Have you seen those "Nasty Woman" shirts that became popular during the election? While the original remark was intended as a negative comment against a woman who dared to enter the world of "good old boys" and fight for what she believed in, many women have taken up the phrase as a badge of honor.
Why is it that strong women who display some of the same characteristics that are admired in male leadership are considered "nasty" when they are seen in a woman? Throughout time, women have been expected to take a subordinate role to men. They were considered too emotional or too weak minded to understand the complexities of the male world. Of course, women today consider this view of a woman's role outdated and insulting.
In the not too distant past, single women were expected to find a husband to provide for them as quickly as possible. In return, the woman's role was to manage the household and raise the children. I can still remember being told as a young wife who dared to express a political opinion, that "women should stick to their sewing circles!" I was also told that the only reason a woman needed to go to college was to find a husband. God help us if we suddenly became single mothers! If our husbands had not left us financially solvent, too bad! We were expected to quickly find another man or manage on our own - quietly, without making our plight ruffle the feathers of the existing norms.
At first, I tried to comply...to fit the role that was expected of me. But that shoe didn't fit. Eventually, I rebelled against a role I found stifling and demeaning...I became a "nasty woman."
In our defense, I don't think any of us really enjoy being nasty. We felt forced into the role in order to make our voices heard. So it is not without a certain sense of pride that we wear the badge of "nasty women." We have worked hard to get to this point. We are not going to give it up without a fight.
In The Steel Canyon Legacy, Tessa Kingsley is faced with the same dilemma. Can she find a balance between the life that is expected of her and the life she expects of herself?
Wanda DeHaven Pyle is the author of Windborne and the Legacy Trilogy. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter at
Order her books at http://amazon.com/author/wandapyle