You Are Not a Princess

By Emily Joy Allison-Hearn

 

Society, our friends, our family, and even our churches send many, oftentimes conflicting, messages about what it means to be female.

Being female means waiting.

Being female means passivity.

Being female means subservience.

Being female means being in need of rescue.

It means be yourself, but don’t be too outrageous.

It means be attractive, but don’t be to sexy.

It means be passionate, but don’t you dare cross that line into “angry.”

 

Our cultural narratives reinforce this. The stories we tell our daughters about what a successful and happy and well-loved woman looks like are burned onto their brains on into adulthood, long after they have stopped reading their favorite fairy tales.

 

But by and large, the princesses in most of these stories are pretty useless. They’re naive, unsure of themselves, and require constant supervision in order to avoid biting a poisonous apple, pricking their finger on a needle, being attacked by wolves, or being locked into a basement by their evil stepmother. And the solution to all their maladies?

 

Men.

 

These stories may be “cute,” but when the solution to every problem is a man who is supposed to fix everything and save the day, well. You see how that can send the wrong message.

 

You are not a princess.

 

You are not in need of rescue from your own inability to function successfully in the world.

 

You are not required to stay silent and sleeping in order to find love.

 

You are not a pawn in the games of men or anyone else.

 

You are not a princess.

 

You are a prophet.

 

You are a high priestess.

 

You are a secret weapon.

 

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