I remember having an over-enthusiastic foreign student before who shouts when he speaks, making my ears right every time. He has a wicked way of doing so close to the ear and would assume a recalcitrant schoolboy look afterwards when I give him a disapproving look.
Anyway, this person once said (or rather shouted), “You strong woman, Rose!”
He sounded like some Neanderthal, carrying a stone club and wearing some furry animal skin as a loincloth. After he shouted, an image of an Amazonian woman with a bull whip strapped to the side and wearing Xena-type, navel-baring costume came to mind. Me in that garb almost made me faint.
And then, I wondered what a strong woman really is like. Several points reinforced the Amazonian image.
1. A strong woman knows what she wants and she’ll get it.
2. A strong woman is not afraid to voice out her opinions without offending anyone.
3. A strong woman asserts herself, commanding the room just with her presence, even in the most oppressive company surrounded by 80-90 percent males.
4. A strong woman knows when to ask for help without demanding for it.
5. A strong woman is not afraid to show her feelings.
6. A strong woman can still smile in the midst of adversity.
7. A strong woman owes up to her mistakes and take steps to correct it.
8. A strong woman rises up to challenges with poise and dignity.
9. A strong woman doesn’t care what other people say if she has stretch marks up to Timbuktu.
10. A strong woman lives and loves with passion.
I don’t know if I embody even half of what I just listed down. So, instead of agreeing to my former student’s zealously shouted compliment, I’d rather say here and now that “Iwill be a strong woman . . . soon.”