I Am A Strong Woman…Not

Strong Black Woman

Strong women.  Do you know any? Jill Scott sings about them, Erykah Badu croons soulful ballads dedicated to them.

Well, I know a couple. I’m not talking about the Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton types.  I’m referring to the ever growing legion of empowered women who make their presence known on Facebook. To underscore their empowerment, they  post daily rants ranging from how they need a man like “a hole in one’s head,” wax poetic about the joys of single life, crow about how they’re  “doing the damn thing with two kids and don’t need no man no way, so don’t hate,”  and eulogize about they have now grown  sister-locks because they refuse to, as  it was put, “bow to the relaxed hair beauty myth impressed upon us by a hegemonic male dominated society”.  One “strong woman” even blogged about her strangely liberating one night stand with her long time crush. Talk about an oxymoron. Strange; yes. Liberating? I am yet to understand how.

Of course these wise musings garner a variety of responses running the gamut from- ‘you go girl’ to lengthy, equally impassioned feminist diatribes about women arising from the shackles that have held us down for so long.

While I take everything that goes on in the idealistic land of social media with a pinch of salt, it did get me thinking. What truly makes an empowered woman? What represents our ability to think independently, make decisions for ourselves, and sign off on our own personal declaration of strength and freedom?

As I run my fingers through my relaxed hair, and ponder my refusal to be sexually permissive, I wonder if these are truly emblems of weakness.

Dear reader, I beg to offer my singular opinion on this. Empowerment is a beautiful thing. However, it is not found in the kinks of your hair, strongly worded Facebook post or betwixt those tender thighs. A woman’s power, in my humble opinion, is in knowing what your weaknesses are, as well as your strengths. It is in deciding how to manage and harness those strengths and weaknesses. You may have to do some soul-cleaning, shed some bad habits, and polish your virtues. But, in the long run, that purging gives you a clear, unbiased sense of who you really are. And once you know what lies within, you can tap into it to influence and impact your environment, and the people around you, and stand up for what you believe to be right.

About the Writer

Ewurama Hayford learned to write by penning romance novels to cope with the tedium of Math class in high school. She enjoys writing and reading fiction, and is currently working on an anthology of short stories inspired by life in the diaspora. In her other life, she works as a nurse practitioner for a bustling family practice, where she draws inspiration from her glimpses into other people’s lives. When she isn’t writing, reading, photographing or nursing, she makes her home in Hartford, Connecticut with her husband Isaac and their little boy.

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Ewurama Hayford, Contributor

Ewurama Hayford learned to write by penning romance novels to cope with the tedium of Math class in high school. She enjoys writing and reading fiction, and is currently working on an anthology of short stories inspired by life in the diaspora. In her other life, she works as a nurse practitioner for a bustling family practice, where she draws inspiration from her glimpses into other people’s lives. When she isn’t writing, reading, photographing or nursing, she makes her home in Hartford, Connecticut with her husband Isaac and their little boy.

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