What We Can Do vs. What We Think We Can Do

My 100th post! YAY! And to mark this special occasion, I will actually plan something out to write, and not just 1/2 ass it! Woo! And since this whole blog is about being a lady, this post will primarily be about being a woman mainly in terms of society, but there is some jiu jitsu thrown in there: here we go!

There is a certain stigma that women can only do so much: that since we are smaller we are weaker, more fragile, and not having much “muchness”, to quote Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter. There are those, men and women who both root for the women’s movement, but still have the idea that women really cannot do all the same things that men can do, or at least be in close comparison. Some think this unconsciously, while there are others that believe ย this crazy idea and while not saying it outright, act out such thoughts through their words, choices and actions. And they should be endowed with a big old mushroom print.

For anyone that knows me, I am not some half-crazed feminist that is standing over my computer with The Feminine Mystique in one hand and bra ready to burn in the other. I’m a girl. I like to feel good in our out-about-town clothes, put up my hair in some kind of fashionable way, and have been known to slap on a little lipstick now and again. My main beef with these people is that in a subversive way they are telling girls what they cannot do eventually becomes so ingrained in their souls that they start to believe this shit and end up limiting themselves, more often than not subconsciously and out of habit more than anything else.

Again, these things are never said outright by those around us, and luckily we have gotten to a point in our society that we are now telling girls they can be anything they want intellectually. Physically..we need to seriously work on this image. There is a sick sense of what a woman is supposed to look like in the media today, and how they are supposed to maintain a healthy weight. Not only that, there is a set of limitations that we set upon ourselves, for no other fact that we are women. ย Obstacles were meant to be overcome, and that’s what makes us the people we are today.

How about this: start telling women they can do shit. Sure, we may not be able to do some of those physical activities just as well as some men, but we’ll do them a hell of a lot better than others.

Take jiu jitsu, for example. Women in jiu jitsu are known for having a very technical, tight, fast, beautiful game on the mat. It’s not the same game as a 250 lb., 6’4″ man who also steps on the mat, but they both have their good qualities, just not in the same areas. We may not be able to pull off a fireman’s carry, but the sweeps and execution of techniques that women are able to do have a level of speed and grace that a larger man would never be able to pull off.

I guess I am writing about this for a couple of different reasons: I hate when fellow women think they can’t do things when really they can. I used to be one of those girls. I was mired in self-doubt and lack of confidence, and through jiu jitsu and being around the supportive network of friends and teammates I have over the past year or so begun the process of stripping away the things I believed I could not accomplish.

…Like, you know…writing about stuff….on the big ole’ World Wide Web.

I think we could take over the world if we could just get past what we think we can do, and do something we thought never possible.

And if you ready all the way through this post, well congratulations! You get a cookie!


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6 responses to “What We Can Do vs. What We Think We Can Do

  1. YUM!!! I โค cookies ๐Ÿ™‚

    Funny you should mention this, as I just recently stated on a blog…somewhere out there in cyberspace, that after I joined my bjj class, I promptly searched online for other women who did the sport so I wouldn't feel so well..wierd…which is how I got into this whole blogging thing in the first place.

    Secondly, I was just thinking how odd it is that I blog as much as I do, because when it first became popular (ie, live journal) I remember thinking to myself "I don't want to do that, I don't want some random stranger being able to read about my life" and now here I am addicted to sharing my life (at least the martial arts aspect of it) and other people's lives on a regular (read: obsessed) basis ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thirdly, (phew this is a long comment) I was also just thinking why is it that I am so willing to believe bad of myself, even when other people tell me positive things? Like today, two members of my dojo commented on my weight, and instead of thinking, "gosh, that's great, I guess my hard work is paying off" I think, "hmmm…did they plan that to keep me feeling accomplished and on track so I don't give up?" really? where is the logic in that? Why is it easier for me to believe they are lying to me then that they just might be telling me the truth? And how did I ever learn such negative thinking? And how do I stop? I guess being aware is a good step, but really…it's kinda annoying lol ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Katie

    I will respond with something intelligent later tonight or tomorrow, but I’ve only had 2 hrs of sleep, so I’m kind of running on empty at the moment.

    But I do understand what you are saying, and I will have something to say about it…later.

    and cookies indeed are delicious.

  3. Katie

    We all have our reasons behind the negative thinking we have: some from our parents, peers; it’s easier to think the negative, because to pat ourselves on the back can sometimes seem selfish and self-serving. But sometimes we deserve that pat on the back, dammit.

    And I do agree, it’s annoying, and when I start to get into that line of thinking, either I tell myself to shut up, or if I’m talking to my boyfriend he points it out as well. Being aware is actually one of the most crucial steps; you can’t fix what you refuse to accept is broken.

    And I’m sure your teammates were being observant and supportive, as good teammates should be ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Heh – absolutely nothing wrong with being a feminist, half-crazed or otherwise. Though to burn a bra I’d have to borrow one of my gf’s, which probably isn’t a good idea. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Interesting how that bra-burning myth has persisted for so long: apparently, it never actually happened, but nevertheless makes for a striking image.

  5. Katie

    I actually knew about the lack of combusting brassiers ๐Ÿ˜‰ It is a strong image though. I just read part of that article- it’s kind of awesome that they crowned a sheep. ::shrug:: it’s the little things in life that amuse me.

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