For anyone who’s frustrated, frightened or furious in light of recent events, there’s much inspiration to be had from Margaret Cho – a powerhouse of courage, strength and conviction, and an Enneagram Eight.
Type Eight is the challenger, the maverick, the rock. Eights are aggressive, independent and have no patience for bullshit. It’s a type more often associated with masculinity, although a woman is just as likely to be this type as a man is.
Patriarchal socialization and cultural stereotypes have steered many women away from their boundary-setting, strength-displaying energies.
Not Margaret Cho. She’s tough. She knows it.
In her 2005 book I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight, she describes the hate that comes her way online on a regular basis. And she likes it, because “if all you have to fight me with is prejudice then I’ve already won the battle, and I’m eventually going to win this war.”
And, like an Eight, she’s unimpressed with the cowardice that online anonymity allows:
“I want to hear what you have to say, but before you have your say, look me in the eye and tell me your name, what your mother called you when you were little, what you do for a living, if you are married, who your children are, if you are truly happy in this life and what your family is like, then, word for word, repeat the emails that you have written to this figurehead in cyberspace that you don’t consider a human being. I also want you to hold my hands when you do it. You can say all the things that you have already told me I am – shall I remind you? Chink, dyke, hole, whore, pig fucker; telling me to go back to where I came from, even though I am an American and was born here; fat, ugly, et al.”
Eights exude body energy. Look me in the eye. Breathe. Stand your ground. Go ahead and rip into me. I can take it. I’m that tough. Are you?
Her strength and power are a huge part of her appeal. She cultivates a similar strength in her fans:
“Fans of my work are not the nicest people in the world. If you’re into me, you’ve been through it. And if you don’t know what being through it means, then you just don’t know me yet. The great fan base I have built up over many years in the business comes to see me with a lot of anticipation, and they have a lot invested in what I might have to say. And they can fucking fight. Queens do not play. They will fucking kill you. Lesbians know how to throw a punch that will leave a very large bruise, and they aren’t opposed to kicking men right in the balls. The underrepresented, unvoiced, ignored part of our population, the great many people who make up the Cho Army, are something you are unaware of, and they’re pretty much the gang not to fuck with. We are the baddest motherfuckers on the block.”
Not everyone identifies as an Eight. But each of us is, deep down, all nine Enneagram types. We spend more time with one type’s energy and strategies than the others. But if we try, we can find any type’s energy inside us. Tuning in to our Eight-ness can give us the boost we need.
If the patriarchy’s got you down, as abusive assholes get acquitted, as you get one reminder after another that the system is stacked against you – do yourself a favour and give yourself a big strong dose of Cho. Read her books. Watch her stand-up specials. Listen to her albums. She’ll jumpstart the Eight in you. This world can be tough – especially for women. When it’s trying to mess with you, you have the right to kick it in the balls.