Do you always have to be so “rebellious”? I’ve been asked many times in my life (starting with my “peace”-around-the-dinner-table loving Mom!). Admittedly, I have never really stopped. For good reasons. Maybe the pre-election Trump Roadshow revved me up more than I already am at any time and pushed me into the arms of my all-time favorite topics: spirited rebellion, disobedience, provocation, defiance. And if you do it right – you won’t be universally liked and adored by everybody. Which is fine, isn’t it!
Remember Trump calling Hillary “nasty”? In my eyes, an attractive and strong package of female power: Political & Nasty. An awful lot of people are afraid of either word, especially if it involves women who are supposed to be nice, not “political”.
Of course, “nasty” is the wrong catch-word, because being “political” means only that you have an opinion and values you believe in – and therefore motivation to speak up and act upon.
Just look at what has happened lately, showing us the many very different faces of female courage, expressed by formidable women over fifty. There was of course Hillary Clinton, the first woman ever to coming very close to becoming the first female US-President, experienced, intelligent, qualified. Then there was (and still is) Michelle Obama, she of the sparkling charm, motherly warmth, glamorous clothes and stern but enlightening and uplifting speeches. Then we had another golden moment of grace, spirit, wit, intelligence and guts: Meryl Streep, a grand dame, castigating a crude man for his cowardly put downs of a disabled journalist. Not a good thing?? Just the opposite. It was a beauty of courage and daring.
But being outspoken and “political” doesn’t need any politician per se. It can and should be alive everywhere in everybody’s life, and the list of women with fire in their veins and revolution in their hearts is neither new nor that short, be it in fiction or real life. Artists like Frida Kahlo and Cindy Sherman. All the female singers from Joni Mitchell and Beyonce to Pink and Annie Lennox to the fabulous jazz stars Aretha, Billie and Simone? All “Nasty Women”. Remember the Russian punk band and fierce and fearless provocateurs “Pussy Riot” (what are they up to these days?). They demanded attention to a political system that suppresses people by doing political satire. And they were willing to be incarcerated.
But we don’t need to be famous or glamorous, rich or fancy, not even cool and college-educated. To be political, the chance to be political which means basically to consider yourself important enough to have a position and an opinion that has the power to change society, is a gift. Although I see it more as a simple human right.
I grew up in the late Sixties, and those were heady years of upheaval, rebellion and protest. We, the women, wanted something, with all our hearts. Change! And, looking back and looking at the present, it seems as if we actually have achieved some change in the end. Mostly, because we were “political” and many were willing to risk quite a lot for being heard and seen.
Whatever we do – good or bad – has an effect, makes a ripple in the world. Let’s make very good ripples! Yes, and there will be millions of women marching everywhere in America and the world! I guess the rebellion isn’t over. And for the vain women among us – like myself – it keeps me good-looking and young!