International Woman's Day: Steel Magnolia's
By: Christine Anglin
If you want to know what strength looks like, you need only to look into the eyes of a woman. Steel encases the heart of every woman and enables her to endure and endure. Historically, woman have been seen as subversive, delicate and even bad luck. Even today, a woman with an opinion is a woman with an attitude, a woman who is decisive is bossy, and a woman who is beautiful is a tease.
Woman have dealt with more systemic oppression than any other social group, and, yet still, in the great words of Maya Angelou, “[They] Rise”. To be a woman means to grow in strength, love, and resolution. To be a woman is to be aware that you will have to work harder, faster, and longer to be seen as worthy.
Women are taught to hide themselves, to shrink so that the large, strong male can be accommodated. They are told not to mention their menstrual in public, not to talk too much or too loud, and certainly not to contradict the male. For a religious woman to demand equality at home is to reject religion itself and ultimately her God given role. Woman are to be pious, submissive, and primarily concerned with matters of the home and child-baring. Woman were, in fact, created by God for the pleasure of men and to demand anything beyond a man’s satisfaction is for a woman to live above her station.
We should all be feminist—men and woman alike. Woman have again and again proven that they are just as intelligent and capable as men. The strength of a woman should be revered and studied. The perseverance displayed by the female gender has been altogether unmatched in years past and clairvoyantly in years to come.
Steel a major component in buildings, ships, and automobiles. Hard and strong is steel likewise hard and strong is a woman. When one thinks of strength one immediately invoke images that display physical strength: a man lifting large weights or men hard at work. Hardly ever does the thought of strength conjure images of a woman. Yet, Harriett Tubman an abolitionist and conductor for the underground railroad escaped to freedom and risked her life to lead many others to freedom as well, Malala Yousafzai an advocate for girls education survived an assassination attempt and is still going strong, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton who because she was uncompromising and fierce pioneered the woman’s suffrage movement. These woman, like all other woman, are steel magnolias. They chose not to accept the outdated, antiquated, and biased rules forced upon them. They sought to change the standard and to raise the status quo.
It is not at all presumptuous to say that if a decision is made, and a woman was not present or considered, then it is the wrong decision.
Woman- simultaneously hard and soft. Woman- the embodiment of strength and steel. Woman- the steel magnolia.