Ladies In Keene is a group of women who are devoted to the cause of liberty. Without this knowledge one might expect that the group was open-ended to all females living in Keene, because many determine that “lady” is synonymous with “female.” In many contexts this may be the case, however I believe certain distinctions can be made between the two terms. For comparison’s sake, if a male is asked, “What does it mean to be a man?” the answer is frequently something along the lines of “being strong”, “being self-sufficient” or “doing what’s right.” Not all men act in this manner, but the underlying implications are maybe they should. Especially considering the connotations of the phrase, “Be a man,” which you often hear said to men who are acting weak, cowardly, or doing harm to those who can’t defend themselves.
Researching the history of “lady” does not do much to help my case. It has typically been used to describe women in higher social status, especially within government hierarchies. The term, “First Lady” is used to refer to the president’s wife even today. So why attempt to resurrect this word from it’s statist appeals? Well, in the same way that we don’t abandon the words “justice” and “freedom” even though government twists their meanings to justify it’s actions, language doesn’t need to evolve around government’s use of it. After all, there are more of “us” than there are of “them.” My hope is that the statist mentality will be left behind in future generations only to be read about in dusty, old history books. That said, I refuse to call Michele Obama a lady at all, let alone the “first lady.” The real ladies want nothing to do with the throne.
Here’s my take. A lady is more than just a female. A lady acts in a manner that reflects what she thinks is right. She’s the change she wants to see in the world. A lady doesn’t let authority figures control her, because she is the highest authority in her mind. She’s thoughtful, feeling, empathetic, and uses her lady-likeness to break down the illusions of dominance. Sweet like honey, but bitter when her self-ownership is questioned, she adapts to the way she is being treated. She is strong; she is confident; she is feminine. She is all these things, yet shows them in her own unique way. She is an individual unlike any other.