fucking proud of you.
The Nice Girls Club
Rihanna and Beyoncé have made them mainstream. French Montana and Lupe Fiasco have rapped entire songs about them. Amber Rose wrote a book on how to be one, and I can’t scroll my Instagram feed without reading an “inspirational quote” about them.
I’m talking about the fictitious ”bad bitch”. What pops into your mind when you hear those two words? I think of a tough, bad-ass, fierce, fearless, confident woman who is going to let you know the minute you step out of line. Who has a one-strike, you’re out rule, who depends on no one but herself. She doesn’t give a you-know-what about what you think about her, and she isn’t going to lose any sleep if you aren’t a fan of her. I pretty much think of Nicki Minaj.
With the popularity of the bad bitch on a serious come-up these last few years, I have to admit it – I stumbled into the trap myself. I wanted to be one, wanted to portray the illusion of this persona being described in my favorite songs. But guess what?
I am not a bad bitch.
Oh sure, I have posted my fair share of bad bitch quotes to my Instagram and can talk a good game about where I’m going to tell my boyfriend to go if he doesn’t start “acting right”. BUT, if I’m honest with myself, I didn’t come up with that bad bitch quote I posted, and I probably passive-aggressively gave my boyfriend the silent treatment the last time he wasn’t “acting right”.
And so what? So what if I’m not a bad bitch? Here’s the thing:
I am a sensitive bitch. I don’t know how “cool” it is to admit this, but I actually happen to give a lot of fucks about the people around me and of how I am perceived. I am hyper-conscious of the energy I encompass, and I simply don’t possess the ability to brush negativity off like it is an imagined speck, marring my aura.
I am a compassionate bitch. I’m not going to “look out for number one” first and foremost. I am nagged by empathy, and I care immensely what happens to other people. I’m not going to step on you if it’s going to benefit me, even if that’s what everyone else is doing. If being so soft doesn’t coincide with bad bitch-ness, well, I guess I’ll have to live with that.
I am a traditional bitch. I am a pretty big fan of cooking for my partner, doing his laundry, making his lunch. I like to take care of the people around me, whether it be my boyfriend or my brother. Does admitting that I like doing those things make me less of a bad bitch? What about the fact that I also like going to work, making my own money, buying myself my own things? I’m a feminist, without question, but I still cherish some aspects of traditional gender roles.
I am a peace-loving, conflict-hating bitch. Being at odds with anyone results in an incessant scratch on my brain, my thoughts poisoned by the knowledge that someone is unhappy with me. I despise that feeling, and will go to whatever lengths I can to fix it, ASAP. Oh, and I’m not above saying sorry. I have gone on more than one apology tour in my life. If I’ve done wrong, I’m not going to go to war defending my bad behavior. I’m going to apologize, shut up, and own it. Does that effect my bad bitch cred?
I am a make-best-friends-with-any-and-all-girls-I-meet-in-the-bathroom bitch. Oh, we just met in the bathroom two minutes ago by bonding over hairspray? Bet you can’t tell by the selfie we took. I’ll take your number too, girl – call me anytime!
The message I am trying to convey here is not by any means that a “nice bitch” is better than a “bad bitch”. Bad bitches possess qualities that I admire greatly, and many of my personal development goals fall in the line with the essence of what a bad bitch is. Their take-no-shit, refusal to get walked all over attitude is certainly a trait I need to evolve. Being nice is one thing, but allowing people to trample all over you while you smile limply is completely another.
The message I’m trying to convey here is that we are all strong, we are all powerful, and we do not need to take any shit, no matter the “type” of women we are. Speak your truth. Live the life you want to live. There are millions of women standing by you and we are ready to get on our feet, lift you up and applaud you.
This post is for those “not-so-bad-bitches”, who are a bit quieter, a bit shyer (who knew that’s a word?!), who hold back a bit more. Just because you’re not the loudest one in the room, just because your face doesn’t rest “bitch-style” does not mean you shouldn’t get exactly what you want. Just because the fantasy of what a bad bitch is has exploded all over mainstream media, forcing it down our throats that a bad bitch is the epitome of what a woman should be, doesn’t make it so. I’m just…not the kind of woman to steamroll through life, unfazed.
Let me be clear: this is not about labeling one way or the other. Whether you are a bad bitch, a syrupy-sweet bitch, a harsh bitch, a reserved bitch, whatever kind of bitch you are, you are infallible and unmatched. This is about figuring out exactly who you are as a woman and owning the shit out of it….even if you own that shit as quiet as a mouse. Slay, you bad-ass mouse.