Strength & Weakness: Hers


In cruising through my daily blogs, I discovered what I consider either very enlightening or very disturbing. This three day foray into the male and the female of the species will focus on what we view as strengths and weaknesses and a comparison of the two. Today, the female.

Strong Women

What is the first image which comes to mind at the words “strong woman”? Choose one:

Women in horse-drawn carriage and on foot  mar...

Image by Kheel Center, Cornell University via Flickr

A Bodybuilder poses at the London Classic and ...

It is the woman who stands up for what she believes to be right?

Or the one who can lift her own body weight?

Or is it something entirely different? Amazon princess in battle? Mother Superior, willing to die for her faith? What makes a woman strong?

Weak Women

The absolute first image which comes to mind is this one:

Or were you thinking some delicate flower or pixie? One whose feelings stay hurt? Whose tears fall freely?


The sheer magnitude of a woman’s will can make her infinitely strong. Once her mind is set to something, the strong woman will conquer it. Weak-willed women take orders, on the job and at home.


The strong woman has a tenet system which may well be written into bylaws. The weak woman believes what is popular, demanded by the strong people in her life or sent to her in a tweet.


The strong woman has an abundance she has earned through survival and hardship. She is well-rounded, articulate and/or eloquent and may be exquisitely complex. The weak woman is as shallow as her reflection.


There is nothing the strong woman will back down from,  kowtow to or fail to try. Pansy will wait for someone to do it for her, shiver into submission or tremble in fear.


Before swallowing anything hook, line and sinker, the strong woman will consult her intuition and experience, a professional and/or a confidante. The weak woman will nod like a bobble head to everything she is told.

But what if…

…she is both? All women have the capability of being the demure arm candy. Many strong women choose to take this role as a hobby or as a courtesy to their lovers. Choosing to be meek or being vulnerable does not compromise the woman’s strength.

And all the rest.

Strong women come in all ages, shapes and colors (with matching handbags). They possess many characteristics not listed here, but for the sake of our discussion, we will consider these top five.


Are you or do you know a strong woman? Which of the five characteristics do(es) you (she) possess?


© Red Dwyer 2011
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  1. Funny I was just looking an old article I wrote on women of strength and wondering if I should re-write it. You beat me to the punch.

    • And this is a total oops. This is supposed to come out the first week of January. Sheesh. I am technology challenged today. *Scrambles to rearrange day to finish this series*

      I need more coffee. Red.

  2. Red, as I read through a number of your own posts and get to know a bit more about you and your life through your words, I get the sense that you ma’am are a strong woman. Ten children, full-time care giving, some with extra needs, all the hard work you do, and find time to write prolifically, and no desperate whining or apologies for it all. Yeah, that’s strength for sure.

    I like the fact that you also mention that strong women can choose to be demure, soft, and submissive, if by her choice. I’m not talking the doormat submissive type, but a willingness to defer to another from a position of strength. So yes, outward appearances of role in a relationship can be misleading at first blush, but once you dig a little deeper, you can appreciate that kind of softer strength as well. It is no less a form of weakness, and in fact may be an ultimate form of feminine strength.

    Same theory applies for men, lest anyone think I’m some kind of nutcase spouting off sexist ideals… 🙂

    • Thank you for the kind insight, Phil. Recognizing the strength of another, be it Mate or colleague or friend, and ceding power to that strength is both a sign of intelligence and strength. Just because I can do it all does not mean I should, nor should have to without assistance. That strength knows no gender.

      My insightful friend, methinks you know where this series will conclude.

  3. I am well versed in why strong women are so successful. Strong women give their souls and energy without fail, and seldom if ever complain in adversity. They never feel sorry for themselves if a mistake is made, but quickly recover and make changes for the better. They create solutions where others simply give up.
    They learn endlessly, display boundless creativity, share their skills and knowledge, and teach and encourage those less able. The strong woman gives freely to those in need at any time , forgives freely and without regret, and takes care of– and defends fiercely those she loves . She is willing to give more than 110% of herself all of the time if necessary, when it is appropriate to do so, and seldom if ever places herself or her own needs first.
    Most importantly, she is understanding, generous to a fault–and NEVER yields easily when she knows ‘the mate’ is clearly wrong or about to do something foolish. She has compassion for fools. She says ‘told you so’ with a twinkle in the eye and a wise smile if a wrong decision is made and it flops. She takes care of herself physically and stays fit and makes sure the ‘mate’ does too. She loves freely and unconditionally.
    Why do I know about strong women?? I’m married to one. “:)
    p.s. a redhead

  4. I think these are great points!! I especially liked this statement: “Weak-willed women take orders, on the job and at home.” They are pushed around by others and their children, especially. Strong women command respect with their presence.

    Hardship strengthens a strong woman, rather than weakening her.

    I also liked it when you said, “Choosing to be meek or being vulnerable does not compromise the woman’s strength.” It is a *choice*, as valid as any other choice.

    • I am glad you picked up on the “at home”. The majority of readers look at all of my relationship advice as merely between man and woman. Truly, the bulk of it is equally applicable between parent and child. I adore my audience! Red.

  5. I think that Phil has said
    everything here, and I concur…

    Have a wicked weekend and may those
    delights be never-ending my great friend 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  6. But it should be addressed the difference between a strong woman, and an overbearing one or a flip-flopper. (Men can be the same way to be honest).

    A truly strong woman doesn’t have to say that she’s strong. It’s in a way a woman carries herself, not only when she’s doing well, but when things are going to hell. I’m not saying she can’t cry (heaven forbid, men have been culturally brainwash to believe men can’t cry), but she stands up and KEEPS GOING without affecting her heart.

  7. Why must what makes a woman strong be different from what makes a man strong? Was there ever a time when the 2 sexes were actually considered as equals? A man without a woman is lonely and frustrated, hungry and grumpy. A woman without a man is strong, independent. We all know that behind every successful man is a strong woman, but behind every successful woman is a strong story.

  8. I really don’t have anything to add to this post. You said it all. I come from a long line of strong, but different, women, and seek to follow their example. Strong women tend to show up when the going gets rough. Weak or foolish women show themselves in the storms of life too, sadly. I think for many, the more storms you’ve had to weather, the stronger you become. Some experiences teach us that we can get through anything, so what is there to fear?

    You are definately a strong woman. (Is this where I quip ‘but smell isn’t everything’? lol – sorry couldn’t resist 😉

    • *Grins because she own stock in “Obsession for Women”* Interesting you chose the word “foolish”. For me, that says a mouthful. I think you will find the last installment important as well. Red.

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