August 29, 2012

Warriors--Female Ones....

So, it's not secret that I have a slight fascination with women of strength.  I very often have pics of fictional female characters and some historical ones that are, in a word, Bad ass.

Boudicca of the Iceni
I am using hurricane boredom to do some research and reading about ancient woman warriors.  There are a lot, from just about every culture.  It makes me wonder, when in history did women become so fragile, so fair, that they had to be sheltered?  There are tales of women going back to the 17 century B.C. of women who fought along side their male compatriots and on their own.  These women were not fair and meek, they were cunning and dangerous.  Women such as Boudicca the Iceni Queen who raged against the Romans in Britain, the Trung sisters fought against the Chinese in Vietnam, Joan of Arc fought for God, and so many others. 
I've been told in the past that I can be intimidating.  I have never understood why.  Yes I know I portray a certain.....less than ladylike vibe, but I don't know if I'd consider myself intimidating.  More recently I've had folks refer to me as a warrior.  Again, I'm not sure how well the word applies.  With more and more thought, and more and more introspection, I think I can see-maybe-where folks are coming from.  I mean, I was in the Marine Corps, not something a lot of women flock to do, and I did go to war, again, not something most women would deliberately or willingly head into.  I do have a fairly strong masculine quality about me, mainly recognized in the type of work I do and some pieces of my personality.  I can be a pretty fierce some person...
There's a little something that I cling to as truth, there is no one more dangerous than a woman defending and protecting her children and home.  I know many men who, as much as they love and care for their significant other, they also know exactly what she is capable of.  They know her temper, they know her fire, her passion, her feral ways.  I like that word:  Feral.  I actually prefer it to the term: Warrior.  That's probably just a "Liz-ism".  When I think of the term warrior, I think of someone who is mighty, powerful, strong, important.  I believe myself to be ordinary.  However, I do find myself with a wild, feral way.  I like to equate it more to the primal, even though warrior mentality is primal, it is feral.  You can't be that force if you don't tap into your most basic natural way.  I didn't do well in that desert, I didn't follow mans rules and do as I was told.  My nature took over, it got me in trouble, but it was also my personal survival technique.  There is something about true life and death scenarios that change a person, change a woman.  The female of the species is more connected to the cycle of life and death than any male or asexual being. 
Mama bear...
Am I learning to embrace the notion of myself as a warrior?  Yes.  I do actually enjoy the notion, however it scares me a bit.  It scares me to admit to myself that I am that person that people see in me.  Another piece of irony is that the very quality that I avoid admitting about myself is the one I love in others.  I often refer to my sister as a force of nature, and I love my best friends New Orleans attitude.  These are women who don't take much b.s. off of anyone and will fiercely and completely defend and protect their children and their homes.  These are just two in a long list of strong women in my life that I admire quite a lot.  Not all of them are "in your face", attitude out type of chicks either.  I know many who are reserved or fairly quiet until that fur has been rubbed the wrong way. 
So, what is it to be a warrior?  And why do I have my own little mild aversion to admitting I am one?
Well, let's see, first let's see what Webster has to say about it: 

Definition of WARRIOR

The formal definition is meant to define a man, not a woman, then to save face or to maintain PC-ness there's the word "broadly".  I'm going to play devils advocate right now and just say that's because our friend Mr. Webster lived in a moment when women were still soft, delicate things who needed to stay in the kitchen.  Now for my definition.  A warrior is indeed anyone who is engaged in  a conflict or has the capability to engage in conflict. I say capability because not everyone is.  There are folks who are so against confrontation or are so passive and willing, they don't rise up.  Sometimes there are ones who simply can't for physical reasons.  We need those folks as much as we need the warriors.  There always has to be a balance.  If the whole world was full of fighters, we'd have no one to protect and vice versa. 
Ok now, why do I have issues with this in reference to myself?  This is a hard one because logically speaking I shouldn't have a problem with it at all.  I'm not very passive, I'm not willing, I'm strong willed, I was a member of the strongest, most exclusive military organization in the what gives?  Well, I think it's a narcissism hangup.  As in, I don't want to be full of myself.  I am aware of the things I've done, the things I'm capable of and what I'd like to continue to do in my life.  I learned how to pick my battles and give an inch to gain a mile.  However, when the need arises I have no issue letting someone know, I'm not the bear to poke.  I'm proud that I've been around the world, I'm proud that I have learned where my loyalties lie and what I believe in.  I just don't want to take that and shove it in anyones face and be obnoxious with it.  I like being small and unassuming.  Thus the discomfort when someone mentions anything about me being intimidating.  One:  I don't want to intimidate without intent, and Two:  I never want them to see it coming. 
Am I a strong person?  Yes.  Physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Do I make apologies for who or what I am?  Absolutely not.  I just don't flaunt it too much.  I'm proud of my accomplishments and sincerely hope that I can recall the tools I was taught when the time comes. 
These are my people...

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