The Reality of Today’s Woman
Women have their own opinions, beliefs and choices. They even have rights, apparently. Since the women’s lib movement in the 60′s, women have gone from an oppressed and objectified afterthought, to slightly less than sub-human, to an accepted part of society (more or less). Now, we sort of blend into the background. Yeah, we have the choice, the rights, and the brains, but we don’t use them. Fifty years of liberation and women want to use that to “choose” to not have any personality or passions after getting married or popping out a kid.
We could argue that women have barely even made progress, that we still make less money than men, that we still are over-represented in many fields (teacher, nurse, secretary–oops, administrative assistant) and under-represented in others (coaching, construction, CEO). We could point out that there are still sexist undertones in the gender roles of movies and TV shows and that Disney and Nickelodeon are sending the wrong message to kids.
But the real problem here is women themselves.
We don’t respect ourselves enough as a collective womanhood. We do not make good choices for ourselves. We do not act like a “species”, if you will, who has their own opinions, their own rights, and their own choices.
Why Women Don’t Live Up to Their Potential
Growing up without one of your parents around can definitely take a toll on a young girl. It will make her insecure, constantly longing for the affections of a partner and her peers. It will make her want to hide behind makeup and glamorous clothing, try risky things, and generally act out for attention. This is definitely even more true for girls who are abuse or neglect victims, sexual or otherwise. Other things in young life can help shape a future of destruction, such as constant rejection by peers, traumatic events, such as death or divorce, and even just being a generally more sensitive person can cause a girl to become insecure and needy in adulthood.
These insecurities often lead us women to behave like morons. Once we hit 18, we are all over the club scene. Mini-skirts, stilettos, plastered-on cake face. Getting drunk, having sex, smoking, driving recklessly (and possibly impaired), hanging with the wrong crowd–our lives briefly mean nothing as we pass out anywhere, throw up on anyone, dance on anything, and kiss anybody. Living every weekend like you’re part of Motley Crue is not the way to show that you’re a confident, smart, ambitious and focused young woman. When you’re insecure and seeking the validation of others, you make poor choices. You do stupid things and generally act much more moronic than the woman you’re capable of being.
Empowering Women Everywhere — Taking Action
The supermodels in magazines, a critical family member, our own female peers, and the media definitely play their role in making us women feel like shit. It’s a hit to our self-confidence every time we’re faced with someone who is supposedly prettier, smarter, taller, thinner, more tan, whatever–especially if someone makes a snide remark about your outfit or your appearance in any way and dares to compare you to some type of standard. It’s enough to make a girl cry her eyes out and go throw up her pizza hut lunch. But don’t push all the blame off on the world just yet. We need to realize, as a group of women, that we are responsible for our actions and our reactions. Someone may have put you down, but you don’t have to stay there. Realizing our own self-worth and our own beauty, strengths, and capabilities is the first step toward fixing the problem. The next step is fixing what you don’t like.
For instance, I complain about not being at my pre-baby weight. Well, I eat pizza and cake and don’t exercise so why would I expect to be at my pre-baby weight? I am going to take control of the situation by starting my yoga DVDs or going on walks with my son. Another issue is confidence in my general appearance right now. Simple solution: oil-control foundation, cheap eyeliner, and mascara. My wardrobe is looking worn-out and outdated, as well, so I am buying a piece or two of apparel every few weeks. Take the steps to make yourself feel better; don’t depend on anyone else to give that to you!
More Jumpstarting for the Complacent Female
We women need to understand how to develop our personalities and opinions. This goes beyond just developing the ability to talk at parties or giving your thoughts on the latest war or American Idol episode. It’s about your hobbies, your passions, your goals. What do you want to be defined by? Who are you? What are you good at? Hanging out with friends and doing what they want because you want to be liked and have fun is absolutely and completely fine, but letting it become you is not. If you want to be a massage therapist or a teacher, keep your ass in school. If you want to be a singer, work on your vocals and song-writing abilities. If you want to work at McDonald’s for 24 years, then keep smoking pot and drinking every night and living with your mom. This generally goes for everyone, but girls really get caught up in peer-pressure and boyfriends and tend to follow the crowd, ending up wherever they land instead of where they truly want to go. My advice is to pick up a camera and become an amateur photographer; sign up for a blog on Blogger; become a mentor for younger kids; start getting arty with paint or pencil. Do anything and everything to stimulate your mind and your interests–and when you find something, don’t let go.
Don’t be every woman, find out who you really are, and be her instead.