There's a growing trend in pop culture that rubs me worse than sandpaper on a carpet burn: this ridiculous trend of calling women — all women — "queens."
Recently, a friend on Instagram posted a picture of actress Angela Bassett as Ramonda in the movie Black Panther. She captioned the photo:
"All women are queens. We deserve and demand the respect and reverence that is due to any royal woman. We are powerful, we roar, we invent, we nurture...we are QUEENS."
It took everything inside of me to not lay into her in the comment section.
Just to be clear, I'm not disparaging my own gender. There are and have been amazing women throughout history.
But all women are not queens just as all men are not kings — not in the monarchal or even symbolic sense.
We have female pop stars who young girls idolize, and yet they project unwholesome lifestyles full of alcohol, sex, and destructive behavior.
And I guess this friend of mine who thinks "all women are queens" is aware of the current ongoing trial of Orlando shooter Omar Mateen's wife, Noor Salman, who is accused of aiding and abetting her husband's allegiance to Islam that led to the massacre of 49 people.
And if all women are queens, she must be including all women in history, like Queen Mary, appropriately nicknamed "Bloody Mary," who executed prominent Protestants in her attempt to re-establish Catholicism in England
Or for a more recent example, Myra Hindley who, along with her husband, kidnapped, raped, tortured and murdered three children under the age of twelve, and two teenagers.
Or what about Ilse Koch, wife of Karl Koch, who commanded the concentration camps during the Second World War? Famous for her cruelty towards prisoners, she was one of the first Nazis, male or female, tried for war crimes by the U.S. military, and has been called "the bitch of Buchenwald."
Yes, women, as members of the human race, are incredible beings. Human life is created inside of us. But we aren't queens.
What we do in life can make us exceptional, but only with hard work, talent, tenacity, kindness and compassion.
If anyone deserves the symbolic term of "queen," I would submit Irena Sendler (who saved Jews during the Holocaust,) Harriet Tubman, Linda Brown (of Brown v. the Board of Education,) Margaret Thatcher, and Rosalind Franklin (who discovered DNA in conjunction with Francis Crick and James Watson.)
These women, though no crowns rest on their heads, are leaders among their kingdoms.