That Woman


Carrie Fisher had died and I was going to be that woman. Remember that blog I made a couple of months back? I do. They have been on my mind ever since, both Fisher and the blog about that phrase: ‘that woman’. It was a solid, bad-ass thing to say. And I did not, nor do I now, have any idea how to achieve it.

How to be That Woman?

There has been plenty of opportunity for that-womanness. I mean, the political landscape is about to blow up in my own country, and has done so across the pond in the US. Everything and everyone has been stripped bare politically and chickening out, while always an option for the willing, has never been so unattractive.

I am familiar with the chicken-out option. I do it all the time. “I am not an activist”, I will say. Or, “I am really not good at that”. Both are true. I am not an activist and I am really not good at campaigning for or against something. I lack the necessary persistence. In addition I have become quite good at picking my battles and with limited energy resources I will choose carefully for what causes to climb the barricades, and for which I will enthusiastically cheer from the sidelines.

Is being That Woman about being politically active/activist?

My daily life presents a fair number of struggles, albeit mostly internal. I am grateful for the life I (am able to) lead and I feel privileged every step of the way. My children are healthy and at least most of the time they are happy. I am not cold, do not need to be hungry and I am relatively safe. That covers most of the bases. Add to that the freedom of time and speech to write a blog about whatever tickles my fancy – there is much to be grateful for. No, my own doubts and inabilities and internal fights are the most taxing. They are not so easily overcome. But I wouldn’t presume that my struggles are anywhere near how Fisher tackled her addictions and mental illness.

Victory or truce with my own struggles and limitations, does that make me That Woman?

What I admired about Fisher is the fearlessness with which she approached her life. She just went ahead and did things. Her frustrations and setbacks were not permanent and her persistence is what kept her going and growing. Along with a healthy self-critical attitude of course but that is another aspect of fearlessness. What to direct it to, what to spend it on – that seems to be the main question for me now.

Time to become That Woman.




My mother believes that I don’t know how to have an argument. She thinks I am terrible at it. I believe, of course, that she is wrong and try to tell her this. It does not go well when I do. While my aim tends to be to make my point (“I know pretty well how to argue thankyouverymuch“) and defend it, hers is inevitably to end the exchange as quickly as possible, thus proving her point in the process. I am, after all, the one who is still making a fuss. And so I have given up. My mother belongs to a generation of women who must have grown up conflicted. On one hand their social landscape of the sixties demanded that they speak out and defend their rights; on the other, their upbringing prevented them from doing so. As a result, passive aggressiveness tends to be at the heart of communication, only equalled by their desire not to be either passive or aggressive. The problem is, it is difficult to argue with that.