Sometimes it feels as if every single woman ever to grace the silver screen of a major motion Hollywood picture is depicted the same exact way. A trip to the movie theatre is f*cking Groundhog Day.
You know exactly what sort of leading lady I'm talking about: the damaged damsel in distress who’s tragically tethered to the tree of danger, and is patiently awaiting a sweepingly powerful (masculine) energy to find her in the thick of the forest, cut the ropes with his bare hands, rescue her and wrap up her tiny body in his big, burly arms.
OR it's the doe-eyed, heartbreakingly self-destructive waif who hates herself with a fervent relentlessness and we watch, teary-eyed, as she spirals into the harrowing vortex of addiction and self-abuse — until the earth shattering moment an authoritative male figure magically appears in her life, by absolute happenstance, and an instant falls in love with her and peels her off the ground, saving her from the cell of herself.
Though it comes in many cinematic styles and is targeted toward a vast array of age ranges: It's the same f*cking story every f*cking movie.
What really gets under my skin is that society does a pretty damn good job at pretending to “love” and “celebrate” the independent woman. It’s confusing.
We will dutifully teach a young girl the utmost importance of thinking for herself and making her own money, yet when she emerges into the real world as strong, powerful, freethinking force of girl nature — we instantly alienate her.
With furrowed brows and a stiff upper lip, our culture quickly lets her know opinionated girls are simply not welcome in this world.
Our falsified sense of acceptance and fake open-mindedness is exceedingly dangerous. When we throw girls so many mixed messages at once, how can they possibly see the world clearly?
We're instructing them to be self-assured, yet every pop culture song on the radio is a bubble gum blonde singing about how much she not only wants, but needs the boy.
We're encouraging them to speak their glorious minds, and when they do, we tell them how radical and unlovable they are.
We’re teaching them the importance of being self-sufficient, yet we still instruct them to marry only wealthy men.
So what's beneath society’s unwillingness to truly embrace the independent woman in a real, honest way? Fear. After all we tend to be the most hateful of what we find to be the most fearful right?
So where does the fear come from? What’s lurking beneath the surface?
Why is everyone so threatened by a girl who is independent?
Because she doesn't ask for permission
An independent woman doesn't need you to tell her it's okay. She has her own set of rules that she penned herself with her own ink.
She was the type of girl who always took school projects to the next level, the kind of student who gave teachers anxiety when she went to present to the classroom.
What, dear WHAT was she going to do this time, and what complex unanswerable questions would she pose to the class?
Why are we so afraid of a girl who abides by her own set rules? Because she’s not afraid to get in trouble. Because “consequence” is just a word in a sea of many.
Because she's not afraid to have an opinion
An independent woman attains independent thought. She has the most powerful freedom of all, freedom of the mind.
And you better believe she's not afraid of expressing her fresh perspective and well educated point-of-view either. She can not and will not be brainwashed into thinking or feeling a certain way, especially if it’s against her strong-willed code of ethics.
She's got the genetics of a revolutionary and her morals are un-f*cking-breakable.
Because she doesn't need your validation
As the divine independent woman, Mohadesa Najumi once stated:
The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.
What is it about that statement that resonates with so many of the independent women I know and admire?
An independent woman's confidence is not reliant on others, it comes from a far more powerful, stable place: within herself. When your self-esteem is your own and isn’t dependent on shallow compliments or validation, it’s real confidence.
It’s not shaky and ever changing in time with the moods of those who surround you.
And that scares the sh*t out of people.
Because she's not afraid to bask in her own glory
An independent woman doesn't hide behind the mask of “false modesty.” She's not going to fold her hands and pretend she isn't extremely proud of herself for achieving something kick ass.
Why do we push women to blow off their accomplishments? We compliment women and then are thrown, positively jarred when they reply with a “thank you” rather than “it was nothing.”
An independent woman is ferociously honest, and pretending she isn’t proud of herself would be lying — the worst sin of all sins.
Because she's intimidating, not intimidated
An independent woman is not intimidated by the hierarchy. She knows she can hold her own anywhere, and that there is absolutely zero reason to be frightened unless you're in physical danger.
In turn, she is seen as a wildly intimidating creature, especially to those who use cheap fear tactics to gain respect.
An independent girl sees right through the mask of the token bitch, she understands that real authority is founded on respect, not through unkind actions and nasty words.
Because she doesn't need you, in general
An independent woman is so scary to the masses, because she really doesn't need anyone. Our society frightens women into needing it, as a means to control them.
While an independent woman soulfully craves the arms of love as much as the next girl, she doesn't need require affection to sustain her.
The beautiful part is this: If you fall in love with an independent woman, and she loves you back, it’s because she wants you — not because she needs you. And that is the purest love of all.
Because she doesn’t need you to like her
An independent, outspoken, smart woman has accepted that not everyone is going to like her, and unlike a lot of woman, that doesn’t throw her.
She owns her thoughts, feelings and opinions with such a fierce intensity, that the endless stream of hate society bestows upon her simply isn’t enough to stop her from being her f*cking awesome, individual, authentic self.
Her feelings may get hurt from time to time, after all she’s not made from stone. She accepts not all feelings will be good, and she’s made peace with not being universally liked and approved of.
She can’t help but be true to herself, despite the seemingly endless hurdles she has jump through because of it.
After all independent people, male or female or anyone in between, aren’t ones to take the easy way out. That’s why they’re the great groundbreakers of the universe.
The people who end up in history books because of their undying relentlessness for justice, freedom and self-expression.
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