Friday, October 20, 2006

i am not a pretty girl

There are some things that really matter to me.
It is important that I am honest, and trust-worthy. I try to be kind. My relationship with God is important. I cherish my role as a mother. I value my independence, tenacity, and fierce loyalty. I love that I am direct. I even love my sarcasm.

I have never had much respect or use for those women who think of themselves as helpless. It is difficult for me to understand...actually I do not understand it. I am offended when I am treated like some poor, dumb female.

My maternal great-grandmother was Blackfoot. Her daughter, my grandmother, fished, gardened, had a green thumb, cooked, and raised five productive and relatively well adjusted children. My father's mother was an incredible, entrepreneurial, knife wielding, no bull-shit taking, beautiful womyn. I come from HEARTY stock.

I do not fold easily. I do not crumble under small pressures. I am not faint of heart. I own my body. It is mine and I say what is done with and/or to it.

I am smart, witty, curious, and articulate. I may even be attractive, but it is not as important as the rest. I don't want to be the pretty one. I do not want to be catered to, pacified, placed on a pedestal and treated as if I would break. Often, no one else care to help me up if I fell. Who could afford to fall apart? Certainly, I could not.

I used to resent the pretty girls; the women who were sought after. I used to wish I were one of them. Now when I offer prayers of Thanksgiving, of which I have many, I thank God that I could not rely on being less than I am today. I thank God that more was required of me. I thank God that I was challenged and rose to the occasion.

I thank God that I am not a pretty girl.

So, here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite womyn:

not a pretty girl by Ani DiFranco

i am not a pretty girl
that is not what i do
i ain't no damsel in distress
and i don't need to be rescued
so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

i am not an angry girl
but it seems like i've got everyone fooled
every time i say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you're a girl
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they'd prefer you
were dirty and smiling

and i am sorry
i am not a maiden fair
and i am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere

and generally my generation
wouldn't be caught dead working for the man
and generally i agree with them
trouble is you gotta have yourself an alternate plan
and i have earned my disillusionment
i have been working all of my life
and i am a patriot
i have been fighting the good fight
and what if there are no damsels in distress
what if i knew that and i called your bluff?
don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up

i am not a pretty girl
i don't want to be a pretty girl
no i want to be more than a pretty girl

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