What is your Lady Legacy
Your voice is powerful. Speak Up.
We are the master of all trades. Wearer of all hats. We have --in thanks to our feminist fore-mothers broken down barriers that once were only whispered about in secret. 2019 presents us with powerful voices.
We are recognized as the givers of life, partners, lovers, executives, activists, moral compasses, heart-breakers, back bones of the familial structure, lovers of Lululemon--(you get where I am going--we are everything). The job description for the female human is unquantifiable-- and impossible to articulate, because we are required to bend, twist and improvise in each moment of each day.
So I ponder --why do I wake every morning, with NO flipping idea what the world will expect of me?
Let's unpack this loaded question.
Looking back a generation or two ago- female masses were not confronted with the confusing role of "womanhood" as we see it in the 21st century. Grandma knew her role. Grandma had her duties specifically curated by the mores of her time. She was well groomed, donning crisply ironed frocks from the Sears & Roebuck catalog and she never, ever fell for the seduction of a comfortable yoga pant. Her role was specific- and easy to detail on paper:
She was a mother, wife, homemaker and mixologist for her husband when he required his shaken-not stirred martini after his hard day at the office. Grandma was the purveyor of indulgent casseroles, neatly hemmed pinafores and a skillful hand at Bridge. She knew exactly how she would meet each day and did it with the confidence that her neighbors enjoyed the same, homogenous lifestyle.
The emergence of the female battle cry in the 60s and 70s was quite an uncomfortable time for members of grandma's circle. Ladies who were like my grandmother quickly became outdated and irrelevant. As opportunity opened for fresher , more progressive gals - the tenure of the coiffed housewife faded into 50's oblivion. The housewife was packaged and revisited with a "Leave it to Beaver" lens.
In the matter of a few years, and several hard-fought Supreme Court rulings, womanhood was permanently altered. There was no going back. A collective bra was burned and set us free.
Can I get an "AMEN"?
Finally, woman had the ability to make personal decisions regarding the regulation of their anatomy. We were gifted , from male dominated legislators the choice to manage our fertility. This brilliant explosion of feminist led change launched housewives into unimaginable atmospheric success.
While the ladies (and gents) of the 60s/70s propped the door open -- the decades to follow persevered in equalizing the sexes. We became-- more than just our XY Chromosomes. A generation of Ms. Gloria Steinem devotees began living a feminist manifesto. This manifesto liberated us to do whatever the heck we wanted.
And this is where it got a little confusing.
Many of us questioned our place in this new wide world. We questioned the very essence of who we were. Suddenly, we as grade schoolers- we were given the same athletic opportunities as the boys. Girls were mentored in science and math. And alas, home economics courses were not the only field of study for the gentler sex.
Let's give accolades to our moms who had to navigate --and, ultimately guide a new generation of go-getting girls. Moms tried hard to teach their daughters to have "it" all. Problem was---most of our moms had no frame of reference as to how to teach their daughters, because no one taught them.
I imagine (mind you, I have a colorful imagination) --that emancipation looked like ladies tearing of f their kitchen aprons and jumping into finely tailored power suits- with the agility of an Olympic athlete . This equalizing garment, the Pantsuit --gave us the bravado to compete like a man! @pantsuitnation #pantsuitnation.
However, I wish this imagined emancipation unfolded in reality with such ease. Lady-kind had a buffet of choices- and this blessing led yet to another challenge. Do we need to adapt masculine like ideologies to show we have fully evolved into our new feminist role? Does the lady legacy that we leave to our daughters omit femininity?
I find this juxtaposition fascinating. While we are told that we should strive for dominance professionally, we are equally assailed with messages that bigger breasts and poutier lips dictate our self worth.
This is when you have to start digging. Unearth the truth of who you are at your very core. What are your core values and are you representing these values with integrity. And when you make decisions to veer from the course of who you really, truly are that is when you may find at a stumbling block.
Do you find yourself living in harmony with your values?
Life will have so much more meaning when you live in accordance with your value system. '
Take time and understand your core beliefs and values-- ASK QUESTIONS:
Who inspires you?
Am I a scholar?
Am I a humanitarian?
Am I Kim Kardashian?
Where do you find you make the most impact in your life?
Am I a badass homemaker with a side hustle?
What rules do you impose but are hard for you to follow?
At what time are you at your best?
Are there qualities in others you detest?
Once you have a deep understanding of who you are at a cellular level--your choices should fall into alignment with your core truths. And--as a noted side effect--your relationships will flourish.
This prose should not be read as an anti-feminist rant. It is the quite the opposite. I was born in an era where I have the freedom to chose a birth plan, a career path and my sexual orientation. Hell-- I can be a man if I want to be.
Truth Be Told
I made incorrect decisions based on this confusion. I knew I wanted to make an big impact. I wanted to compete on a level men had done in my family for generations. Yet, in my core, I was clearly feminine and wanted to be a mom, a wife and create a home. I enjoy a drawer stocked with beauty products and have a slight addiction to pink.
My decision to go to law school was profound. I felt a connection with my father and grandfathers that made me so proud of myself. And when I walked across the stage at my law school commencement I felt powerful. Yet- my heart was not fully vested. This career that would take 80 hours of my week and leave my sons at home without me.--their momma. Lawyering was not the real me. #realmegirls.
This was hard for me to admit to myself. I was groomed to be the next legal eagle in my family. What I KNOW is that while I was trying to be a bad ass boy-like executive I ignored my truth-- I love being a woman. I found contentment in the role of mother and wife. *Albeit, a driven and educated mom/wife.
Domestic goddess, I am not.
But I try. And I found passion on earth is to help other humans and give a voice to those who are intended to rise. It is a fine dance between accessing my female spirit and understanding my masculine pursuits.
I am grateful for those bridge-playing , martini-making grandmothers who organized whispers of discontentment. They rocked it - in their own uncomplicated feminine style.
And I am equally grateful for the bra-burning bohemian sisters that allowed me to have a choice! The lady legacy I chose to leave is to celebrate with unabashed excitement the accomplishments of Boss Ladies , Momma Warriors and all the beautiful girls in between. YOU can be who you are and YOU DO NOT HAVE TO defend your choices. Just make the right one.
Leave a Lady Legacy you are proud of.