All my life I’ve dealt with strong women, starting with my late Nanay, who imposed her will over my bad-boy inclinations, and now with my 2-year-old grandniece Moshi, a mischievous beauty who can command me to play “no pass” anytime.
I write as a lifelong student of women (although I can’t vouch for the quality of my studies on the subject). And I will always be a student who continues to learn, never an expert, since there is too much to learn.
But I must say that a strong woman is one with a mind of her own, gifted with smarts and common sense. Otherwise, she would simply be stubborn and obstinate, a shrew, a termagant.
A strong woman sees life for what it is, and will deal with it on the terms she has chosen. She respects her own person and understands her worth, and looks out for herself and the people she cares about.
Oh yes, she tends to be successful, because she sets goals and works to achieve them. A strong woman will control her desires and feelings, especially if she knows that there’s a dead end ahead.
They have different personalities, strong women, from outspoken and in-your-face to quiet but steely of resolve, to permutations in between. One characteristic that I’ve noticed strong women share is the understanding that knowledge and wisdom are important tools. So they take education seriously, because it represents independence, the ability to earn their own keep, and it opens up different options in their lives.
So how does today’s man relate meaningfully with strong women? It’s a question worth asking, because more and more, the worldwide trend toward the empowerment of women is enabling them to recognize and develop their potentials, making them stronger. Gender norms, parameters and roles are ever evolving.
No rocket science
There’s no rocket science behind it, but first, a man has to understand himself, who and what he is, and be comfortable in his own skin. He needs to define his masculinity and feel secure within his own self, before he can deal with the nature of a woman.
A man insecure about himself can view a woman as a threat and competitor, and cut her down in an attempt to deal with his internal issues. And that’s exactly what a strong woman has no time for. Not uncommonly, men, when they realize the strength of a woman, can feel intimidated, or shy away, or probe her for weaknesses in order to inflict hurt on her.
It’s no wonder that strong women aren’t too trusting, because they know only too well about human frailty and betrayal. So they tend to listen to words with a grain of salt. Men need to earn their respect and trust with their actions. And in every woman, as in every man, lies the wish to be loved truly.
In my inexpert opinion, but one evolved through trial and error, good old-fashioned respect is indispensable in a positive relationship with a woman, whether personal or professional, romantic or platonic, whatever it may be.
As you would wish to be respected, then should you extend respect. Especially to a strong woman. Why? Well, because she is strong, so you don’t want to face the consequences. That, of course, is tongue-in-cheek.
I’ve never believed that men are stronger than women or vice versa, because each gender is made and wired differently. There is just no apples-to-apples comparison. That’s why we partner with and support each other. It’s the best arrangement. And if a woman is strong, why then, celebrate and rejoice in her strength.
In my heart of hearts, I believe that true beauty can never be external. Thus, every woman is beautiful, especially if she is a strong woman. Like my grandniece Moshi, who rocks and rules.