Deadly Ever After

I Won’t Apologize For Being A Girl

Today’s Brew: Julie’s on her way, and we better get some coffee, so help me God.

by Kristen

I consider myself a pretty strong woman. I run a business. I get things done. I’m not afraid to stand up for myself or loved ones when needed, and I’m also not afraid to ask for help. I take chances. I’ll admit when I’m wrong.

But I’m also extremely female. I love leopard print, pink, fishnets, fun boots, romance novels, cooking, and Zumba.

I’ve noticed that powerful women are expected to abandon their femininity. They wear suits, cut their hair or pull it back, don’t wear a lot of makeup, and have to forsake things that are associated with being girly.

When did being a female become equated with weakness?

This pisses me off.

There’s a huge trend towards “strong women” in literature, and I take offense with it. These are woman who are competing with the boys. They have to be unnaturally smart and are almost never sexy. They can outwit alpha males at every turn, save the day, and besides their names, you’d never know they were female.

Lucille Ball 1942,  check out that gown! Beautiful! :: Old Hollywood

Feminine and powerful.

Being sexy is powerful. It doesn’t mean being slutty. It means being comfortable in your own skin, and knowing you have something to offer. It doesn’t mean apologizing for being a woman.

Some people have bagged my heroines for not being strong. The don’t fit the current stereotype. They make mistakes, they cry. They’re not always the smartest person in the story. They get duped. But they are all strong willed and willing to fight for what they believe in.

Women love knocking each other down a peg. We aspire to standards that are impossible to achieve–either these super masculine brainy types or these sexy bombshells.  If we all want to be considered strong, we need to start with holding each other up, and recognizing being a girl doesn’t mean being weak.



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9 thoughts on “I Won’t Apologize For Being A Girl

  1. I’m totally with you – although I’m not very girly myself, never was. I hate the color pink (my three year old adores it), and I don’t wear dresses unless I have to (like at a military ball). And strong women cry all the time. Crying is a way of letting go of your emotions. Holding them in would be a sign of weakness in my book!

  2. Word.

    You either have brains and talent or you hit the lottery with looks– never both. Fuck that. And it IS mostly women who do this to one another.

    Kristen, you are sexy as hell! And I’m a fan of your work! Your female characters strong AND have flaws. That makes them believable.

  3. Reblogged this on Gabi Daniels and commented:
    I agree completely with Kristen, the author of this blog post.

  4. Reblogged this on the midnight type and commented:
    True dat.

  5. AvaRose on said:

    The problem I run into here is that being “feminine” is extremely draining. You have to put a lot of care into styling makeup and hair and looking good to impress boys or girls or whoever. I think the reason why most women who fit into that “strong woman” aesthetic that you describe isn’t because they are trying super hard to be manly and fit in with boys. I think it’s because they simply don’t have time to spend 2 hours each day doing their makeup and hair when they have a business/science/engineering/crime-fighting to do.

    And why should they? I don’t think it’s weak for women to put on makeup and want to look nice, but I think it’s wrong that women have to worry about their appearance so much more than men do, and they especially shouldn’t be shamed or made to feel like less of a woman just because they didn’t spend an exorbitant amount of time/energy/money on their hairdo.

    Women who are trying to compete with men in these fields have enough trouble without having to worry about other women complaining about how they really ought to “embrace their femininity” aka. spend more time primping in front of a mirror.

    And as for crying, I think the problem is that crying is seen as a feminine/weak thing when really it’s just a human being thing. Really the way to tackle this problem is to stop shaming men who cry, because that reinforces the idea that crying is for girls and wimps.

    • I appreciate your opinion but I feel like you are reinforcing my point.

      “Women who are trying to compete with men in these fields have enough trouble without having to worry about other women complaining about how they really ought to “embrace their femininity” aka. spend more time primping in front of a mirror.”

      Why are women competing with men? Here’s the problem! We as smart, organized, and motivated! Are our brains weaker or something? Eff no. The whole world needs to stop trying to be a white man. That’s the problem.

      It doesn’t take any more effort to look feminine than it does masculine. It’s simply a choice. Red or pink? Flowered or striped? Chapstick or lipstick?

      Many people in power care very much about looking and sounding good. They take hours worth of classes learning about how to use their body language, and men and women use stylists and hair and makeup artists before being “seen.” These aren’t A list celebrities. These are experts in their field who have been asked to talk about their specialties. I have the career to prove it. I have worked with women that are terrified of me putting lipstick on them, because they don’t want to be discounted, (“not too glamorous!” I hear it all the time) and men who have more insecurities than any person should.

      Anyway, it’s about feeling good. You may have a different definition of what that means than I do. Like I said, I won’t apologize for being a smart woman who enjoys embracing my femininity.

      • AvaRose on said:

        I see your point, and I don’t think anyone should have to apologize for their femininity. However, I think a lot of times women in the media who are not very feminine take a lot of crap for it. Putting on a whole face full of makeup and walking around in heels every day isn’t for everyone, and a lot of times women feel like they have to do these things to be taken seriously, regardless of what field they are in.

        I think basically my point is that women shouldn’t have to apologize for not fitting into more traditional feminine styles either. We need role models of all shapes, sizes, and styles, and most importantly, we need to teach kids that your appearance, whatever it is, is completely unrelated to your intellect.

  6. Love this post! Such good points Kristen!

  7. Pingback: Sexy or brainy?

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