A message to all men: don’t be intimidated.

Guys… come on, take a seat. Let’s have a one to one.

I once asked my boyfriend why people feel intimidated by me. You know what he said? Because you’re not afraid to speak your mind.

You know that emoji with its eyes wide open in shock and red cheeks – yeah, my reaction exactly.

Hopefully in your daily life you encounter strong women. Women with a strong core – both literally and metaphorically speaking. So, today, I come to you with one simple, tiny request: please don’t be intimated by them.

It so happens that if I do discuss my mental and physical strength with some men, I usually get the following reaction: immediate comparison, followed by a verbal display – which might as well be a PowerPoint presentation – of every single instance where this person has proven how macho they are, followed by an end to a conversation where all I’ve said was: “Man, I was on fire yesterday during Muay Thai training!”

Now, I don’t care what your age, colour, social class etc. are, we all have unconscious bias – P.S. we’re going to talk about this in upcoming posts, keep an eye out! Therefore, prejudice is a feeling that will undoubtedly creep up on every single one of us, at some point. Chances are that maybe before you’ve even had the time to acknowledge it, when a woman expresses her strength, your first reaction is to dismiss her – or worse, vehemently try to disprove her statement.

Guys, and girls likewise, next time you encounter a strong girl/woman… DON’T. GET. INTIMIDATED. Please put your insecurities aside – we all have insecurities, however small, you are no exception – and rejoice! Learn something from her. TRUST ME,  YOU CAN LEARN A FEW THINGS FROM HER.

You have NO IDEA how confident a girl/woman has to be, how many inner battles she has to have won in order to be openly proud of her strength. We are not “meant” to be strong, remember? We’re meant to be pretty, princess-y, cute.

Plus, it’s just not a good look, guys! Whenever I voice my self-admiration – and quite often shock – at how well I might have done in training and get the above mentioned reaction – comparison, PowerPoint presentation, end of discussion – I can’t help but smile and think to myself: how insecure you must be, you poor, poor thing. I was NOT initiating a competition.

That’s what I want you to know. It is what I need you to understand.

That conversation, where a girl/woman praises herself – that is NOT her initiating a competition! That is the ONLY time in your daily life when you have to realise that you are talking to a female. That’s it. That’s the only time. Because we, unlike probably a majority of your guy mates, are not trying to compete with you. We are not initiating a verbal exercise of fencing, we ain’t in it to win sh*&.

We are just PROUD of ourselves. So darn proud that we want to share it with the world because if we don’t… If we don’t, then that incredible feeling might bottle up and burst through our ears in the form of steam. We feel like Popeye on some spinach, okay! So, please, join in the fun!

Apparently this is not common knowledge – or common sense – so I will just put it out there: it is not a sign of weakness to acknowledge a woman’s superiority in terms of strength. Guys. If she is stronger than you, it does not mean you are weak. No. It just means that you have found a strong woman. AGAIN – not a competition!

Please embrace her strength of character – and her biceps – and be glad that you have found someone who will most definitely push you. You want the best version of yourself, right? This is how you get it.

What no one gets to do is assume that they are superior and begin to “prove” their “superiority” – even where it is nonexistent – whenever a woman excels in what might be a male dominated field… So, basically pretty much every field. Until we figure out a way to avoid biases, can we please just… Cut that crappucino.

I am not going to ask you to trust me – although, you should – but I will ask you to believe me when I say write this: being on board of the “celebrating a woman’s strength” bandwagon makes a guy REALLY hot. So, you should do it because it empowers us, it makes society a better place, it drives equality and equity and it makes PEOPLE HAPPY, but I mean… whatever gets you on board, I’m cool with it!

Yours truly

Ilinca xo

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