By Imani Williams
Overtly aggressive, bitch, wanna-be man – these are some of the words used to describe strong women in general and a lot of lesbians specifically. With girls banding together for protection to show solidarity in many of the nation’s middle and high schools, overtly aggressive behavior is a term that keeps surfacing.
Being aggressive is seen as a negative when viewed from a heterosexist standpoint. The argument can be made that aggressiveness has its high points when deals are being made and stakes are high. However, women being seen and not heard still lingers as the ‘way it should be’ in the minds of far too many, both male and female.
Today’s youth aren’t hearing it. ‘Girl Power’ and ‘Girls Rule’, along with other pro-girl slogans are helping raise consciousness and the self-esteem of those who were wrapped in pink immediately after receiving the welcoming slap on the buttocks from Doc so and so. Girls are being encouraged more than ever to participate in all types of sports including football and boxing. Girls are also being challenged and mentored to strive for excellence in math and science, a new phenomenon to some who are amazed that they can compete and do the damn thing alongside and often superceding their male counterparts, once given the chance and encouragement that boys have gotten forever. All of this while debating the social challenges of whether to wait or date now (in groups or try it solo), whether to dress conservatively and keep a little mystery on reserve or to follow the scantily clad video ho of the day who has yet to get the message that its okay to ‘make em guess a little, Honey.’
Girls are bombarded daily with choices: they question whether to drink, toke or pass, say yes to safer sex or no to it all. The questions, choices and options young women are faced with in today’s fast paced world are amazing. The threat of falling victim to someone’s insensibilities on any given day is numerous. So numerous that the suggestion of the day is always walk in groups of three or more, even if going to the mall or to the neighborhood store.
The mentorship offered to the youth of today needs to be constant, reassuring, full of love, life and spirit. As we begin Women’s Herstory month, let’s remember the little girl in us who longed for love and reassurance that we could be all that we dreamed of and more. Better yet, pledge to mentor someone who is seeking words of wisdom and a hug that says, ‘You can do it because you are destined for greatness.’