La Shana Stephens
Rewriting the Strong Woman Narrative
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
I saw an article of a pregnant woman whose husband had been unfaithful and had a child with another woman 3 months before their baby was due. The article highlighted a quote from him saying he was so thankful that his
“strong and forgiving wife” took him back. I cringed at the “strong” reference. Why not just say forgiving and leave strong out of it! There was something about that quote that just rubbed me the wrong way.
To me it insinuated that if she didn’t take him back, she would’ve been considered weak?
So, I wanted to bring more attention to the misconception of what being a strong woman means.
I feel “Strong” is being weaponized as a term of endearment and praise when it’s convenient. In actuality I see it as a backhanded compliment and it’s 2-fold because when you’re protecting yourself with boundaries or you’re ambitious in your career “strong” is stigmatized or condemned... You’re no longer desirable... too problematic... aggressive... etc.
A reputation that follows black women to the beginning of time.
Let’s clear this up! The definition on Google... Strong (of a person's character) adj- showing determination, self-control, and good judgment. Nowhere in this definition does it say angry, bitter, loud, doormat, pushover, empower narcissistic behavior in others, smile through bullshit, say yes to everything and everyone, taking back your baby daddy after serial offenses, compromising your boundaries etc. There is an expectation that women should endure an excessive amount of stress and abuse to be considered strong in their value. When you act “strong” rather than expressing your true feelings for the fear of being judged or abandoned by others.. it’s doesn’t allow you the freedom and vulnerability to be yourself which in turn effects your self-esteem.
It is time to rewrite the narrative. New narrative.. “We are strong because we are determined to work on our personal development, develop self awareness, be vulnerable, overcome obstacles, set healthy boundaries, and reach our goals!” The End!
If you’re struggling with this, I encourage you to rewrite your narrative! Xoxoxo- Modernmommiemogul