Like many women around my age, I grew up totally in love with Legally Blonde. Elle Woods inspired me, because though many underestimated her and did not think she was smart enough to achieve her goals, she was determined. I have always had a bit of that contrary attitude in me. I think sometimes spite can be a great motivator, we can push past some of the boundaries that hold us back, just to show the nay-sayers that we are more than capable of accomplishing what they said we could not do. Or would not do.
I recently saw the Glamour Woman of the Year 2015 speech given by Reese Witherspoon, the actress who played Elle Woods, and really struck a chord with me. I’ll link you to a video with her speech below so you can watch it as well, but the question she brought up and it’s prevalence in movies really made me think.
In her speech, she draws attention to the fact that in a lot of films there is a crisis moment where a female character turns to a male character and asks this question “What are we going to do?” Like most women, I have had times in my life where I have turned to loved ones and asked this question, but I think they are probably greatly outnumbered by the times where I did not ask this question. I have also watched countless women in my life go through a crisis and handle it. Sometimes with grace and elegance, other times with tears and perseverance.
I have been blessed to be surrounded by amazing, complicated, inspiring women for most of my life. I have watched my mother lose the love of her life and continue on against those sorrows to carve out her own happiness after that terrible loss. I have grandmothers who are both strong in their own ways, even though they are opposite in many ways. I have darling sister and her amazing daughter, both who help bring out the best and most caring side of my heart. I have female friends, a mother-in-law, step-sisters and sisters-in-law who all work to create the life they love, despite the hardships we all face in life. Each of these women are unique and all of them are capable.
I say it a lot in my life and some on this blog, but women’s stories are important. It is important that those stories are as nuanced and unique as the women we meet each day.
So that is why, lately, I have been asking myself “What am I going to do?” I am going to let the women in my life inspire me to write interesting and nuanced stories. I’m going to write comics about heroes one day that my nieces can both read and be inspired by. I’m going to write stories that feel important to me. Stories that tell about the complicated inner lives of both women and men.