Warning: Naughty language ahead!
I don’t know when the “badass” mentality started or when being a woman who just doesn’t care became the goal of all women.
I admit I have been tempted by it—I have even tried to achieve it.
Something about being hurt or broken as a woman kind of sends us into that cycle. We must climb the mountain and get to the top. We must show all the men that we can do it for ourselves and that we don’t need them. Somewhere along the way, we also become cold and crass and as cut off from our emotions as some men are.
We essentially become like whatever (or whoever) we were hurt by, angry at and now hate.
I’m over it. I’m over the “be a badass, be rebellious, grow balls and don’t give a fuck.” I’m over it like I’m over the goddess movement. I’m over it like I’m over the finger-pointing nature of the current blaming and bashing victim mentality of the society.
Because I think that anytime we are ruled and moved by anger and “proving” something to ourselves, to other women or to the men who hurt us, we are still weak and controlled by our pain. Anger comes from hurt and anger can easily turn to hate. No matter what you call it, either side acting out of disdain for the other will leave us with the same result.
Most, if not all, women have a painful story somewhere in their lives. I have mine and I’m sure you do too. We have been sexually manipulated, coerced or abused. We rise above and move forward and it is a beautiful thing. But in our journey of becoming whole, let us not also become coarse and accusatory or crucifying. Let us not become so loud about our victories that we become dominant bitches. Just as many women are seduced by the “bad boys,” there are men who are taken by emotionally void women. Both sexes have the capacity to hurt each other and manipulate each other for our own gain.
Becoming self-aware and aware of our human nature is a freeing thing. To be self-aware is to be able to define who you are, even your own faults or limits. I would dare say that half the badass crowd doesn’t want to talk about their limits or weaknesses. To come to a place of healing is to be able to let go of those fears, and all I hear in the badass movement (if we can call it that) is a lot of fear covering insecurities and real pain.
I no longer try to prove myself to men, or, for that matter, women. I don’t have to make myself smaller for anyone, but I also don’t have to be a badass superwoman. What the hell is it all for?
I see these “be a woman who doesn’t give a fuck” posts, and it isn’t in the least bit revolutionary. Yes, let us grab the world by its balls and move mountains…now what? I am a woman, I am no man. I don’t wish to be a man, or stay angry with them. I have found I like being a woman with them too much. I’m grateful for the things I have been through and I have forgiven the men who hurt me. Forgiveness, whether it is for our fathers, our lovers or our bosses for the ignorances or misogynistic messages, is a freeing thing. Becoming like them and their ignorances, and coming back for revenge is not.
I think we should recognize our different sides. The war of the sexes will never end, but this mentality of the careless, reckless female who is ready to castrate all men and feed them their balls, sure as hell isn’t going to fix it.
I don’t have to shout to the world and all over social media that I’m a badass motherfucker, a strong woman, a bitch with backbone or anything else. That would be a lot of pain talking, if I felt I had to prove that.
I have forgiven and found myself, and also realized my need for relationships. Acknowledging our needs also makes us strong. Our ability to realize our differences and weaknesses, and then connect with others because of those needs, makes us strong. We are strong in our trust and even in our softness. I am a woman. I live my life and make my decisions for myself, and not any definition of a “strong woman”—whatever that is—be it from Gloria Steinem, Jessica Valenti or commentators on Facebook.
I keep my peace and keep the men who have loved me safe.
Have I been hurt and stung and abused? Yes. Those are part of my story; if they are part of yours then own it. Once you do, healing comes in increments. Then you forgive and move forward, find a purpose that is outside of your anger or pain. Sponsor a child. Visit the elderly. Make friends with someone of a different opinion. Become whole so you might attract whole.
If you are not there yet, be careful what you are projecting onto the world. Hurt people go and hurt people, whether it is intended or not. Be honest about your pain, but don’t allow those pains to define you or your future relationships. In other words, don’t become comfortable with your reactions that are like bullets ready to aim.
It takes much more strength to forgive and love again, to be present in relationships, than it does to put on armor and wield a defensive sword.
And to me, that is a true definition of being a badass.
Author: Danielle Bethune
Editors: Emily Bartran; Nicole Cameron