How Small Men Inspire Nasty Women
There’s been a lot of buzz in the media lately about nasty women. It’s something I’ve spent at least two decades practicing, refining, and perfecting, in spite (and because) of lesser humans’ best efforts to keep me in my place. Being strong and true to yourself gives peace of mind, so if you’ll allow me, here are some tips on how to be a really nasty woman:
Know thy enemy: Albert Einstein affirmed that “great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Similarly, nasty women will always be judged by small men, and also embraced by the great ones. Any capable woman with strong conviction and vision and beliefs that drive her will be called aggressive, bossy, and yes, nasty. (The men who lead change were called a different set of names.) It’s a double standard that we must continue to personally dismiss, publicly fight against, and in the meantime, not accept ownership or let it affect us.
Accept opposition: Nasty women know that when others who feel threatened try to belittle them, they are on the right track. Know whose opinions are important to you, and whose simply are not. Concern yourself with those you value, appreciate, and admire, and forget the rest. When someone says, “You can’t – you’re a woman,” respond with a confident “Watch me!”
Know thyself: When the chips are down, when you’ve been challenged, disempowered, frustrated, and maybe even berated, having a strong sense of self will be what keeps you going. It’s not always easy – in fact it’s never, ever easy – but some of us feel chosen to chart new paths. Sometimes you’ll be alone, sometimes it will seem to be you against the world, but you take one step at a time and stay strong. Don’t let others affect or change you. Have an idea of the nasty woman you want to be and be true to her.
Speak up: There are women and then there are nasty women. Not everyone of our gender has the freedom or will speak their minds, whether it’s because of their families, religion, culture, groups of friends. It’s understandable. Aside from physiological needs and safety, everyone wants to feel belonging, love, appreciation and respect, and fulfillment – these needs are not unique to men. Not only that, but we should all be able to have wants and dreams, regardless of gender. When women aren’t privileged to the aforementioned, someone needs to speak up. It happens in families, it happens in business meetings. This is where nasty women come in. Being vocal doesn’t always mean being popular, but someone needs to represent those who, for whatever reason, keep quiet. Question convention, keep faith, and speak your mind. Nasty women share ideas. Nasty women work for what they believe in. And as the t-shirt says, nasty women vote.
Celebrate each other:
Associate with other nasty women. Build a community, through social groups, online, with friends and friends of friends, school, church… Find strong women who enjoy being with other strong women and want to lift each other up. Be with strong men who support you. Share experiences, frustrations, best practices, and victories. Be patient and empathetic with women who aren’t as determined or free to be equal and free. It takes baby steps sometimes, and not everyone is as nasty as you and me. Elevate them.
From time to time, you may be called nasty, aggressive, pushy, and more… Consider the source. What a nasty woman…? Damn straight.
Nasty women have always encountered opposition because they challenge the status quo, make change, and realize their dreams. Doesn’t that sound like a great
thing? We are treading unknown waters, and being disruptive in new ways, in the wake of great women
who made waves in times before ours. But now’s the time to be as nasty as you want to be, and you’re not alone. You have me. And Janet.
How are you particularly nasty? What qualities do you appreciate in other women that you try to emulate or wish you had?
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