The other day, I came across a group on Facebook called The Brave Girls Club. It seemed right up my alley, as I’m all about women and girls being brave. It’s really no surprise that my favourite character in Game of Thrones is Arya!
But I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Something about it bugged me and, after some contemplation, I realised it was the word “girl”. It would have been ok if the group were aimed at girls or helping parents to raise brave girls, but it wasn’t. It was clearly aimed at women.
Now I realise this might make me sound a tad crazy or extremely picky, but I don’t see why women should be referred to as girls, especially when the word is being paired with Brave. For some reason, I’m ok with girl talk, girlie lunches, girls’ nights out. Probably because they all imply a certain level of immaturity; permission to step it down a notch, act a little “silly” and just have a good old laugh (or giggle). But I drew the line here.
I won’t lie to you: I was surprised at my strong reaction. I’ll be 40 this year and it seems I’ve only recently started coming to terms with the fact that I’m a woman. Not a girl, even though one of my sisters calls me the eternal adolescent and that’s pretty much how I’ve always felt deep down, but a woman.
This got me thinking about what being a woman means to me. What sets women apart from girls, besides, of course, the obvious physical differences.
A woman to me is a real grown-up! She is aware of her own power and embraces it. She takes responsibility for her own life, decisions, choices and future. She accepts the lessons from her past and learns from them. She sets clear boundaries and she enforces them. She stands up for herself, her wants and her needs. She is able to communicate what she needs and wants (when she knows what it is) and even ask for it. She decides what she’s worth. She decides what she wants and goes after it with no apologies. She lives by her own rules and is willing to face the consequences of her mistakes.
No doubt as I keep giving this some thought, other differences will become clear.
I realised that while I was busy thinking of myself as a girl, I was denying a huge part of myself. The part that doesn’t need permission. The part that doesn’t need protecting or nurturing. The bravest part of me. The part that is comfortable with her strong personality, sexuality, sensuality…
So no, I won’t be joining that club. I don’t want to be a brave girl. I’ve been a brave girl. Now I want to be a brave woman.
Feel free to share any thoughts about what being a woman means to you!