• Michaëlle Martial

Badass Women Need Love Too!

Updated: Aug 13, 2019

What are badass women, you ask? We are resilient women who, with time, became confident. We come from many walks of life. We come in many shapes, shades and sizes. Some of us are White, some of us are Black. Some of us are Indigenous, some of us are Latinx. Some of us are Queer. Some of us are community leaders. Some of us are mothers. Some of us are daughters. Some of us have been oppressed by patriarchy. Some of us have barely escaped from abuse and trauma with only the clothes on our backs and enough breath in our lungs to tell our story.

So, what do strong women have in common? We repeatedly stand up when we fall. We go for our dreams. We work hard. We play hard. We also kick ass at what we do. We have learned to listen to our spirit when it’s time to pause and rejuvenate. We are not selfish, but we show ourselves love when we consistently honor our self-care practices. We do have a heart, but we don’t give it to someone easily. We are not as fragile as you think. We can hold it down. We do not compete with other strong women because we know that when one of us makes it, we all do.

Do badass women need love too? Hell yes! We need support like anyone else. Maybe not the way society so wrongly assumes. Some want to shelter us so that, ultimately they may control us. We’re not clueless. We’re not damsels in distress needing rescuing. But we do need your support. In fact, we welcome it. A simple “good job” or lending an ear to the strong women in your lives will go a long way. We often do not need a man or partner that holds us by the hand every step of the way because we have a vision that sustains us through our life’s journey. We only need our partner and friends to respect that vision, have their own and to be willing to walk beside us. We don’t want to mother our significant other. We simply want a companion.

How do I know this? Well, I’m glad you asked. I grew up with strong women, specifically a Haitian mother. That woman kicked ass, all day, everyday! I tell my children that, “if someone can survive in Haiti, they can thrive anywhere.” My love for my homeland is undeniable. However, I will be the first one to admit that growing up in Haiti can be very chaotic and traumatizing. Like any other third world country, poverty, crime, and political tensions make it hard for anyone in Haiti to rise above the clouds. I was only a young child when I saw for the first time images shown on television of men being burnt alive with a tire around their neck. That was during the coup d’état in 1986 that had overthrown the Baby Doc regime. In Haiti, education is too often put on the back burner by corrupt politicians as a way for them to stay in power. Mental health is not a common practice there although many need it. As with most societies, there is a stigma attached to seeking mental health, so men and women alike often do not even think of asking for that type of help. Those strong women I grew up with did everything they could with the meager resources that were available to them. I feel extremely fortunate to have been blessed later in my life with greater resources than they did.

Do I consider myself a badass woman too? If you had asked me this question a decade ago, I would have said “no way!” However, today, I will tell you a resounding YES! It is not everyday that you will meet a woman who has lost an infant child, has struggled with traumatic memories, has sought help for herself and her children, has fought for her life but who continues to believe in goodness in humanity. I am that woman. I understand there are complexities in living in a society dominated by patriarchy. I believe in the power of womanhood. As a strong woman, I will tell you that women like me are loyal. They will be your best allies. They are not to be ignored or knocked down for expressing their views or for pursuing their goals. Teach us something new. Learn from us. Walk with us. Support us because I can assure you that “badass women need love too”.

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© 2023 by Michaëlle Martial