The Dark Side of Girl Power

Written by Adrianne Franscini

Some where a rumor was started that females are the weaker sex. This was probably due to our physical bodies generally being smaller than our male counterparts. But I happen to know over a half dozen close friends who don’t know or are not able to credit their fathers with doing much in their upbringing yet could not survive without their mommies. I know another several dozen women that a perfectly capable of hanging with their male equivalents in the fields of engineering, medicine, law, music, skateboarding, bmx, Muay Thai, MMA, art, activism, etc. More and more the true strength and capability of females is starting to be acknowledged but unfortunately, the effect isn’t always positive.

Sadly, a lot of women try to trade everything feminine to show their strength – adopting macho attitudes of their own, trying to fight unnecessarily and sometimes out-partying the boys to show their toughness. Since holding your liquor has previously been associated with ‘the guys’ and masculinity, the new wave of tough girls can use it to show their muscle. This isn’t the same as the stereotypical sorority girl downing wine coolers to lower her inhibitions and take the work out of date rape. This is more of an overcompensation to gain the ‘respect’ of guys by being rowdier, lewder and more aggressive than them. It’s the same mishandling as some feminists condoning or even promoting female promiscuity to fight the double standard that girls are sluts and guys are cool if they sleep around. Why not take the approach that no one should desire to be promiscuous and use our newfound female strength to show everyone, male and female, we aren’t going to excuse disrespect and double standards anymore? The same approach can be used toward any social vice including drinking and partying.

I think the same maternal instinct that makes women step up and take care of kids is what has made them generally abstain from unhealthy lifestyles more. The leaders of the Temperance movements of the past were often women and showed true strength of character. Women also played a big role in movements supporting workers rights and against child labor. These fights may not be physical, but they show the true power that people can possess and the level of change that positive work can bring. Being straight edge requires the same type of strength and commitment to something optimistic. This interpretation of feminine brawn needs to be spread to more females as another option to expand their ‘tough guy’ lifestyle. So maybe instead of trying so hard to win at someone else’s game, girls in various male dominated scenes will try to create their own, more positive versions for themselves and possibly influence the entire scene.I don’t mean to come off as preachy because I hate when people attempt to push religion and their beliefs on others. I know I can sometimes come off as being too strict but I personally want to improve myself every day in some way. What I am saying with this piece specifically is that we can take control of ourselves and our lives not only to become stronger and more self sufficient but also to help empower others by example. That idea, to me, is more forceful and stout than any macho competition any day of the week

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Written by kellysisterhood
Mother, wife, small business owner. www.justbuttons.org
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