Don’t tell me to smile. Don’t tell me to look pretty. Don’t tell me to tone it down. Don't tell me to soften the tone. And for heaven’s sake, don’t tell me to not get hysterical.
Maybe I don’t feel like smiling. Maybe I’m worried. Maybe I am thinking about something that has nothing to do with you. Maybe I just don’t want to put on a happy face for your benefit.
Maybe I don’t feel like dressing up today. I like my yoga pants and old sweatshirt. This no makeup thing is working for me. My purpose is life is not to be an accessory.
Maybe I have a point to make. Maybe when I present the facts to you, it sounds like yelling, but it’s not. It is logic and facts and research. It is something I want and need to say.
Maybe I don’t want to soften my tone. Maybe I need to talk louder in order to get my point heard over your insistent know-it-all blabber. Maybe my opinion is relevant.
Maybe I have an opinion. Maybe to you it sounds hysterical, but it is not. Hysterical is crazy, drugged-induced mumbling. Hysterical is the diagnosis given to women when men want to silence them. I am not hysterical. I am informed.
No more maybes. I can frown. I can dress for me. I can yell. I can be forceful. I can have my own thoughts. Others will not dictate how I feel, clothe, talk, or express myself. This is my voice, and you will hear it.
“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” - Nancy Rathburn