We’re heading back to Untamed  (Glennon Doyle) again. (Ok- if it’s making me think this much maybe it deserves to be #2 on the NYT Bestseller list…)

In her essay “Comfort Zones”, Doyle speaks of a twelve year old girl on her daughter’s soccer team. She states that the girl rubs her the wrong way, and she notices other Mother’s reactions towards this particular girl, and everyone seems to be ill at ease in this young woman’s presence. When Doyle analyzes this, she realizes that the unease around this girl is based on this girls self possession. This is a confident young woman, who carries herself with the bearing that she is worthy. Doyle, a self proclaimed feminist, realizes that her own uneasiness is due to a lifetime of being told that girls/women are supposed to be “self-doubting, reserved, timid and apologetic.”

“Girls who are bold enough to break the rules irk us.”

When I first read this essay, my knee jerk reaction was “Bullshit.”

But this chapter kept haunting me. I kept thinking about women I know. I came to the realization that Doyle may have a really solid point.

In 2020, do we still have problems with women who break the “rules”?

Do strong, confident, unapologetic women still make us go uh oh?

Are women just as bad as men in downplaying other women?

Are women worse at it?

If you’re a woman, think about how you really feel when you see a strong, confident woman. Straight up- no bs- what is your initial reaction?

Are you at all uneasy?

And let’s get out of the Hilary Clinton/Nancy Pelosi mindset: let’s think about the women that you come across on a daily basis…

Are there women you see in your daily lives whose sheer confidence and ability to command attention just pisses you off?

You don’t have to share here. This is not a game to shame others in print. But I want you to really think about your reactions to other women.

Do you get mad if someone doesn’t care what you think?

Do you delight in taking someone down a peg?

Do you secretly want someone to fail because you just don’t want them to succeed?

Have you ever called a woman a name (in your head) because she irked you?

I don’t mean intellectual debates where we discuss issues and each person defends their argument. Do you get annoyed with women who do defend their point?

Do you get annoyed that a woman has a point?



80 thoughts on “Nove-Strength

  1. When I see a strong, confident woman I think, you go lady! But a strong confident young teen or tween makes me step back a little. However, that’s purely my being jealous. I was far too shy at that age. I’m glad more younger girls are showing their confidence. They should! I wish I had 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Strong, confident women do not irk me unless they have no manners and no consideration for others around them. The same goes for men. An intelligent person can state her opinion without verbally abusing others. I have met too many overbearing, rude people in my life.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. You could also look at it as the person who puts others down isn’t really confident, which is more often the case. Truly confident people don’t need to put others down

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hmmm, perhaps the women I have encountered who I label as unbending or bossy are really trying to project that straight up self-confidence instead?
    Right now I do work with someone who can easily create awkward and uncomfortable moments with her “say it like it is” style. I believe management is not too impressed.

    I have more trouble with the martyrs actually than anyone who is outspoken. I work directly under a martyr. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Doesn’t bother me at all, assuming that she has something to say and it isn’t just to grab attention. But then again, I’ve never been shy about saying what I think – not to grab attention – which may be why working in a largely male environment has never been an issue for me. I agree that it is still the case that too many girls are not socialized to be comfortable giving their opinions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I need to give this one some thought but I do think you have a very good point. There are definitely some women who get under my skin. Is it their confidence or is it something else? I’m not sure. I agree that confidence does have to go hand in hand with humility and with good manners and compassion for others too. I definitely think my childhood and other significant relationships since have had an impact on my confidence or lack of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the problem is we don’t always know how to “teach” confidence. Also, we don’t always like when our kids don’t listen to us. It’s a hard balance to be confident and obedient at the same time

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s definitely a hard one to teach. I think it’s possible to be confident and obedient. The difficulty imho is when we don’t allow our kids to question us or have an opinion on what we’re asking them to do. If an adult disagrees with a manager at work they are allowed to discuss the matter in a civilised way. Very often children are expected to obey without understanding the reason for the request or without feeling that their opinion is valued. I think that allows for disrespect to come in and then children are perceived as over confident. I’m sure there’s more to it as well. Definitely one to grapple with. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. There’s two sides to the because I said so argument. We actually had one of these yesterday. I told my daughter to change the pet bowls everyday (FYI for years this has been the rule) she wants to know why. My thought is everyone deserves to eat and drink out if a fresh, clean bowl every day, even if it’s dry food. She doesn’t agree (and pulls up stats that say you don’t have to) so in the end it comes down to, that’s great. When you have your own house and pets do it any way you want. But do it now because it’s my rule and I said so….

        Liked by 2 people

      3. At the end of the day we all have to do things we don’t agree with sometimes because someone in authority said so. As long is everyone is respected and respectful – that’s life. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I tend to like strong women who don’t fit what we think of as the norm. I do recall one woman, a teacher I worked with, who rubbed everyone the wrong way. I asked my (female) principal one day why she thought the other teachers had issues with “Betsy”. She said, “Betsy is unreasonably self-confident.” That really bothered me because Betsy was an excellent teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. If the strong confident woman knows has the knowledge and background to know what she is doing than lets go girl!! I usually admire that. The ones that get to me, women and men alike, are the strong confident ones that do not have the knowledge or background to support what they are strong and confident about but go ahead like they are right or in charge anyway. Not sure if this makes sense, but some strong personalities are so confident in themselves that they become unreasonable or cocky. This type pisses me off. A true strong and confident woman knows not only her strengths but weaknesses too and that is what makes her admirable.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve been fortunate in having met some wonderfully strong & independent women throughout my life. My mother was not one of them, and so my less than appealing behaviour is in dis-regarding those who are weak and/or vapid in comparison with the women I aspired to become. I’ve always been drawn to intelligence, confidence & competence – in both women and men.

    As for those same traits when observed in teenagers – well, I well remember meeting remarkable 15 year old twins who had an elegance & social confidence WAY beyond their years. Did they intimidate me despite my being 3 years older? Yes, absolutely. But I admired them and envied them their savoire faire.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve always been kind of envious of women that can be unapologetically themselves. Those that have that kind of inner strength to feel that comfortable in their skin without worry about what others think. That said, I’ve also had major issues with those that look down on others because they don’t follow their perception of “normal” or how a woman should look or act. Same goes with those that take that personal confidence to arrogance or use it as a measuring stick for other people’s worth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh….a few years ago my mother was over our apartment and a friend of my husbands came over. My mother asked why I didn’t offer coffee because I’m the “lady of the house”. I said my husband has a voice and is perfectly capable of doing that…..I might blog about this…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think in a group setting there could be a tendency for the “confident” one to crowd out the voices of others especially amongst children on a soccer team. I saw a little bit of this years ago as a girl scout leader.

    As a nurse I’ve worked with more women than men. Perhaps there is a fine line between being self confident and wanting to dominate a situation at the expense of others.

    Sometimes self confidence could translate into one acting above their station if that makes sense. From my work experiences it could be a nursing student or brand new nurse trying to steer a situation when she didn’t have the knowledge base or authority to do so.

    I’ve watched my high school senior son play sports for years. I think there is room for some ego, but sometimes you have to put that aside to function as a team. You know that corny old saying there is no “I” in team. When my son played “youth” sports there were always a few “confident” kids or their parents who wanted to disregard the very specific rules about playing time.

    Without actually being there it is hard to know what it was about the young lady on the soccer team that rubbed others the wrong way. But yeah, women are more likely to get the short end of the stick.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh, this is a sore issue around our place. You could easily take this train of thought past unfair slang terms for the sexes in management positions (a man is confident while a woman is a b****) and how gender roles *still* play out in the home (even women who make more tend to do more housework).

    Humility or kindness aside, we still expect men to be stoic and confident and women to be vulnerable and nurturing.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Did you ever think of being a professor or psychiatrist? I mean this in a positive way. Actually, you’d be good as a professor… make the students THINK every day, have them do different creative writing assignments. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think subconsciously, people might still have a certain way of looking at this dynamic. In its simplest premise, it goes something like this: If a woman’s managerial style is the same as a man, she is called a certain vulgar name whereas he is seen as someone who gets things done. Truth of the matter is, my best bosses were women. Not because I’m a feminist but because it just happened to be the case.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Does Glennon Doyle expand on the idea of why the young woman rubbed her the wrong way? I think we all have our own biases. But there is a little bit of an ick factor if grown women are talking about a 12 year old for no apparent reason.

    On the if subject of being a b*tch. I have found people will label you this way if you(a female) don’t follow gender norms for how you should communicate, especially you are in a supervisory role. Both women and men will label you that way. There can often be cultural issues at play also.

    I’m not sure that having a “mannish” way of communicating necessarily makes one more self confident. There are plenty of women who can navigate being self confident while still having a more female style of communication.

    Growing up I was very very shy. It took me many years to navigate the best ways of communicating in certain situations. I would say today I am not the most self confident person. In certain work situations I feel very self confident. Work situations that depend on a high degree of skilled communications make me nervous–but I am much better than I used to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To be fair, she was passed at her self for feeling like that. The quote is “I noticed that she walked with her head held high and with a bit of a swagger. She was good, and she knew it. She went in for the ball often and hard, like a girl who knows her own strength and talent. She smiled the whole time, like all of this was easy for her, like she was having the time of her life. All of this just annoyed the he’ll out of me.”


  15. When I was younger, strong women bothered me some, because I was anything but self-confident. Maybe a latent jealousy? As I got to know more women (not the manipulative type, which I have nightmares about), I learned to respect them and desired to emulate them.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I know of such a woman who has that level of confidence. I get along with her rather well but I also know other women who think she’s a little overbearing. I enjoy her general attitude though. Is it because I’m like she is?

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Personally, I tend to admire strong women. But I do get annoyed at weak women who pretend to be strong by attacking others. Nothing makes me react more negatively (it’s actually a knee-jerk reaction) than seeing someone indulging in ridiculing, superior, smirking, behavior, male or female. But the truth is, really strong people, women and men, don’t do that. They don’t need to. They are confident in who they are, comfortable in their own skin, and therefore don’t feel the need to go around squashing others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Queen Bees…..drives me crazy. My mother and mother in laws comments are passive aggressive superiorities….a way of putting me down because I’m not enough….

      Liked by 1 person

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