Women Without Men
Women struggle with this every day.
Oh, that such an awful way to start this off, because no men believe that women have it rough. Women don’t have to go to work if they don’t want to. Women don’t have to worry about hard-ons in public.
I’ve been struggling with writing all of this down. I want to let people that women feel like they are doing something wrong if they don’t have a man. But I think that men would laugh at this. I think men would say it’s not that bad.
I keep thinking that men will never understand this, no matter how hard I try to explain it to them.
I mean, how do men feel like they have to fit in? How do they feel like they’re less of a man if they aren’t wanted by a certain group? Is that as prevalent for men as it is for women?
Men can be bachelors late in their thirties, and it’s attributed to their desire to be free, their ability to not get tied down, while women are looked at as failures.
But how do I explain that to men?
I should ask around. I mean, do men feel like they have to fit into this image of masculinity? Do men feel like they have to try out for the football team, even if they don’t want to? And do they feel like a failure when they can’t just be themselves, when something else is expected of them?
Maybe I could explain it like this to men:
1. Think of the idea of being famous and liked only because you were the son of someone who was famous. Like, you know, the president’s son (think of Ron Reagan, for instance) or a movie star’s son, or even think of all the attention being placed on Princess Diana’s children now, even though they were princes, now they’re only getting a ton of attention now that she’s passed away.
2. Now think about being raised to gain fame or acceptance only because of who you happen to be related to, whether it be a movie star or nobility. That you don’t matter, that only the people you’re related to matter.
That if you aren’t related to someone with that kind of pull, you better marry someone with that kind of pull, or you’ll be nobody.
Or at least marry someone, because if you can’t even marry someone there’s no point of trying to succeed in any circles.
Well, could they take the leap and see that women have been taught that the only way they can become anything is to be attached to a man, the way that son would be attached to the movie star? And what kind of life is led trying to be attached to someone instead of trying to be the best yourself? And what kind of world is it that says you’re nothing unless you’re attached to someone else, that you’re not enough on your own?
So this is what I’m struggling with. How to even explain what the feeling is like to be a woman, expect to be attached to a man, to half the world. Trust me, they think you’re crazy.
Well, the thing is, yeah, it is crazy to feel that as a woman you have to be attached to someone like that. That being in something as destructive as an abusive relationship is better than being alone, because if you had to end the relationship everyone would think you weren’t a good woman. That you were a failure.
Obviously, however, women feel it. And have felt it. It’s evident in the records of domestic abuse. Of rape. And of marriages that have plodded along unhappily, because the woman in the relationship decided not to make waves. Do stick with it for the children’s sake.
It’s evident in the fact that older single women are called “old maids.” It’s evident in the fact that women try to catch a mate while men try to avoid the ball-and-chain. It’s evident when people refer to women going to college to get their “M.R.S.” degree, to find a man.
And if there are all of these factors telling women all of their lives that they need a man by their side, a man to take care of them, a man to make life easier for them, why wouldn’t they play that role? Women are read fairy tales where a damsel in distress is saved by her knight in shining armor. Women saw their father go off to work and their mother take care of them. Women got teased and called a tom boy for liking non-feminine things. Women even change their title, much less their name - from miss to misses - when they finally get to have to hold a man. Societal influences from day one nudge women into this role, to depend on men.
So then what? So then they’re abused. Physically beaten by a brutal mate. Or mentally abused, told they’re worthless, that they’ll never get any better.
And their choices are:
They can leave the man that they’ve been told all their lives they need, or
They can stick with what they have, because they think it’s better than nothing.
Does this explain why battered wives don’t leave their husbands?
Okay, I know I seem to be going on a lot of tangents here, but all of these things relate to each other. The point of this essay is that just as it’s silly and hard to imagine a man would HAVE to ride the coat tails of someone else in order to achieve anything in life, so should be the same for women. Women can succeed on their own, whether or not they happen to be in a relationship with a man or not.
But women have been taught not to think that way.
And when they do happen to stand up for themselves, they’re often ridiculed for it.
And it’s an uphill battle to overcome these influences, the teachings of society, of their family, of their mate.
But it can be done. A healthy mind, a desire to achieve, determination, these are the things that help you succeed in life.
Not in someone else. In yourself.
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