Thursday, June 4, 2009

Strength of Women

I’ve been considering what it means to have strength as a woman. Obviously, I believe that there is a particular strength that women have. Yet, the (now) old fashioned theme of feminism from the 60’s and 70’s has become a relic of an older generation (yes, mine). “I am woman, hear me roar” is just so… unnecessarily zealous, it defeats its purpose. When you possess real power or strength, you do not need to proclaim it so loudly. And if you do, the strident proclamation belies itself. Expression of strength lies in the strength itself. One should not talk about being capable: be capable. One should not talk about being independent: be independent. One should not talk about being a leader: lead. I recently saw an example of my idea of the expression of strength in women. Time Magazine recently named is 100 of the world’s most influential people. One of them was France’s Finance Minister, Christine Lagarde. Her write up is by the US Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner. He wrote: “As president of the New York Fed and as Treasury Secretary, I’ve met Largarde a number of times. In each encounter, her lightning-quick wit, genuine warmth and ability to bridge divides while remaining fiercely loyalty to French Interests have been a source of admiration.” I also saw Lagarde on The Daily Show during the weeks after President Obama’s inauguration when the world’s financial markets were near collapse. She graced the screen with such calm reassurance and intelligence, I thought then that she was the epitome of the strength of women. Watching her one could believe that the all those gigantic and risky financial decisions were being made by people who knew what they were doing and would carry the world through to safety. Watching her one could feel that women can have that greatness about them formerly only felt about men.


  1. Hi Jennifer,
    it is interesting how values and the expression of those values change. I guess in the 60s and 70s women needed to roar to effect change. Now there are different ways, but alas I feel there are a lot more changes yet to come.
    An inspiring woman with a quiet strength and autonomy is very attractive to me too.

    Our concept of strength has changed to include
    that inner reserve of fortitude and power that does not need to be aggressive or over riding.
    Happy Days

  2. Hi Jennifer,

    This is a terrrific post. I, too, am a product of the 60s and 70s and remember well how overboard some women felt they neeeded to go to be heard, seen, accepted, and respected professionally. It always seems to me that whenever we gain something, we tend to lose something else.

    I remember seeing Christine Legarde on TV at the time, too, and was impressed with her elegance, knowledge and strength. It seems that equality was won for women in some other counties in a quieter, less dramatic, way than it was here.

  3. great post, and I agree we needn't scream about it but let our actions show our strength.

  4. Hi Delwyn, and isn't it so much better? And now that that is accomplished, we can just be. Thanks for saying hi!

  5. Hi Angela. I thought all that noise those days was a such a turn off, but maybe it needed to be done.

  6. Hi Marinik. Yes, I really don't like "screaming."

  7. Jennifer, just wanted to say hi. I saw your Frost sidebar and knew I had to follow you. Thanks!

  8. Wise words. I take them to heart. I'm still searching for my strength. Thank you.


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