Phenomenal Woman

A Woman Phenomenally

Most of you are aware that there was another shooting in the US last Friday, May 23rd. The suspect, who killed himself after murdering 7 people, left traces of his reasoning all over YouTube. His main premise was that women were to blame for not being attracted to him and for not giving him sex. Therefore, he took revenge. Above all else, he was a misogynist.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #NotAllMen went viral on Twitter. Those using it wanted to get the message across that not all men are like Elliot Rodger.

Please rest assured that we know this.

In response, women began tweeting that although #NotAllMen are misogynistic murderers, #YesAllWomen face incredible sexism and discrimination from men on a daily basis, including disgusting comments yelled out to us on the street. I have been reading various opinion pieces on this topic, but this is the one I recommend the most, in case you’re interested.

The point of this post, however, isn’t to further this discussion. Rather, it’s to shine a bright light on all women, especially those close to my heart. And I would like to do this by presenting one of the best examples of a woman I can think of (other than my mother, aunts, and grandmothers!), a model that I wish all young girls will follow: Maya Angelou.

Whether you are a man or a woman, if you haven’t read up on her life, I suggest doing so this weekend. I promise you will be fully entertained, as well as enlightened.

In the meantime, I will leave you, but especially all women reading this, with the following poem. It is a guide in my life; this is how I wish to be seen by all. Let it inspire you, too.

Phenomenal Woman
by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Photo: Flora Capaldi / Napa Valley, California, USA

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