“If you have yet to be called an incorrigible, defiant woman, don't worry, there is still time." Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Let them call you incorrigible. Let them call you defiant.
Don't let them talk you out of being angry, of demanding justice, of speaking truth to power.
They will call you angry, as if it were a curse word. As if it proves you can't be trusted. As if it were some kind of magic that makes what you have to say irrational.
They will call you emotional—as if emotions were not part of a healthy human experience, the opposite of logic, rather than it's necessary companion. As if you were supposed to accept inequity cold.
They will call you combative, as if you weren't made for a fight, as if it were wrong to challenge iniquitous structures, as if you were supposed to smile upon receiving crumbs from the table.
They will tell you to calm down and be quiet, as if your silence would not be an act of complicity in your own dehumanization and the dehumanization of countless others.
Please don't misunderstand—you will need to be kind. You will need to be strategic. You will need to walk and speak with integrity. Don't go for the cheap shots, tempting though they may be, or use the same tired weapons that have been unfairly wielded against you.
Use your words and actions to point to that better way, the way of inclusion and shalom, of justice and wholeness. You will not bring about a better future by using the same tools that built this prison of who is in and who is out in the first place.
As Herbert McCabe says, your business is to "remember" the future, and to mysteriously to make the future really present.
But don't for one moment believe that because you're a woman, you must sacrifice passion or conviction in order to be heard, or that you must be quiet and small and relentlessly pleasant in order to fit someone else's definition of ladylike.
You get to cause a fuss.
You get to make a scene.
You get to cry and sing and shout until your throat catches fire.
Prophesy the better way, sister, calling dead things to life, and that which is not as though it were.
Cry out in the wilderness. Make noise in the city streets. Go where he tells you to go, and say what he tells you to say. He has touched your mouth, and you are ready to uproot and tear down, and then to build and plant.
They will find a thousand different ways to call you an incorrigible, defiant woman. Were your brothers to do the same things, they would call them revolutionaries.
It does not matter.
This is your time and your task and you could no sooner keep his words shut up in your bones than control the tides.
Do not worry. There is still time.