Wednesday, February 2, 2011

In Praise Of Bolder Women

Yesterday I was thinking about people I really admire; not heroes exactly, but people who blow me away just as they are, without any kind of legend behind them - if anything, the legend is in front of them, if that makes any sense. And a person I kept coming back to was this force here:



If you know even a little about feminism, particularly French feminism, you'll know all about binaries. This small person is a perfect example of the problem with binaries, because they - both sides - exist within her. She is brave and afraid, and she is subjective and just, and she is emotional and totally rational. In spite of the limitations of her age and size, and the weight of expectations, she is true to herself, and when she has to do things she doesn't want to do, she does them in a way that is gracious but leaves no doubt about how she feels about them. She has fears but if something important is at stake, most often someone else's feelings or well-being, she puts them aside. When she's angry, she kicks doors. When she's sad, her heart breaks. When she's excited, she punches dolls in the face. She cracks jokes and laughs at other people's. She speaks up and she mutters under her breath and she sings so you can hear her. She loves like a fanatic. She lives through every atom of her being. She is uncommonly kind, and gentle, generous and original, and completely genuine. And she is six years old.

Sometimes she makes me feel really awful about the world we've created/allowed to be created, that she has to live in, and deal with. But then I think: she can change it, and every day she does, a little bit at a time. It's good to have heroes. But having someone you admire, who also thinks you're pretty good too; that's great. It brings out the best of both of you, and makes you really think about what you value and why.

I hope one day, if you're not a dick, that she crosses your path. You won't miss her. She's completely, utterly unmissable.

PS Her favourite song by The Clash? I Fought The Law, of course.

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