What is strength?
The first definition of strength at dictionary.com speaks to the physical state of being strong.
What's interesting about dictionaries, and when people look up words, is that they often don't go past the first definition. To me, the three definitions following the first are far more meaningful as an educational leader, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend.
The strength in those definitions really encompasses who we are as women who lead educational organizations. It is this strength that I believe is really understated in society.
A few days ago my daughter told me that Henry the VIII's wife Anne Boleyn was put to death because she miscarried a male heir to the throne. (I looked it up and it is a bit more detailed than that but alas...) I said "you know it is disgusting how women have been treated throughout history." She said, "Mom, it was in the 1500's or something." I said, "Honey, it is still happening today in different ways."
I've always been described as a 'strong' person.....teacher, leader, fill in the blank. Sometimes that phrase has been used as a negative. You come on very STRONG. You have a STRONG personality. You have a STRONG presence. Yeah, so what? People wouldn't say that about a male leader.
For women, the word STRONG becomes synonymous with being a bitch. There I said it. You know I'm right.
I come from a long line of strong women and proudly will wear that title. Some jokingly and lovingly referred to me as the HBIC (Head Bitch in Charge for those who aren't in the know) See the pic above of a shirt I saw and had to share with a friend.
Our strength as women comes from who we are, what we were meant to do in nature, what we've learned, and what we need to do on a daily basis. I may not be able to lift as many heavy things as my husband or open jars...but there are tools to help with that.
There are no tools to help you have the mental power, passion, and belief in what we do that we give our all.
My friend Ruth Tolbert gave me this mug for my birthday and I LOVE it. It is not only what I believe but what I do with women like you.
We are STRONG women and we need to develop more STRONG women.
So I commit to helping each and every one of you become STRONG women who are able to live the lives they deserve.
Respond to this blog post with your commitment to how YOU will help develop strong women in your family, community, or place of work.
In friendship, love, and leadership,