Written by Tabby Biddle
My husband is a smart guy. He is a writer, director, producer, and online media strategy wizard. He is a musician, photographer, yogi, chef, and fix-things-when-they-break master. In a conversation with him the other morning, he said to me: “You’re as smart I am.” I paused to take this in. Did he just tell me that I’m as smart as him?
Now, I know, I know. The feminists, or frankly, all women reading this might be offended. You might think: Of course you are as smart as him. Why would he say this?
Let me reveal to you that hearing those words, “You’re as smart as I am,” made me delighted, even euphoric.
You see, I know I am smart. But I’ve never really had anyone call me “smart,” and especially never a man. Even with my almost straight-A’s report cards in middle school, high school and college, I can’t remember anyone ever calling me smart. I think it was more like, “She’s a very good student.” So that’s what I considered myself, a very good student.
Can anyone relate?
Later that day, I went out with a girlfriend of mine and I told her about my euphoric moment in the morning with my husband. She kind of shrugged, and said, “Of course you are smart. In fact, you are more than smart. You have wisdom.”
Aha. I knew what she was talking about. This was a kind of smart that I related to. This is a kind of smart that lies within my body, and lies within my soul. This is a kind of smart that feels unique to me. This is a kind of smart that helps me see what someone needs to take them the next step further in their life. This is the kind of smart that allows me to “see” things by feeling them first in my body. This is a feminine wisdom smart.
So I started to wonder how many other women are sitting on top of their inner wisdom smarts because they don’t want to appear “not smart.”
It dawned on me that in order to finally admit that I am the feminine wisdom kind of “smart” and to give that kind of smart value, I needed someone I love to see me and say to me “You are smart,” to give up the un-ending race of trying to prove myself in the traditional paradigm.
So is this to say that I am not the traditional book smart that our culture prizes? No. I’m that kind of smart too.
Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed., is a writer, editor, and writing coach dedicated to amplifying the voices of women and girls. She is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post on issues affecting women and girls, and works with women on writing projects to help them articulate their message, increase their visibility, and grow their influence. Ms. Biddle’s work has been featured by the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, NPR, Current TV and other online media. She earned her Master’s degree in Education from Bank Street College and her undergraduate in Political Science from Colby College. She lives in Santa Monica, CA with her husband.