Sunday, August 24, 2014

More then enough

Hear the Song 
Hear the Song

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An all female band called the Mrs’ was at the BlogHer conference.   They opened for Kerry Washington, after both Guy Kawasaki and Ariana Huffington spoke.  These are former rocker chicks who suddenly found themselves married and with kids.  They realized that there was no music on the radio that represented their demographic (not exactly a surprise) and decided to change that.  Quite laudable.  After all, they are more than just mommies, or mommy bloggers.  (Yet call themselves the Mrs?  I am hoping this is an ironic point).
Their single is called “Enough” and is meant to be an anthem for women in their demographic.  Women are 52% of the population and a good majority are mothers, so this should be an easy sell, especially to a feminist like me.  And it is.  I really want to support them.
I think what they meant to say was “enough” of the crap that are constantly being fed by the media our partners and our colleagues.  Tired of being told you are not smart enough, pretty enough, strong enough, techie enough, whatever enough.  They were tired of buying in, threw their hands in the air and yelled “Enough: Enough of you and your limiting message. I AM enough, and screw you for telling me that I am not.”  Indeed, one of the lyrics is “No more telling me who I need to be.”
Okay, I get that. And, again, laudable.  I feel that way, too.  But I am still bugged.
To further their message for all women, they had a booth at the Vendor Hall that handed out stickers for the bathroom mirror which said “You look amazing.”,  and “Whatever you are doing, keep it up,” and “You are enough.”  They also had a magic mirror booth to say things to the gazee that women don’t say to themselves, positive things about self worth and beauty.  All great things, and I was on board, sort of.  Yet, something about it bothered me.
It seems so limiting to say ‘”I am enough,” as if that is all that I am capable of.  I am upset that these women are mitigating their own self-worth.  When I first heard this message I was disturbed.  I don’t want women to say “I am enough”, I want them to say, “I am MORE than enough, and you are the problem because you can’t get that.”  The way it is now, women are the problem because they can’t get that they are enough, because they are too busy comparing themselves to what they themselves and others think they ought to be.  What is worse it that the anthem comes off as a rebel song.  That sucks. That sucks that the rebellion is even present or necessary.
It gives rise to the reason that BlogHer exists in the first place. Women don’t think they have the chops to be tech dorks, and the tech dorks are quick to let them know they agree, and call these women posers.  So women have to come together for solidarity to combat this.  If 52% of the population are women, then we are NOT a special interest group, and should not be treated as such.  To be relegated to be being just another Girl [mommy, crafty, fashion, pick your title] Blogger is again, limiting an all levels.  I write because I have something to say.  And I use technology because I am an intelligent articulate person in the world. Not because I am a fake geek girl who just wants a platform to bring attention to myself.
The whole fake geek girl thing is just stupid anyway. How do you get to a place where your argument is that I pretend to love technology just to attract a nerd boy?    Again, limiting, and this time you expect me to buy in.  The best rebuttal to this that I have seen was featured on Upworthy and has two nerd boys talk about why the concept of a fake geek girl is ridiciulous.  It is logical and well thought out in its conciseness, explaining yet again that women are more than capable of being techie without wanting to date the boys, or having to be the nerd version of a Supermodel
Technology is a tool that is gender blind.  Being a nerd should not have the idea of genetalia attached to it.  The boys do this.  Not the girls, and this is once again why the Mrs wrote their song and once again why I take umbrage. It is this kind of false attribution that creates a culture in which I have to defend my nerdiness, because the truth is, I AM kind of a cool girl.  But I am ALSO a nerd, and also a jock, and also crafty, and also lots of things.  To quote Whitman, "I am vast, I contain multitudes."  Do not confuse me for a one dimensional object that shocks you with an opinion, or worse, a capability.  And don’t expect me to suddenly feel as if I have to defend myself to you because I am all of those and more than good enough at one thing.  This is my problem with Mrs.  I am so so glad they are coming into their own, and rock ON, Sisters!!   I am already there, and I think a lot of women of my generation are too.
So I get the idea.  I get the anthem.  But I almost think that by putting it out there more attention is brought to bear on why we limit ourselves then how we don’t have to.  It almost becomes an angry self-limitation. And I am bummed about this.  And I am bummed that they have to feel this way.  I do think the problem is the buy in of women.  I also think it is easier for women to buy into this because the pressure to be perfect IS directed at women.   My suggestion is to put the onus where it belongs, not on ourselves, but on those who are creating the pressure, and lets not buy THAT.  Pointing it out when someone wants you to be who you are not is a great message.   To say you are only enough, is not.  We are all more then enough.