When I began writing this book I had no idea what kind of stir it would create. The more I shared about speaking up and owning our opinions and desires, the more other women wanted to know. Was I really going to say that? In those words? Yes, yes I am.
Amazing women came out of the woodwork to be part of this book and its message: women from their 20s to 60s; women with traditional jobs, volunteer jobs, and women entrepreneurs; heterosexual and homosexual women; mothers and childless women; those who are single and those who are partnered; women who live in cities and women who live in villages. The message of owning your voice and speaking your truth is universal and benefits us all.
There was one sticking point, however, and it was the term ‘Good Girl,’ which is used liberally throughout the book. While some women immediately identified with it, others shrank back or denounced it, stating it was misogynistic or demeaning. They didn’t want to be referred to as any kind of girl, though most told me in very polite terms and said I was free to differ with their opinion and perhaps they were looking at it wrong. Ahem.
As psychotherapist Rachel Whalley said of the term: “Nothing captures quite so succinctly the role that all women in this culture have been taught to play. We don't want to be called a "good girl," but we want people to think we are just that.”
If there is this much emotion wrapped around the term, imagine what it is like to live the definition every single day – choking on your own dreams so you can make everyone else happy. You can call yourself a good girl, a people pleaser, or even a wuss. What matters is not the name I call it in this book or you call it in your life but whether you identify with the definition and want to break free from it.
March 15, 2012
Chiang Mai, Thailand
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