The other day, my lovely wife sent me an email saying that, for one of this month’s Girls are Cool post-up, I should do something around Women’s History Month which is, you guessed it, March. Never knew there was such, honestly. Probably had no reason until this year to know about Women’s History Month.
So I started reading up this week. Near the beginning of Girls are Cool, I assembled a Girls are Cool Dream Team which brought together more notable women in history, but I abandoned the more widely recognized female fixtures in history only because, well, I thought my picks were a little cooler, meaner and more ready for war. Essentially, I’ve already done this post.
But then, last night, I started thinking about the first time I heard “Revolutionary Generation” by Public Enemy which depicts the struggles of the black woman in America and I was absolutely floored. Here I was, not even legal to drive yet and Chuck D’s incredible account of the black woman’s existence stirred me. His prose splits the mirage of deception and his lyric is the fiery truth that burns it all to the ground. Dude just kills it.
Since then, I’ve been somewhat secretly fascinated by woman’s current place in this world. To me, it’s truly the most subversive social movement ever and it’s still going on today because women still largely aren’t valued as equals in society. Progress? Sure. Success? Not yet. The fact that we still have to dedicate a month to recognize the contributions of women in this world suggests to me that we’re still leagues away from a full acceptance. Do we only perpetuate the gender discussion by only limiting the Woman’s History discussions to one month? What do we do the rest of the year? Not talk about women? Girls are Cool, I guess, is kinda a product of the same thinking, admittedly. What, girls are cool only on Friday?
I digress. Sorry.
What I’m getting at is this: girls are cool because they’re unwavering in the face of adversity. They continue their push. Their plight. There’s nothing that scares a man more than a woman getting even. Woman’s adversity is real, but their inferiority is only perception. In a way, Chuck is right. Every generation is taught to dis their sister. Boys are given the upper hand from birth. Their the protector. The defender. The warrior. Girls fall into this defeated, enslaved and submissive role to juxtapose the boy’s role. It’s nature, I suppose. And I’m not trying to rally everyone against natural roles, but as a father of a daughter now, I’ve taken up the cause of making sure that Ellison never thinks she can’t do something solely because she’s a girl…except, of course, use the men’s restroom.
I watch men closely now. I watch how they toy with women. In the workplace. In the real world (because the workplace is not the real world). I listen to their passive aggressive insults and gut checks. I watch how they gawk at their derrieres as they walk away. It’s incredible what men get away with sometimes.
Never fall for the same tired reasons or excuses. Never find herself or her actions turned into novelty. And never do something out of spite for others but because only because she truly wants to. So often we see brave girls daring the elements only to prove a point that they can do it, but not always because they truly want to. I want Ellison to wrestle a boy to the ground because she enjoys doing it. Or kicking a football a mile with deadly accuracy because she loves it. Or rescuing people from a home engulfed in flames because of a commitment to service. Or working as a missionary in the Middle East because that’s what God’s calling her to do. I don’t want her accomplishments to be driven by spite for her male counterparts. As if she’s wearing her gender as her burden. It’s not a burden. She can do anything she wants to. And I’ll remind her of that forever. We’re not looking to get ahead. Just get even. Girls are cool, man.