I’ve been called an Amazon all my hearty years on this planet.
With diffidence, I never embraced it. I’d take it with a disparaged smile.
I was 5-foot-11 in eighth grade. In high school, I sprouted 2 more inches to my present-day 6-foot-1. Basketball and volleyball coaches would blitz me between classes to assault me with various ball bribery. (At two separate high schools, no less.) I failed at volleyball, so I ended up playing hoops all the way to earning a couple scholarships. I didn’t take any, to my coach’s utmost dismay, but this broad wanted to college, not to sport. Who has time to be active when the cheap beer flows like trivial gen-ed credits?
As a self-conscious woman over the years, I’d duck and slouch in photos. I’d see stares and hear gossip — yes, I know what “muy alto” means.
I’d often angrily turn to the naysayers and mutter, “I’m 6’1, dick.”
As I’ve grown and matured (matured, she claims), I’ve finally positively embraced sharing a title with the wonderful women warriors.
Greek mythology taught us that men could not reside in Amazon country. Once a year, the Amazons would hit up the neighboring tribe and bang the men to keep their race from dying out. Girls were kept, raised and trained by their mothers, and if a little dude was born, he was sent back to the Amazons’ one-night stand.
One myth even suggests that Amazons would take male slaves and use them for sex. (Legend also has it that Amazons invented the calvary. Cool.)
Then there’s the women suffragettes of the early-20th century who advocated for women’s right to vote — they were called Amazons in the media. And in the Iliad, Amazons were referred to as Antianeirai — or, “those who fight like men.”
Finally, there’s Wonder Woman. Sure, she may be a fictional fighter in a gold lamé corset and star-spangled skivvies, but that Amazon is one bad ass mother. Her creator, a psychologist and champion for women’s rights, Dr. William Moulton Marston, is quoted as saying in 1943: “Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.” (Wonder Woman for president. Please, for the love of gods.)
So if being called an Amazon means I’m an independent, strong, beautiful, statuesque warrior for my baby girl, Juliette, then call me an Amazon. And hopefully one day, my matriarchal inner strength will triumph over the negativity of my damn self-consciousness.
And if not, well, at least I’m as intimidating as hell. So try to mess with me.