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These ideas of who we are – Powerful Woman Monologue #4

February 6, 2012

About the Author: Risha is a young feminist who works in human rights & development. a third culture kid to her very bones, she throws around words she doesn’t quite understand on her blog, ‘you can read me anything‘.

these ideas of who we are. from r rawr on Vimeo.


As a follow up, this article about the power of female friendship from The Rumpus is a great read.


I don’t see my stories played out on television, or on big-screens. I rarely even see them play out on blog posts by other women.

It isn’t just the colour of my skin or my ethnicity that falls into the space entitled, ‘cliched cultural reference point’, my other identities tumble into pre-packaged boxes too.

I am locked in by somebody else’s idea of who I am, who I’m supposed to be, and how I’m to behave.

It isn’t just TV screens that tell us lies about who we all are as women.

We tell them too.

I read a blogpost the other day- the writer was a young woman, a successful motivational speaker. How truly wonderful to see a woman- a young woman- in that position of power! How exciting!

She was talking about a… fact.. that she usually begins with.

Did you know that if you put male lobsters into a boiling pot, they try to form a pyramid and help one escape; who’ll then help the others? Fact.

Female lobsters, however, will pull each other down as they try to escape. Fact.

This is a perfect analogy for how women behave. Fact.

Women hate seeing other women succeed. Fact.

Women will cause trouble for other women because they’re jealous. Fact.

Or so I’m told.

Magazines, TV shows, Newspaper articles, The side-story in Films: they all tell me that women are women’s worst enemies. That we hate each other, that our so called ‘sisterhood’ is a facade created to flatter our fragile egos.

Those who seek to control my body, pass laws on my vagina, my decisions, my clothes, my choices. Those who seek to limit my integrity, who want to box me into cubicles, lock me into rooms of their creation; of their limited capacity to understand my spirit, to feel my strength; or know my mind as I do. They, they are the ones that I tear down, that I push away, that I rail against. Those are the ones that I seek to challenge because they do me no favours, they do us no kindnesses.

We fight the battles we fight so we are no longer shoved into tetrapack containers, like commodities that boys half my age and half my size, yell out to ‘come and take a ride on my discostick’ as though i, my body, my mind- as though we are public property- for everyone else to pass judgement on, to weigh like pieces of meat found wanting.

I refuse to believe this, to give this idea any sense of legitimacy, to stand by and continue to function within this patriarchy-driven discourse.

I want us- as women- to acknowledge these self-fulfilling prophecies of patriarchal oppression that we carry out upon ourselves.

I want us to stand our ground, and refuse to recognise this framework that we’re forced to puppet within.

I want us to tell our own stories, the stories of women who help other women, who create safe spaces for other women, who empower each other. I want to hear, in our voices, the stories of women who gave everything that they were so other women could live their lives. I want to hear the stories of Sojourner Truth, of Susan B Anthony. I want to hear the stories of Vandana Shiva, of Mahasweta Devi, of Gayatri Spivak. I want to hear the stories of my mother.

The next time I hear a woman tell a story of another woman tearing her down and how she doesn’t trust women- I want to take her hand- I need you to take her hand, and tell her; assure her; remind her; that ‘I am not your enemy’.

i am not your enemy.

About the series: Powerful Woman Monologues are compiled in response to the media’s representation of women as inspired by the film Miss Representation. If you would like to participate, email me. Any kind of creative contribution is welcome from anyone.

Special thanks to Ashley of Little Leaf Photography & Design for graciously creating the badge for our series!

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2012 10:59 am

    Beautiful post. I love every word!

  2. February 6, 2012 11:43 am

    This gave me goosebumps.

  3. February 6, 2012 6:22 pm

    Wow, just wow. Reading Risha’s words and hearing her powerful voice, and seeing her passion in her delivery. I am still spellbound. This is beautiful, and I am so proud of Risha, and to be a 20-something woman along side her. This is the strength of women.

  4. February 13, 2012 9:34 am

    Thank you all for watching/reading and commenting! ❤ x

  5. February 16, 2012 11:57 am

    Oh my gosh! I just dealt with a woman tearing me down last weekend because I’m not a size zero. She literally said, “God, you’re fat.” Really?! Thank you for sharing this and putting it all in perspective for me. I went home that night and cried and then got up the next morning to realize that women can be mean but I’m willing to take the higher road and forgive. I’ll be the one to hold the hand of another woman when they are in the place I was. Thank you. This was beautiful.

  6. February 22, 2012 2:35 pm

    Brilliant commentary. I love the lobster reference.

  7. April 4, 2012 8:15 pm

    You’re spectacular Risha.


  1. these ideas of who we are. « YOU CAN READ ME ANYTHING
  2. these ideas of who we are. | you can read me anything.
  3. Powerful Woman Monologues: A Round Up « Belle Renee
  4. Feminism: Risha’s words, worth the read

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