I recently read an article that weighed in on the “Badass Movement” on the negative side—I’d like to weigh in on the positive side.
It was postulated that “badass women” are actually just women who have been hurt and not dealt with their pain, are trying to prove themselves to men or women, can’t admit their weaknesses (or hide from them), or are trying to be “manly.”
As someone who considers herself to be a badass, I’m here to let you know that I see it a little differently.
Here’s what the “badass” woman looks like to me.
She’s a woman who is not afraid to be herself despite the antiquated and gender specific ways she’s been told she needs to behave. She can be soft when she feels soft, strong when she feels strong; she can put bows in her hair or buzz half of it off.
She’s a woman who doesn’t wait for life to start—she grabs life by the balls and makes it what she wants it to be. She is strong enough to ask for help when she needs it, but she is also tough enough to discover when she is not in need of help.
She’s just as scared as anyone else, but she doesn’t let herself be intimidated by that fear. In fact she lets it work its magic by sharpening her as she faces it and comes out stronger on the other side.
Her love is special, treasured, and honored, because she’s spent time finding and growing that love inside of her. It is a strong and pure love that she won’t give away to the first person who drops down on one knee. For that matter, she doesn’t feel she has to wait for that person to drop down on one knee—if she wants to spend her life with that person, she’ll drop down herself.
She doesn’t need a relationship, that’s true, but she does want one. She just knows what she wants and will settle for nothing less. And while she’s patiently waiting for the universe to prepare and deliver that love to her, she’s not going to let life pass her by because she thinks it doesn’t start until she has someone else to share it with. She builds that life up into something she loves and enjoys, and she cultivates it. She knows that the right person will have cultivated a similar life of love, and that when they meet, they will find that there exists for them just the right balance of differences and similarities—a perfect recipe for sharing each other’s worlds.
She won’t take comfort in place of passion—in life, in love, or in general. She won’t dampen her passion to make someone else feel comfortable. She won’t downplay her strength because she’s afraid her strength will make someone else feel weak. On the contrary, she likely longs for someone who is strong enough to love her strength.
She most certainly does not aspire to make people feel weak, male or female. Instead, she is passionate about loving people and helping them to find their own inner strength whenever possible.
She can be vocal about enjoying sex, and she can initiate it when she wants it. This makes her a f*cking treasure. Literally.
She has stepped back from her life and looked it over with a scrutiny no one else can achieve for her. She sees who she’s been, who she is, and who she wants to be. She knows that she can’t be who she is without loving who she was, and she knows that she can’t be who she wants, without loving who she is. She seeks that love from within herself, rather than going looking for it from lovers, friends, family, or possessions.
You see, I, too, have “forgiven and found myself.” As a strong woman, I don’t claim that I’ve not been hurt, or that I’m not afraid—I just don’t let it hold me back. I don’t live my life the way I live it to prove anything to anyone but myself. I’m not trying to be any one or any way that I think I should be or am told I should be. I’m just being me.
And “me” means bold and vocal, just as “you” might mean gentle and quiet.
It just so happens that “me” also means that I am tough, can swing a hammer, can make a killer lemon meringue ice cream from scratch, that I talk to my plants, enjoy a nice sweaty tumble in the sheets, have carved out for myself the life I want to live, have a half-shaved head and tattoos, and will always let you know what’s on my mind.
I fit where I fit, and you fit where you fit. And that’s okay.
I’m no lady, that’s for goddamn sure.
There’s nothing wrong with being a lady, but there’s also nothing wrong with not being a lady. What I want you to understand is that I am who I am for me—not for or because of anyone else; either past, present, or future.
Author: Jes Kendall
Image: Author’s own
Editors: Sarah Kolkka; Erin Lawson