Reflection by ALEX F.
Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:
When Ensler talks about the “girl cell” that all of us have, I was really quite surprised that I hadn’t heard of this idea before.
We all have at least one X-chromosome, don’t we? Then shouldn’t it make sense that we all have a girly side to us?
She gave me my “well duh” moment for the day.
She goes on to say that while we all have this group of cells, men suppress it and hide it because being emotional, and empathetic, and the whole rest of the list that Eve gives us is considered “weak”. Why would they think that so-called “girly” attributes are a sign of weakness, when girls are the ones who can gain the upper-hand in just about anything we do because we’re in touch with these emotions? I guess they’re trying to live up to the “men are dummies” stereotype.
As she says, “…being a girl is so powerful that we’ve had to train everyone not to be that”.
Now, as I read the comments under the video, I noticed that one person went on a very long rant about how girls are not sweet and strong and amazing. This person says that even though girls are more in touch with emotions, they can also be very cruel. The person in question points out that girls can be catty, mean, beck-stabbing and disloyal to get what they want, or to get back at people they feel they’ve been wronged by. While it’s a good point that this person is trying to make, I would like to point out that this is not how a “girl” acts. What the commenter is describing is what we would call in our society, a bitch. The major point on Ensler’s talk is about how a girl isn’t that horrid type of person, and how that’s just what we’ve become by ignoring that vulnerable side of us that is compassionate and forgiving. She is, in short, describing the ideal girl, not what we’ve come to define the term as.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
She goes on to talk about the awful violence against women that’s occurring in the Democratic Congo. She describes the experience of hearing the stories of these brutalized woman as “shattering”. These women had been raped, abused, tortured, and emotionally destroyed. But throughout that shattering, she says that she was made stronger and more clever than she was before, because her girl cell was opened up by these heart-wrenching stories. What she says plays along with the saying “That which does not kill me will only make me stronger”. By allowing herself to feel the pain of these women, she has become stronger and more dedicated. Feeling these supposedly “weak” emotions has allowed her to become an incredibly strong woman, making her living proof that accepting our “girl cell” makes us phenomenally stronger than we are by denying it.