There’s something terrible about women when they get together.
You probably just did a double-take at my use of the word “terrible.” But you see, “terrible” doesn’t always mean something that’s absolutely ghastly. It can also mean something that causes awe, or is formidably great. Like these pink high heels.
Image: twicepix via Flickr, CC 2.0
And, in fact, if you read some of the literature that dates back as far as the Bible, that’s frequently the way the word was used (for example, when L. Frank Baum wrote of the “great and terrible Oz”).
It is this terribleness of women when they come together with no holds barred that absolutely enchants me. There’s almost a magic to it and when it happens, some people just don’t know how to deal with it.
For example, I remember back in the day when I was a PYT and would go out dancing at night. Sure, it was fun to dance with the guys, but if I found a few other women who were willing to join me in absolutely unbridled enjoyment of our bodies in motion, there was nothing like it.
There was something electric about it.
Photo: Shashi Bellamkonda via Flickr, CC 2.0
In fact, Kathy Korman Frey, the Chief Hot Momma at the Hot Mommas Project, described it as “electric energy” when she wrote about her keynote at the 2010 Women Grow Business Boot Camp, which was a half-day bootcamp for women entrepreneurs and those who want to join their ranks that I organized a couple of years ago in my capacity as then-editor of Women Grow Business (a terrific blog, you should read it regularly).
It was so electric that I literally had tingles. It took me about four days to come off of that high.
I experienced it again last night when I participated in #TGChat (many thanks to Janet Fouts for bringing in my client Victoria Marzilli of Oxfam America to help spread the word about their International Women’s Day campaign).
We were a bunch of women, many with a glass of wine in hand (not me, because I’m still not drinking), enjoying being with each other.
No cudgels here
I’m not going to start beating up on men here. I like them. I’m even married to one. And apart from loving him, I also like him very much (two completely different things).
But outside of the fact that my husband is a wonderful person, he’s one of those men who doesn’t get frightened by this electric energy.
In fact, he revels in my terribleness (which is probably why I’m married to him).
Pills and pink ghettos
It’s pretty pathetic that there are many men who don’t, and who can’t handle it. Why else would a certain right-wing commentator lambast a woman he doesn’t even know for simply speaking out about her right to have access to healthcare coverage for her reproductive system? Which access, by the way, doesn’t just “control birth,” but can help manage other diseases like endometriosis, which I suffer from.
It seems there are also women who can’t handle it; there was a recent report from Australia on “highly feminised [sic] industries dominated by gangs of women and branded ‘pink ghettos.”
An anonymous (isn’t that convenient?) senior female exec is quoted in that article as saying,
“I really worry that it makes us appear to be a bit of a ”˜pink ghetto,’ so that we’re perhaps taken less seriously by management.”
Fyi, Ms. Anonymous Senior Exec, if you’re that senior and you “really worry” about it so much, you’re in a position to change it.
And the only type of person that management takes less seriously is someone who doesn’t know how to, or isn’t interested in, doing the job right, women or men, thereby negatively impacting the bottom line.
Oh, also, women in PR and HR are not “gangs.” There might be a lot of us who enter the professions because of a natural aptitude for people management and communication apart from a whole host of other skills, but we’re pretty darn good at what we do. That’s why we do well.
And if we can kick butt while enjoying our femininity and wearing kick ass pink high heels, why shouldn’t we? If anything, people should be super-awed at the fact that we can carry that off, not dismiss us because we happen to like fashion.
Why is it that by and large, groups of women are only acceptable to the public consciousness if they are being cutesy or complementary to all the yang out there, somehow serving to achieve a greater, male purpose?
In addition to being International Women’s Day, today is also the Hindu festival of Holi.
For those of you who don’t know it, it’s the festival of colors, and is celebrated throughout India and the Indian diaspora by people throwing colored powders on each other and quite frequently imbibing, er, bhang. My guess is it’s the only time each year that every generation in Indian families gets high together.
Photo: ben.chaney via Flickr, CC 2.0
Probably the most popular myth associated with Holi – which, bhang aside, is basically a spring festival and a ton of fun (don’t do the bhang!) – is that of Holika and Prahlad. You can read the whole story via that link, but basically, Holika was the sister of a demon king, and her nephew (the king’s son) was an ardent devotee of Lord Vishnu (one of the Hindu trinity).
Said king was so mad that said son was a fan of L.V. instead of him, that he convinced his sister, who was endowed with the ability to come through fire unscathed, to try and burn Prahlad by going into a fire with him. Of course, good triumphed over evil, and she burned but he didn’t.
I have no problem with the “good over evil” part. But dang, Holika basically got booted from Planet Earth because she was trying to do her brother a solid.
Time to shine
Like I said earlier, this post is not about beating up on men. But it’s high time everyone started accepting – men and women alike – that the “terrible,” electric energy of women is pretty terrific when it’s allowed to come through in full force.
We should be doing everything we can to release it.
Time to shine, ladies. Time to shine.
[…] first time I heard about International Women’s Day; I was probably 7 or 8 years old. It excited me that there was a special day for women, but I also […]
@shonali tried to respond and not sure it went through…that @TheJackB is just a phoner to me
@Soulati @shonali Walked into the bar, no one was there so I had to go home.
@narciso17 Thanks, pal!
Holi sounds cool. Today is also the Jewish holiday of Purim which doesn’t involve getting high, but does involve drinking- there is a whole school of thought about how much.
In fact if you walk the right direction down Melrose you might stumble onto some Purim parties.
Anyhow, I am a fan of women, most of the time. ;)
@TheJackB “Most” of the time? Don’t say that in front of soulati when you see her!
Women are cool. That.is.all…………
@bdorman264 TRU DAT!
@skypulsemedia I think I need to see you in pink. :p
How you women wear heels blows my mind!
So story time. In 1999 my friend Ami calls me up and says she wants to find a pair of silver moon shoes. Sneakers but with a 5″ sole she saw somewhere wear at a rave party.She says lets go to Melrose Ave (Los Angeles the trendiest street in the world) smoke a doobie and shoe shop. I said sure I can use some new shoes to go out in.
So we go and we start walking into shoe stores. And then it hit me. While men had at the time a choice of black, brown, burgundy. Dressy. Less dressy. Women had flats, sandals, boots (knee high thigh high hip high) Heels, Pumps. Every color on earth. Sparkles flowers rhinestones feathers.
That is when I realized men created shoes stores to hypnotize women into wanting to wear uncomfortable shoes to look good for us. and in return most of the shoes were half the price of the shoes I bought. =P
@HowieSPM See, we can handle so much more than men. :p Yes, we definitely have it better when it comes to shoes (and so much more…!). Lemme tell ya something, though; I don’t wear heels to hypnotize anyone (though they do come in handy if one’s trying to intimidate, LOL). I wear ’em because I love ’em. I’m still working on being able to walk for more than a few seconds in anything over 4″, though…
I wear the shoes because I love them, too. I’ve met guys who like them and guys who are intimidated by them, often because I now tower over them (heehee). If a guy’s intimidated because of a simple (or not so simple) pair of shoes, that’s his problem, not mine.
Shonali, you can wear heels taller than four inches? I can’t do that. I have a horrible sense of balance.
@Erin F. No, I can’t wear 4″+ heels… yet… but I will say the platforms help! @HowieSPM
@HowieSPM The real question is, how do you wear them?
@bdorman264 DUH! On my feet! 8)
I love this post, and, as someone who loves my heels (Hey, I’m rather short, so I can get away with a four-inch heel or wedge.), I’m all for embracing my femininity as well as my terribleness.
@Erin F. Thanks! You know, when I was younger, I loved the way heels looked (and the confidence I think it gives us), but always thought I was too tall to wear them (I’m 5’7″). As I grew older, I realized that was silly. In fact, I don’t know if there’s anything quite as appealing as a really tall woman wearing really high heels. They just look awesome!
They do! I think heels sometimes are an externalization of the confidence we already feel. Sometimes, though, they give us that extra edge when we go into a meeting or simply make us feel pretty. Our height (or lack of it) doesn’t matter. I’m 5′ 5.5,” by the way. :)
@Erin F. You’re not short, then!
No, I’m average height. I’m considered tall in El Paso, though, and I am short in comparison to my brothers. They’re both six feet tall or taller. :)