I watched a TED talk a few weeks ago by the formidable Pat Mitchell (I am slightly addicted to TED talks and re-runs of ER) on why she was becoming a dangerous woman at the age of 77 and by dangerous it’s not about risk of personal harm but becoming more fearless about speaking truths and standing up for injustices. Her talk looked at global issues but I began to think how I could become more dangerous within my world and the lesson we could all take from finding the dormant dangerous woman inside all of us.
How many times have you kept quiet because you: a)feared losing your job. b)you felt pressured to keep quiet. c)you began normalising an uncomfortable situation? I know I have felt all of these through my life, the times it is easier to say nothing or turn the other cheek or feel relief the injustice or bullying is not happening to you, the times in life when inner strength lets us down, probably because life was exhausting most days and battles need to be considered and energy levels preserved. But now I have HRT and have bloomed into an age where my fuck-it bucket is overflowing, I am no longer permanently physically and mentally exhausted and I am ready to become dangerous.
I have begun to put my dangerous strategy into practice this week to see if it worked, I was going into a meeting that had the potential to become bullying, I went in with my bucket of fuck-its full and my dangerous woman pants on and I am happy to report back that it worked, it was a small win but the feeling of not allowing patriarchal browbeaters to get the chance to hound you down was liberating. All the small and seemingly insignificant wins will snowball together and the dangerous woman within will grow and gather momentum so when the time comes and you are faced with some absolute huge injustice you will have energy and strength to face that dangerous situation as a dangerous woman.
Let’s not get started on why we need to become more dangerous as women, as we reach the menopause or are actively right in the middle of it, the expectation of us changes, the shift is away from thinking about building careers and striving for higher goals, traditionally we are expected to start to flow into an age where we are at the end of our working life, we should adopt a softer tone of voice and become mild and forgiving. We should not let that happen there are still questions to be asked and challenges to be fought, speaking truths our voices need to be raised. When you are with a group of like minded women you have a tribe, you can start to make bigger change, I am fortunate to be part of a tribe and was reminded of the change we have made just this week by one of the amazing woman who is in our group. There was an expectation that was put on us at the beginning to fail by a group of misogynists disguised as pillars of the community, we were told to our faces we would fail because we were women and were not as accomplished as them, they slightly overlooked the fact the group is made up of a strong diverse tribe of women with voices, they said they would be there to watch us when it all went wrong … guess what? We are still going and winning and the misogynists have left the building!
A gathering of lionesses is called a coalition a worthy name for a group of like minded women who won’t be silenced and want to fill their buckets full of fucks and gain momentum and fight even for the smallest of injustices, the personal, national and global, no battle can be too small when you have gathered your tribe. It is time to start to roar to be heard and become a dangerous woman.