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Is it blind arrogance or good upbringing? The idea of the ballsy woman in today’s society…

I blame it all on my mom. She rocks!

I’m not trying to start blogger beef. I want to put that out there now, because, really, I’m a little fish in a big pond. I just want to address some misconceptions about my most recent post.

So I peeped a blog post commenting on my Girl Power Session article that said that this:

And because she refuses to acknowledge that there is a high statistical probability that people will marginalize her because of her gender and her race, she won’t recognize when it happens to her. And she won’t have the tools and skills to counteract those artificial barriers.

That made me a little sad, because really, ha ha, you have NO idea! Let me tell you a little story:

My whole life has been about breaking barriers. That’s why I’m into social media in the first place, because I want to find ways to break the barriers that society sets in terms of class, gender and race, using technology. Let’s just list a few walls I’ve had to break down in life:

  1. Being black.
  2. Being poor.
  3. Being a woman.
  4. Being raised by a single mother.
  5. Being a year younger than everyone in my school because I skipped a grade.
  6. Choosing to major in digital media in college, which was the most “oppressed” of all of the educational communities on my campus.
  7. Being outspoken.
  8. Being a part of the LGBT community.

These are just the only ones that I can think of. And I’m not trying to toot my own horn in any way, you know? Because I’m sure that we’ve all come against some stuff in our lifetimes.

I looked up the word “oppressed” in the dictionary. Every meaning involves the idea of “wearing down on” or “burdening”. I think that that’s the difference. I refuse to carry the prejudices and injustices that other people try to put on me.

I do agree that a good deal of this is a cultural thing. Culture plays so much into how women look at themselves and how they live their lives in relation to men. Raised by a single mom in a situation where my dad wanted nothing to do with me at the time, I was always told that I am equal to any man and that I cannot let any person, man or woman, hold me back from what I want to do. Men have never been above me. Even if they are my boss or my superior, really, they rely on me in some way for something, and I’m not talking about nookie ::wink::

I dunno. I kinda got off on a rant and lost focus. I’m just curious about what factors lead some women to become ballsy and others to look at life through “I’m not good enough because I’m a woman”-colored glasses.

Oh, and before I forget: “What is sexy?” Must address that.

Sexy…so when I said that “self-hate isn’t sexy”, I meant that it is not emotionally or mentally attractive to downplay traits that make you who you are and call them hindrances. I’m a plus-sized, geeky black woman with a Southern accent who enjoys wearing ties and a dog chain…and those are all strengths! I think back to what one of the women said at the end of the Girl Power session. She said something like “It’s inside of all women to be strong.” I toally agree with that. Let’s look at this through positives:

Strenght = sexy

Inner power = sexy

Self-love = sexy

And I don’t mean sexy in the media-hyped way. I mean sexy in the “I know that I’m the hottness and it’s got nothing to do with how I look” way.

I’ll end with this. I’ll give you all a hint into how I view guys who really think that I’m going to lie down and be a professional stepstool or doormat. This is a line from Godsmack’s “The Enemy”.

…and I know everybody knows you try to be like me
but even at your best as a man you couldn’t equal half of me.

Trust me, I have the tools. They’re all inside of me. And around me. My social network rocks!



8 thoughts on “Is it blind arrogance or good upbringing? The idea of the ballsy woman in today’s society…

  1. AMEN!!!

    I have had such a ball of emotions and thoughts about the conversations that happened on that grassy lawn over the weekend and I know that most of them I won’t be able to share because I can’t articulate what I want to say without someone saying “he is a guy, he can’t comment on this” so I’ve bit my tongue so far.

    But, as a father of a little girl who I’m raising to take control, know no fear and push for everything she wants no matter who tells her that she can’t have it, this post made my morning.

    Thank you.

    Posted by C.C. Chapman | August 11, 2009, 5:01 am
  2. You really need to lead a session at a PodCamp. It’d be a great discussion.

    Posted by Christopher S. Penn | August 11, 2009, 5:51 am
  3. Two years ago I did a session at Podcamp NYC on “Women in Podcasting”. I’ll have to dig it up and put it up on SlideShare or something, because when we talked about it back then, it was highlighting our advantages, strengths and bonds – not hashing over the negatives. Two years later I saw some of the same women around that circle in the grass at Podcamp Boston 4, and their views on being ‘held back’ have not changed. So my question is, what have they done in the past two years to CHANGE?


    Posted by Lynette | August 11, 2009, 11:06 am
  4. Sorry, the Women in Podcasting talk was *three* years ago!!!

    Posted by Lynette | August 11, 2009, 12:32 pm
  5. Here is where the disconnect is, I think:

    I don’t think that acknowledging sexism and racism as possible barriers to success or as possible reasons for a lack of representation for women and minorities in any industry is looking at the world thru “oh I’m not good enough bc I’m a woman” glasses.

    The conservative argument that feminism is what makes women “victims” rather than a sexist culture is how people turn the debate on its head; it forces feminists to waste time arguing about whether the basis for their movement even has merit, rather than addressing the real issue at hand. It’s a rope a dope.

    It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to become the kickass woman you clearly are despite the possible obstacles you mention here; but are women who continue to be frustrated by these things somehow “less than” because of it?

    What I hate about this “be awesome” meme is that at the core of it seems to be the argument that rather than any “glass ceiling” in place preventing women from being on the “A-list,” it’s becuase we’re obviously just not awesome enough. Or not doing enough to talk about how awesome we are. It’s apparently all OUR fault.

    That seems to me to be a bit too convenient an explanation, and pretty much sums up male privilege. Part of male privilege is the luxury of getting to say that everything is merit-based, and the refusal to acknowledge that there might be other factors at work.

    Posted by Sarah Wurrey | August 11, 2009, 6:55 pm


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