May is when we think about mothers. Treacly ads beseech us not to forget the saint who raised us into the inconsiderate asshats who need a 30-second commercial reminding us to send flowers. Isn’t motherhood grand?
My problem with this sentimental, soft-washed way of hat-tipping mothers is how one-dimensional and insufficient it is. Mothers are women first. We are infinitely complicated and always on-call. Hailing our contributions with a single day or an overpriced brunch is kind of insulting.
What’s sorely lacking during this day of receiving bath paraphernalia (as if we have the time) and chore coupons that will never be honored is the acknowledgement of female power.
Recently, we’ve seen a mighty display of woman power. Beyoncé didn’t just break new ground with Lemonade, she shifted tectonic plates. That might sound hyperbolic but with her visual album and her sublime celebration of #BlackGirlMagic, Beyoncé showed us how much power a woman—a woman of color (and that can’t be stated enough)—can wield. She showed us what woman can do with that power: destroy, forgive, illuminate, game-change. With a singular work of art, Beyoncé catapulted black women’s (and I’d suggest, all women’s) issues into mainstream consciousness.
Here’s what Bey had to say about power and feminism in Elle Magazine:
“To me, power is making things happen without asking for permission. It’s affecting the way people perceive themselves and the world around them. It’s making people stand up with pride… I’m not really sure people know or understand what a feminist is, but it’s very simple. It’s someone who believes in equal rights for men and women. I don’t understand the negative connotation of the word, or why it should exclude the opposite sex. If you are a man who believes your daughter should have the same opportunities and rights as your son, then you’re a feminist. We need men and women to understand the double standards that still exist in this world, and we need to have a real conversation so we can begin to make changes. If you believe in equal rights, the same way society allows a man to express his darkness, to express his pain, to express his sexuality, to express his opinion—I feel that women have the same rights.”
It’s nearly impossible to discuss women and power without bringing up the first viable female candidate for U.S. President: Hillary Rodham Clinton. It’s been a tough campaign for her and I can’t imagine it getting any easier should she come up against the bewigged and belligerent Trump in November. Anti-Hillary vitriol is so malignant that I applaud her for soldiering onwards in the face of it (don’t read the comments, Hill). She’s not a perfect candidate (who is?
Bernie Sanders), but if there were ever someone highly qualified for the job of being President, it’s her.
I should probably feign surprise that people dislike her so much, but I won’t. The older I get, the more I know how rigged the game is against women. We are either not enough or way too much. We’re frigid fish or ratchet hos. If we’re pretty, we’re not smart. If we’re smart, we can’t be funny. If we’re funny, we’re probably fat. And the worst, most fearsome woman of all is the one who owns her power and aims for more.
Hillary Clinton, in her second unapologetic bid to be President of the United States of America, is scary to a yuuuuge part of the population—not because of her policy but because of her private parts—and whether those people acknowledge it or not.
So POWER is this month’s theme. I ask you to think about what power means to you. How do we get it? How do we give it away—or how is it taken from us? Do we self-efface to the point of invisibility? In our daily life, do we maintain the status quo of keeping women powerless? Do we slag off or backstab other women; do we raise our daughters to be sweet and polite instead of strong and outspoken; do we compete instead of collaborate? What can we do to support women and raise ourselves and each other up?
Our stories will circle back to this theme, in large and small ways. Our first Promiscuous Reader interview is with TV and film producer, artist, writer—and longtime family friend—Leopoldo Gout. He’s just come out with a buzzy YA novel, Genius: The Game, the first in a series. He talked to me about his creative process, what it’s like to be a Mexican expat in New York and why he’s a feminist. He’s also giving away an autographed copy of Genius to a LES LOLOS reader.
Speaking of giveaways, there’s one day left to win the €225 Sleep Overhaul package from our sleep expert, Bonne Nuit Baby’s Hadley Seward. Don’t miss out on the chance to have two weeks of sleep support and a personalized sleep plan for you and your little one. You can’t harness all your power when you’re exhausted!
What else? I’ll be revealing my skincare secrets later this month and I’m also reflecting on the power of saying NO. There are going to be #BossLady profiles on women I really admire and another giveaway that’s all about delicious health.
Oh! And don’t forget about the special Somuchmore X LES LOLOS discount pass. It’s good for two months and I’m looking for some Paris workout partners so sign up and let’s get our sweat on!
Here’s to May. Here’s to Power. Here’s to Us.