“Women are supposed to be silent, polite, gentle”
Words spoken by Tampa Bay Quarterback Jameis Winston while speaking to Melrose Elementary ‘s third through fifth grade classes. First off, I want to give Jameis kudos, I love that he went to a school and volunteered his time to give a message that ‘you can do anything you put your mind to.’ I am thankful that as a public figure he decided to go and speak to children to tell them to strive for more. I am proud of him for preaching you should live by three rules; God, School, and the idea that “I can do anything I put my mind to.” We need more people who can positively use their position in the community to make an impact. I would thank him if I could for doing something many wouldn’t take the time of day to do. But Jameis message went south when several students were bored with his speech and he decided that he needed to prove a point.
“All my young boys stand up. The ladies sit down” Winston said “But all my boys stand up. We Strong right? We strong! All my boys tell me one time. I can do anything I put my mind to. Now a lot of boys aren’t supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I’m saying?…… But the ladies, they are supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men are supposed to be strong. I want y’all to tell me the what the third rule of life is. I can do anything I put my mind to. Scream it!”
Jameis’ uplifting inspirational speech was derailed with one sexist comment that has been stuck in my head on replay since I have heard it. Everything he said to those students was gone in an instant because he told those girls indirectly what a woman is supposed to be. On top of that he showed those little girls that they were less than because he told them to sit down. I feel terrible for him that in one statement he went from the hero to the villain. The best part of his speech was a little girl saying to her teacher “I am strong too!”. Yes, sweet girl you are strong! All women are strong! We might be silent, polite, and gentle, but we are so much more than that.
As a little girl I was so blessed to have the strongest woman alive as my mother.
She is kind, caring, gentle, well mannered, and motherly. The literal definition of a Proverbs 31 woman. But my mom is dynamic. She is also a successful, strong willed, stubborn woman that runs her own business and kicks butt. She will protect you with her life and watch out if you make her mad, because I promise you will regret it. She is my role model because she never took no for an answer. She is dyslexic and growing up they put her in a special ed school, but she didn’t want to be there because dyslexic or not she was exactly like everyone else. When she was working for a Doctor that was trying to pin his mishaps on her she went in front of a court and showed them that it was not her mistakes it was his corruption. She’s run a company with my dad for 20 plus years. She sued a school district because they refused to help my brother with his learning disabilities. She worked with my dad to put a roof over our heads for everyone not just her family could feel at home. But also made her schedule a way to be at every event, game, and fundraiser. She raised a daughter that drives her crazy but loves me anyways. There is not a woman in the world I look up to and admire the strength of more than my mom.
She preached to me growing up “I am strong”, “I can do anything I put my mind to”, that nothing but myself can hold me back! I believe that with every fiber of my being.
Mae Carol Jamison was the first African American women to travel into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour she said “Never limit yourself because of others’ limited imagination; never limit other because of your own limited imagination.”
It is so frustrating as a women to be told that because of a chromosome I’m less than. Women especially young women should be told everyday they can be or do whatever it is they chose. Nothing is out of reach! If that means you want to be the President of the United States, a business tycoon, a teacher, or a stay at home mom with children then you have every right to do it and not let anyone hold you back! It won’t be easy, nothing that is worth having is easy but you can Achieve whatever you set your sights on, because like Jameis said, “I can do anything I put my mind to!”
God made woman to be mans helper. He needed a counterpart that was different than he. Genesis 2:18-24
“18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animalsand all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.”
Woman was created because man can not do life alone.
She came from man, which to me means she has everything man does, and she has more! Without her man is alone and lost. How strong does that make woman? In my book it makes woman greater than we can even phathom! It shows that she can do anything she put her mind to and her potential is even greater than imaginable. That her role in life is more than being silent, gentle, and polite. Yes, woman has those characteristics but they are not what define her! Some man decided that’s how a woman should act but that’s not true to what we are! Women are strong, powerful, diplomatic, whatever they want to be. We are not defined by our stereotype and maybe one day no one will look to define us by it. Man wouldn’t have made it to the moon without Katherine Gobel. Ada Lovelace was the first ever computer programmer, matter of fact she wrote the first set of instructions for the computer. Grace Hopper designed the first ever computer.
And let’s state the obvious…. you wouldn’t be here without a woman.
So yes, men are supposed to be strong but ladies you are too! Never forget that. Always remember that anything you put your mind to is yours for the taking. “A strong woman is a woman determined to do something others determined not be done” Marge Piercy. “A kind hearted woman gains honor, but ruthless men only gain wealth.” Proverbs 11:16. Whatever you chose to be or want to be, there is nothing standing in your way, but you. Just because you are anatomically different than your male counter parts means nothing! Work harder, smarter and prove to yourself that you can do anything you put your mind to, because
“There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise” W.E.B Dubois.
So I just want to say again that I commend Jameis Winston for holding those male students accountable to be men that can achieve anything. But those boys need to know that their girl classmates are their equals. Just because they might have physical strength doesn’t show how strong they actually are. My mom is my definition of strength, she shows that true strength comes from within. It’s the fire you have, and the ability to overcome your circumstances. The willingness to fight for what you believe. The attitude that no matter what is thrown your way that you will see the other side. Strength is not something you can determine by sex, you can only determine it by ones actions and ones will!
Both male and female, we are all strong!