You do not need to apologize for your intelligence.
The number of times I have been attacked, shamed, ridiculed, mansplained, dismissed, unfriended, laughed at, yelled at, punished, humiliated, ignored, told to be quiet, told I talk too much, all because I am a woman with a brain, intelligence, and savvy, and am highly capable of critical and creative thought is an enormous amount of times.
Because this trash is normalized. It spreads rapidly, sometimes almost imperceptibly, through our culture, society, community, family.
We are “uncomfortable” with intelligent women being intelligent – exploring and displaying their intelligence unapologetically in their daily lives.
In full view.
So we patronize them.
We minimize them.
Cut them off.
Cut them down.
And so we women have to lean into that discomfort. Press it. Make them feel it. Don’t let up. Wake up. Pay attention to what is really happening when someone makes light of your thoughts, your intelligence, your ideas. When someone makes fun of you or dismisses you for knowing more than they know.
You are scaring them.
You are upsetting the balance of power they need you to believe in in order for it to continue to exist.
Do not shrink yourself to make them feel more comfortable. Expand yourself. Expand your mind. Your reach. Your prowess.
Say what you know. Say what you think. Say what you believe. Tell of what you experience. Speak and breathe your ideas, visions, and thoughts into writing. Into art. Into existence. Into the light.
There are many, many deeply thinking, extensively well read, well researched, well spoken, powerfully moving women of every race, orientation, and background.
Seek them out. Read them. Uplift them. Pay them. Support them. Follow them.
And if you are one of these women – one of us – please don’t ever, ever let up.
Photo by Yohann LIBOT