In a society where women are viewed as being weak and fragile, Hillary Clinton leaving the 9/11 event last week has brought about a lot of talk that she isn’t fit enough to be the next president of the United States. And for Black women, we have another standard to live up to as well. The standard of being a superwoman who can do it all for everyone all of the time.
Since when is it not okay to be human? Are we not allowed to get sick? And tired? Are we not supposed to take care of our bodies and health? When we do, as Hillary did when she physically couldn’t go on anymore, we’re criticized. And when we we don’t take care of ourselves we’re hurt with the damage that is caused to our health and our relationships.
Being from Chicago and growing up during the era of Michael Jordan I’m reminded of the 1997 NBA Finals Flu Game against the Utah Jazz. Despite having the flu, Jordan pushed it aside and led the Chicago Bulls to victory with 38 points.
Not only did Jordan do his job well while sick, he was praised for it. It’s become known as the Flu Game and the anniversary of it is still celebrated. Never was he criticized for leaning on his teammates. Never was he called weak because he was sick.
How many times have you pushed through illness and showed up because you felt you had to? How many times were you praised for it like Michael Jordan? Or were you criticized like Hillary Clinton? As women, and definitely as Black women, we’re put in unwinnable positions where you’re bound to be criticized whatever you do.
If you’re going to be criticized we may as well do what is best for yourself and those you love. When you’re sick, take time to heal. When you’re tired, rest. Even superwoman takes off her cape to sleep.