Fun fact: I love Eleanor Roosevelt. That was a lady ahead of her time. I would have voted for her for president in a heartbeat. Except she’s dead, and didn’t run for president (even as a zombie).
I still would have voted for zombie Eleanor Roosevelt. I even named my dog after her.
She was a smart, strong-willed lady, and I admire that. Seriously – go and google ‘Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes,’ I’ll wait here . . . . . .
Ok, I’m not good at waiting. She said stuff like this:
“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”
“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
“I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.”
“Light a candle instead of cursing the darkness.”
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa now Eleanor. Let’s check in on that last one.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” If that’s true, why do we have so many inferior-feeling people? Who on earth would consent to feeling ‘less-than.’
The reality is that we humans are all too susceptible to our fellow humans. We toss out sayings like “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” and in doing so subtly blame everyone who life has beaten down.
The fact of the matter is, if you are told you are inferior, or that you don’t matter, often enough – you will believe it. True, some people have a stronger fortitude, more resilience, against that message – but everyone has a limit. Anyone survivor of abuse (physical, sexual, psychological, emotional) could tell you the same. So many people with the same message, ‘I felt like I was nothing.’
We aren’t just talking about abuse here. Take a look at the media, and the messages sent to all of us globally. Beautiful, healthy women are told they are inferior if they dare to wear larger than a size 4. Even models will talk about hating their bodies, because all they hear about is how this part or that part isn’t quite right.
People of color, the LGBTQ population, persons with disabilities, other minorities have dealt with this for decades. Being ‘less than.’ Inferior.
We do it – all the time. We fat shame, we mom shame, we glamorize toxic masculinity. We are constantly firing our ‘inferiority gun.’
So, yes, you can be made to feel inferior – and it sure as hell isn’t because you consented.
Here’s the good news. You aren’t. Please listen. Please repeat. You. Are. Not. Inferior.
And you are NOT to blame for feeling like you were.
So, Eleanor Roosevelt, I love you but you had this one wrong. Its time for a new version.
‘Most of us know what it means to feel inferior. We must learn to see one another, value one another, and celebrate the beauty of one another. We must reach out to every ‘inferior’ person and show them love. The only way we rise is together.’ – Kim Burlage