Ahhhh, badass women.
Yes, we hear about our sisters-in-arms who crack the whip, kicks asses and take names, and can tell a person to go to hell and give them directions on how to get there. She’s a woman in command of herself. She charts her journey and gets to hoofin’.
She is, among other things,
She is that woman that other women want to be.
She could be the bespectacled woman next to you on the subway, the petite woman at the gym who bench presses 125 pounds, or the lead anchor on the local news whose talent is head and shoulders above every male on the network. Or, look in the mirror – she could be you.
This past weekend, I spent time on Kiawah Island at a Decompression Session retreat with four other phenomenal women…all of them badasses. We all came from different walks of life, we had different life experiences (although we do share a certain simpatico, bound by our commonalities), we walked divergent paths, but we all, on one level or another, recognized our badassness.
I gotta tell you, it’s amazing and empowering when strong women come together for the common good. The fierceness was crackling through the air and unfurling like a pulsating estrogen-filled entity. That’s right . . . I said it!
You may know a badass woman or two (or 12) in your life. You recognize her by her actions, her presence, her very essence. How can you, man or woman, exist in the fabulousness of her orbit? Respect her. Embrace her. Be an ally. Lift her up. Accept her. Celebrate her. Walk in solidarity with her.
What shouldn’t you do to a badass woman? I have a thought or two on this. You don’t have to alter your reality, walk on eggshells around her or shake in fear of her – she’s a woman, not Godzilla. However, if you’re asking, I’m here to tell you what you really shouldn’t do.
Mistake her kindness for a weakness. Because, well, she’s a badass. ‘Weak’ is not a part of her vocabulary.
Try to control her narrative. Say what?!? You must have fallen and bumped your head if you think you’ve got the balls to write the story of her life.
Rescue her. Okay, if she’s adrift on a raft in shark infested waters with two broken legs, a punctured lung and a dislocated shoulder, then, yeah, be the hero. But don’t think that just because she’s spilling her guts out to you about a troubling incident, problem at work, emotional struggle, etc., it means she needs you to swoop in and fix every damn thing.
Interrupt her when she’s talking. Her point is just as valid, if not more valid, than yours. Listen. Then speak when it’s your turn. Otherwise, you might miss out on some major prolific epicness.
Mansplain (this one’s for the men in the audience). You know who you are. That patronizing, condescending conversation you’re monopolizing? Stop it. Just stop.
Give her permission to do anything. Okay, look . . . you know that she’s an adult, right? And as a breathing, thinking, kick-ass adult, you need to recognize one important thing: she got this. And she likely granted herself permission long before you came along.
Spew BS in her direction. Keep your disingenuous pseudo-compliments, misplaced loyalty and BFF shenanigans to yourself. Badass women have finely-honed bullshit radars. Don’t insult them with that nonsense.
Look for her to live up to your expectations. You ever heard the phrase, “I am woman”? Yeah, that. That means the badass woman is the master of self. She defines, outlines and charts a course based on her expectations, not yours.
Assume that because she’s down, it means she’s out. You’ve heard of that thing called resilience, haven’t you? Yeah, badass women have that in spades. So, life has gone off the rails, that incredible job fell through or the relationship has hit a dead end . . . she’ll recover. Believe it. She will regroup, regain and reclaim.
Say things like, “Smile…don’t look so mean,” or “Aww, aren’t your little pink boxing gloves cute,” or any other dichotomous gender expectations. Wrong. You’re not dealing with a child; you’re in the presence of a beast, one that will a) smile whenever the hell she feels like it, and b) use those same cute pink boxing gloves to hit you so hard your grandchildren will feel it.
Expect her to be your doormat, whipping post or patsy. The badass woman will not lie down and allow you to walk all over her. You see, she is fed up with the abuse, the conniving, the disrespect, the shaming, the disregard — all of it. You got away with it in the past; today is a new day, and she won’t stand for it anymore. Be warned.
Get in her business. Stay in your lane and stop veering into hers. She has her life; now go get yours.
Tell her “You can’t…”. Go ahead, I dare you.
Doubt her capacity to slay the dragon. A badass woman is also human. She has fears. Sometimes, she has self-doubt. But you’d better believe when the time is right, she will make mincemeat out of those dragons and slay like a championess.
Tell her to give up. Weren’t you paying attention? A badass woman will push herself for herself. She’ll know when it’s time to concede. Until that happens, deal with her convictions or take a seat.
Underestimate her. You think she can’t; she can. You think she won’t; she will. Think too little of her and she’ll show you how gargantuan she can be.
Question her badassery. Silence. Like the air you breathe, the passage of time and the humble pie you’ll be eating if you have any doubts, her badassery, well, it just is.
Now that you know, I suspect you’ll want to conduct yourself accordingly. After all, it’s badassery.
♦ ♦ ♦
Are you a badass woman? How do you exist in your badassery? Let’s discuss in the comments below.