All Grown Up and Still Trying Out for Cheerleader

Thursday, Sep 29

It starts early, when we’re little girls. (Little boys have their own version, but that’s another subject for another day. And never having been a little boy, I can’t speak with any real authority on the subject anyway.)

Try-outs are about being good enough.
Skinny enough.
Pretty enough.
Popular enough.
You’ve gotta be CHOSEN, the theory goes.
By whom?
The Universe. The System. Society. Fashion designers in New York. TV and magazines. (Oh, don’t get me started on the media’s role in getting the whole self-hate, anorexic ball rolling!) In short, some nebulous “they”, with some sweeping mandate to choose, to decide and decree who’s valuable and who isn’t. It’s a great way to keep smart girls down (smart girls are very dangerous, you know, because they have the potential to change the world) , and if they go ahead and get into the game, choosing themselves, you can usually bring them down by slapping on that all-purpose weapon-word, Bitch.
Martha Stewart is a prime example of this. Sure, she shouldn’t have lied, or done whatever it was she did, and then denied it. But let’s face it. When a man does something like that, he usually gets a slap on the wrist, at worst. It’s considered business acumen. Atta boy, go-get-em, and all that garbage. Martha’s great sin is being a successful, visible woman. Fortunately for her, she’s not afraid of the word “bitch”. Indeed, I think she revels in it, and if I were any one of the guys who hamstrung her, I’d watch my back.
We all buy into this patriarchal crap, at one point or another. We grow up with it, and make it part of us. Logic says it ought to be left behind, when we graduate from high school, but it usually lasts a lot longer than that.
Once in a while, some Sleeping Beauty wakes up and calls bullshit, and out comes mega-word. BITCH.
So what?
Says who?
If you want to do anything big in this world, you’d better get used to that word. You’d better start loving it. But lest you think I’m saying you ought to retaliate, I want to add this. You don’t have to play by anybody else’s rules, and that includes wasting creative energy in pissing matches. That’s just another trap.
I declare this National Bitch Day.
National Bitch Week.
Maybe even National Bitch YEAR.
Go ahead, be a bitch.
Just get into the game.
It takes COURAGE, but you can do it.

About Linda

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West.

Raised in Northport, Washington, Linda pursued her wanderlust, living in London and Arizona and traveling the world before returning to the state of her birth to settle down on a horse property outside Spokane.

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