A Woman of Dignity -1

By Gregga J. Johnn

I was raised with the ideal of being a princess awaiting her prince charming to rescue her. I’m not particularly sure where that idea came from specifically, rather I think it was the melting pot result of all that I was exposed to as a young and very impressionable little girl.

I have always wanted to do what was best, but I always wanted to do it my own way. So as I wandered through life I discovered all sorts of different ways to do things. Some worked, some didn’t, and some brought immediate relief but left lasting harm. Now I am learning to survive the immediate discomfort in order to gain greater benefit for everyone involved. All in all, I have lived a rich life with multiple experiences, but above all, I have learned that if I am ever going to be rescued, I am the one who needs to facilitate that.

This classical fairytale idea of being the princess locked away in a tower awaiting someone to rescue her is romanticized and idealized in so many varying forms that the dark dangers of such a thought are hidden completely from view.

What if the door to the tower is locked from the inside and the dragon is an alternate form of the princess defending herself against all the false charms that want to steal her away from her own independence?

My mind jumbles through a lot of thoughts on this matter and I hope to solidify them better as I write them down. So, let me begin with the most basic flaws in this fantasy and (in other posts) move on to an even more fantastic reality.

As the youngest of three girls, I am the quintessential lazy supervisor. I have learned from an early age that one bright little tear in a pair of batting eyes will bring multiple hands to task for me. I can get anyone to do anything I want… well, almost anyone. And it is those souls that refuse to be manipulated by my laziness and selfish intentions that I find to be the most attractive.

I do not boast, nor brag here of my selfish manipulations. I merely state things as they are. I am an Auzzie woman in Midwestern Iowa. I need only open my mouth to speak the lilting sounds of my eclectic Australian accent and all ears within hearing are at my beck and call. This actually make me feel very uncomfortable. And I have learned to switch to a default Midwestern accent unconsciously for when I first meet someone so I do not stand out so stark against the typical landscape. I do not intend to seduce every ear that wanders through my atmosphere. I simply am who I am. I do not like my tendency to try and manipulate to get what I want. But, I don’t think I am so unique in this. Everyone tries to get what they want. I am simply being honest with myself as I seek to be that Woman of Dignity the title points to.

Back to my first point. To consider oneself to be in need of rescue subtly shifts responsibility for one’s own life. If someone else comes to rescue me then I don’t need to do it myself. Now if we consider this proposal even further, what then are the implications of such a future? If I don’t take responsibility for my own life then someone else will. Which means I am therefore expected to live by someone else’s rules. The charming prince who rescues the princess from the tower only takes her back to his tower and keeps her there at his will. What is this slavery that such a pretty little fantasy perpetuates?

I am not presenting an idea where women must discard all assistance, or even men for that matter. “No man is an island” is a cliché for a reason. No one IS an island. All humanity needs community. So as I seek to be a woman of dignity, how then shall I learn to live in the paradox of independence within community?

That is precisely what I am seeking to clarify in my own life. But as I cannot define, explore and express all that I wish to say in one sitting, I will cease a moment to ponder how best to express all that I am, in future ramblings.

I will leave you with another glimpse into my own person through some lyrics of my soul. This will give a hint as to the vast paradoxical reaches that I hope to explore and if you care to travel with me in the meanderings of my mind, you are more than welcome. I invite you in love with compassion and mercy for you and for me, and to all who wander in the cycle of darkness and light.

“Everywoman” by Gregga J. Johnn

Hey there boy, what you lookin for?

Come with me life’s not a bore.

Football on the beach, tackle in the surf,

Hiking up the mountain, conquer new turf,

Comedy, action, Sci-fi movie; scare, laugh, or feelin groovy.

I can be your Everywoman.

Dinner for two in the most elegant spots,

Dancing at the Club, slamming Jello Shots,

Competing at pool, or darts at the Pub,

Karaoke, or networking the social hub,

Near, far, high, or low; find me wherever you go.

I am your Everywoman.

Everywoman: my flexibility will untie your knots.

Watch me shine in all the right spots.

Coffee, cognac, coke; whatever the cup . . .

Question is boy, can you keep up?

Helicopter outback, I’ll land your mark.

I’ll swim, dive, and scuba along with the shark.

Bring on the gamer boy, I’ll pawn your defrag

And quote your best lines from out your book bag.

Whatever you turn to do; you’ll find me true;

I am you Everywoman.

Pedal to the metal, or bike around the park

I absorb the day and glow in the dark.

Sail around the world, or view a home screening,

Let’s swap a joke, or uncover life’s meaning.

I’ll light your fuse and inspire your muse;

I’m your Everywoman.

Everywoman: my flexibility will untie your knots.

Watch me shine in all the tight spots.

Coffee, cognac, coke; whatever the cup . . .

Question is boy, can you keep up?

I look good in bare feet, heels, and buckle boots,

Jeans, shorts, elegant gown, or power suits.

Conservative, hippie, Goth, and beach,

No matter the mood, I’ll follow the speech.

I’ll total your equal sum, and love cooking with your mum.

I’m your Everywoman.

I’ll be a Princess at the Ball

And the home town girl next door.

I’m the Angel, sweet on your arm,

And, a devil of seduction breathing charm,

Come follow me, to fly and be free . . .

I am your Everywoman.

Everywoman: my flexibility will untie your knots.

Watch me shine through all the tight spots.

Coffee, cognac, coke; whatever the cup . . .

Question is, boy, can you keep up?

(10th December 2010)