A while back now, I went on a little dance class adventure with two of my Coyotes.
It was a Diva Dance Class.
We brought the sass.
It was a lot of fun and a great thing for the three of us to do together!
And now, this week, two of us have to use that feminine sass that we channeled so flawlessly that day to strengthen our spirits as we bid farewell to our sassiest of sisters, Kiwi Bix…
We’re losing another Coyote.
Kiwi Bix is the Punkie who brought us the truth of #youdoyou.
She is the Lady of my Life who introduced words like “sass” and “yarn” into my daily vernacular.
She is the Kweeeeen of attitude (with a capital Kweeeeen) who has a fantastic accent to match.
We love her lots and are going to miss her.
Am I going to rehash the same themes of old?
I don’t know.
You don’t own me.
But no, probably not.
Instead of being saddened by the loss of a key figure in my London life this week, I’m going to use this lesson as a tribute to strong women.
Of which she is most definitely a leading figure.
This week has heralded plaudits galore for Michelle Obama after her speech endorsing Hillary Clinton.
There continue to be debates about whether people are allowed to criticise the new “Ghostbusters” movie for being a bad film, without appearing to be criticising its strong, female cast.
And, as always, I have the Herculean-strengthed (yes, I just made up a word – you loved it) Ruthy living in my brain and commenting on all that I do.
It feels like it’s becoming a daily occurrence that there is a news story about the mistreatment of some woman or another.
Back home, in Australia, Van Badham was one of the most recent targets of trolling.
A woman who, yes, has opinions and, yes, isn’t afraid to voice them at the best of times can often rub people up the wrong way.
And, though it’s a generalisation, those “people” are often “men-people”.
On this occasion she hadn’t even started to voice that opinion though – bearing in mind that her opinions were the reason she was on the panel of Q&A that night – when she was shut down so offensively that there was an audible, collective gasp in the audience and the story made the papers in the UK the next day.
Van experienced a tirade of online abuse of such a vein that no man would ever imagine such a thing happening to him in the same position.
What I take from both Van Badham and Leslie Jones in their given situations though, is the amazing composure they have had in dealing with these trolls.
That is strength.
Kiwi Bix is – like all of us Coyotes – a strongly-opinionated, well-educated, well-read, forthright woman.
That’s why we love her so much!
And, like all of us, she knows that some people (*cough* men-people *cough*) don’t like this.
We’ve discussed, between the four of us, instances in our lives when we’ve felt threatened/unsafe/at risk because of our gender.
What makes Kiwi Bix amazing (and Bega Baby and Vikinglise also) is that she knows that she has every right to her opinions and every right to voice them.
And she’ll make sure that you know that also.
If you need reminding.
I have learnt this from most of the women in my life, but this one Kiwi gal has brought it home over the course of our friendship firmly and clearly –
You have the right to be yourself.
You are woman.
Hear you ROAR!
Roar for those who cannot roar for themselves.
Social justice starts at home.
That’s the expression, right?
Go forth, Kiwi Bix.
Get your social justice-ing on!