Why use we such a ubuiquitous male genital expression for strength and courage?
And no female ones?
Consider the female gonad. When you rip open a new wound on yourself every month for decades on end, ready and waiting each time to overtake an entire body, orchestrating the coordinated and prolonged creation and delivery of an entirely new and unique sentient being, which the body then must sustain for months longer with only its own nutritional synthetic power, how is it that you are still not crowned the queen of all organs of strength, capacity, and resilience?
“Balls out”, we say, when we hold up boldness and assertiveness–but only when referring to men. Do we only see it when men are heroic and daring? What about when women take dauntless risks, so often on behalf of others? How do we express our admiration for this? BOOBS OUT, I say, when I want to validate a woman’s right to assert her power, agency, and independence, out loud and in front. But it doesn’t do the conviction justice. “OVARIOS,” my friend suggested, when it came up in conversation years ago. Hell yes. I’m still waiting for this to catch on.
Of course strength, courage, and resilience are not always manifest by taking impulsive public action in the face of immediate threats to survival, ego, or status. For how many generations have women held collective humanity up, well after birthing it, serving as tireless caregivers, counselors, mediators, peacemakers, scapegoats, punching bags, breadwinners, and confidants? What countless family and professional units would outright unravel and disintegrate, and then the fabric of society follow, if not for the ovarios deep in the weave?
I write this post not to devalue men or their contribution to society. Their role and relevance are unquestioned.
But please, friends, let us elevate and amplify our praise of women, yes? It is well past time, and there is plenty of room to share on the pedestal.
For a heartfelt rendering of women’s strong, stoic resilience, check out my colleague’s post on her Smiling Grandma.
Onward in solidarity.