Something has been bugging me for a couple of weeks now. Not only do the attacks against women just add to everything, but now just something extra makes things worse. Recently when someone said, “I don’t know if I could commit to someone who might be dead before they are fifty” the words didn’t settle in till later. Now they are sinking deep into my thoughts, and I just can’t deal with it.
Growing up as a girl, we are taught to be a certain way from the beginning. We are taught to aspire for marriages, pretty dresses, and prince charming (Watch Disney for references.) We really do expect fairy tales because what girls watch grind that idea into our brains. We have dress up wedding dresses, baby dolls, and while all of this is very natural at the same time we need to make sure that with these little fairy tales we are teaching the right messages. Right now we are teaching young girls to put all their hopes in relationships, marriages, and men. That success is defined by the man that we “obtain”, the beautiful middle of the woods engagement photos we take, the number of children we give birth to, the every month photography that is done of them, and the chevron decorated house we up keep. Success is not the achievement of attempting to be something like a Paramedic, speaking for what is right, doing something for you, or waiting to progress through things in life.
As a woman, daily, I have failed. As the gender I had no choice in, I have failed at the expectations set out for me that I do not choose either. I have to constantly defend my “singleness” at only twenty-four. In my early twenties that seems to be the ice breaker. “Are you seeing anyone? Are you dating? Is there anyone serious?” Why is this the major question to ask me? I have failed because I’m not married. I have failed because I find comfort in my cat more than I do men. I have failed because my weekends are filled with smoking, old movies, and writing instead of drinking and dates.
As a woman, I have failed. I have failed because I cannot have children. I physically cannot carry the children that I CAN in fact get pregnant with. As a woman, who needs the freedom to be able to choose abortion in the future to possibly save my life, I am told I am a murderer, liberal dumbass, slut, whore, baby killer and so on. Because knowing I can’t have my own children doesn’t hurt enough, your “pro-life” words help so much.
As I woman, I have failed. My lungs and heart are trying to kill me. My dad, mother, and I shell out a ridiculous amount of money for medication that barely keeps me going, and destroys other parts of my body. We spend thousands of dollars on gas money to get me to expensive doctor appointments every couple of months. I have failed because I am a sick person with a hefty price tag attached that no one wants to pick up. Meanwhile, people simply ignore it, and say “life isn’t fair.” Those hurtful and empty words just don’t cut it anymore.
I don’t mind being different from main stream people; I like that my apartment has no chevron in it, and I love falling asleep at night not worrying about my “relationship.” I’m fine with it, until I am reminded daily by outsiders how being different in two thousand fifeteen is still not accepted, and how in a way the “expectations” of women’s roles have not changed. I am disappointed in others views, and in turn I end up disappointed in myself. Why should I be taught to hate myself because I am not the every day woman?
People are going to call me lots of things, and it all matters on what I answer to. I get that. But how comfortable people are at making others feel so different is disturbing.