We Are Not “Strong” Women, We Are Just Women

Mycalea Lewis

This past Sunday, March 8th, was International Women’s Day, a holiday that should be celebrated every single day, in my opinion. But I digress. That day, I was scrolling through social media as one does and came across a video of Game of Thrones star and Khaleesi herself, Emilia Clarke. It was a snippet of an interview from about a year ago, and Clarke was talking about how she is frequently asked about what it’s like to play a “strong woman” which I found quite interesting. This was her full response below: 

 

“I’m gonna tell you what it’s like to play a woman — the end, that’s it. Take the strong out, find another adjective. I’m just playing women. If it’s not strong, what is it? Are you telling me that there is another option? That there is like a weak option? I get very frustrated with that, in particular, because I’m like, you don’t get about strong men, unless physically strong men.”

 

Think about it. Why are men inherently strong by nature and cultural standards, but when women exhibit the same qualities, it’s all of a sudden a big deal? Don’t get me wrong, being called ‘strong’ is never a bad thing, but there is no denying that there is a double standard to the word. Women are only seen as “strong” in situations when they stand up for themselves against other women or men, express independence of any kind, or even survive a difficult or traumatizing situation, whereas men are never singled out for being strong, it seems to just be ingrained in their cultural identity. 

 

But we know that strength does not have a gender. It’s human. And unless men are all of a sudden superhuman subspecies, then there is no reason why one gender’s strength is regarded as more important than another. 

 

Think about a woman in your life who is strong by nature, who fights for what is right regardless of circumstance, who teaches young girls everywhere to be leaders because she believes it is the right thing to do, not because society tells her that she is. Be that woman. Like Emilia said, take the strong out of it, we are just WOMEN, and a simple adjective isn’t going to change that.