Like a hotcake or a smoldering, smoking gun; as if keeping it would incriminate them somehow; as if it were a dirty, heavy thing, as if someone else, surely, should take it.
From the time they are little girls, women are taught and then maybe they just decide to drop their personal, political, business and sexual power as though they couldn't possibly manage it, let alone brandish it, nevermind wield it wisely, maybe change their lives, their workplace, their world?
In an article I wrote about women learning early on as young girls they wouldn't have too many friends if they were perceived as conceited or self interested, women play submissive with each other in order to achieve a certain "nice" status with one another and, later, with men and finally, at work.
Where this ends up is as different as each woman's wardrobe but, often, it comes to no good.
We work hard and long hours, sometimes bitter and growing more angry as the days unfold. We self medicate with alcohol and food, sex and romance novels, giggling our way through our powerlessness, thinking we don't need it, or want any at all.
Then, once in awhile, we sense a glimpse of something more; a powerhouse of a woman comes along in the media, in the news, on Oprah, or we watch Oprah herself and shake our heads in amazement... or we make a new friend who seems, well, so unafraid...
We wonder at our lives, how they've come to the place they're at. We struggle with our own demons; how do we remain true to ourselves and give all that is expected of us, all that we want to give to our employers, our families, our lovers? Juggling these things is more than time management, it's anger management, it's energy management, it's power management.
The power to take control of your life without guilt, without being on a power "trip", without hurting people.
Like a long, thick lock of hair, grasped firmly in your hand, waiting to be shaped into its true form.
Aimee Boyle is a freelance writer who contributes weekly to Empowher online.