In our society, it is often easy to find women who have demised and even demeaned the true meaning of being feminine. They tend to believe that being of the female race is an exact equivalent of being helpless and even sometimes pathetic. I encountered such a situation the other day when a girl called me up to say, in tears, that she can’t work in an office anymore. Her justification was that she comes from a good family and her boss shouts at her sometimes. Similarly, and not so long ago, another girl I know demanded that a guy from her office stops a cab for her because she is scared of doing it on her own, noting it was 6 pm and not that late, and let’s not forget the all so common scenario where you find a girl screaming because she can’t kill something as tiny as a cockroach herself.
These women, regardless of their age, are often the ones making statements that invite society to believe that females are less capable of hardships than males. In open settings you would find any of these women voluntarily making declarations like these; “I’m a girl, I can’t stand it if someone shouts at me”, or “I’m a girl I can’t work too hard , and I can’t work long hours”, or “I’m a girl, I need someone to care about me” , or “I’m a girl I can’t go out alone” and “I’m a girl I need a man to protect me and to make me feel like I’m a female” , now about this last statement I have to clarify that I am all for a girl saying “I want to care about someone”, or “I want someone to share my life”, “I want to fall in love”, or even “I would like to be in a relationship” these are very legitimate desires that both men and women are entitled to, but wouldn’t you agree that this desire for partnership, companionship, or even love sounds significantly less pathetic than the wish coming from the lady saying “I need a guy to take care of me” where here she just sounds too dependent .
It is because of these girls that some people mistake feminists for people who are tough, or for women who even try to copy men. Conversely, these same girls make society believe that any girl caring about her appearance is a pathetic helpless woman who just needs a guy to protect her.
Newsflash everyone, a believer in women’s rights can also be comfortable with her feminine side. She can be someone who is strong, driven and yet not afraid to be a female. She doesn’t have to prove she is strong by sporting an appearance of sloppiness.
She can be someone who really understands that women and men are different and yet within these differences they are both entitled to the same level of respect, significance, and understanding in society. She can still be someone who enjoys getting her hair done, her nails done, and who wants to look nice not necessarily to attack men, but because she feels better about herself by doing these things. After all, she is a lady and she wants to feel like one, just like men feel better about themselves when they shower in the morning and shave. She might diet not because she is worried about what people will think of her, but because she is worried about what she and only she thinks of herself, or better yet strictly for health purposes.
So, not every feminist, or let’s say believer in gender equality is a believer in the need for women to go out and do construction work, and similarly not every woman needs to prove her abilities by forgetting to brush her hair in the morning.
So, why is it that many of us seem to pre-judge a girl who is truly feminine as being delicate, helpless, and sometimes stupid? Could it be because society has pre-conditioned us to believe so? Couldn’t this be our problem? After all, when we raise generation after generation of girls who learn at home that they should serve men, get married, have kids, and please the husband by appearing sexy, pretty, and delicate, then yes the man and securing the man becomes their main priority in life. Similarly , when a girl at a young age learns that she should tell her brother or father to defend her from the bully at school or that her father should call up the parent of the boy who pulled her hair in the playground, then yes pathetic seems to be part of the deal. She learns that she needs the man to deal with her problems for her.
When we forget to tell these girls that the husband should please them too, he needs to understand them too, and appreciate them too, because any successful relationship is one that is based on give and take, then sure we raise girls who are trained to please the husband and care for the kids, and better yet let lose herself in process, because they grew up fragile and they need protection and without a man they don’t have it .
At an early age in their lives, these same girls learn that they are the ones destined to be in the kitchen making coffee for their brothers, breakfast for their dads, and dinner for their male cousins when they visit because they are girls and this is what they should do.
Now, this is all fair and good as long as these same girls don’t forget that they too need to have a brain of their own, a thought of their own, and an opinion. They can look nice, be nice, behave like ladies, and yet they can still get an education, get a job, be good at it, and work on their own skills for themselves and not as a pastime until prince charming comes and yanks them into a life of matrimony. In this day and age, marriage as a form of dependence is a terrible lesson to be teaching our girls.
Yet, It is ok to teach girls to want companionship and partnerships because we are all human beings , but if we are teaching them to need men for validation, then this is awful. This is where statements like “My second half”, or “My better half” should be deleted from the dictionary, because the term “half” gives the impression that the woman is not a full human being until she has a man to define her. wouldn’t the term “Soul Mate” be so much better, because it really defines what the relationship should be, i.e one where two people equally need each other and where no one is incomplete without the other, yet maybe and by choice emotionally more satisfied with.
So this pathetic image association with women is one that is awful to sport today, because the harsh reality is that now more than ever before the time has come for women to be smart, driven , and capable of steering their own ship of life. Life has no space for the “I’m a girl, I can’t make it on my own persona”. Now is the time where a woman must work on her career first and then welcome a guy into their lives when and if he ever does come, and I say if because there is a 50/50 chance that he might never come.
Let’s face it, with the number of 30-something single women in our society rising, and the time has come for us to re-think the meaning of being feminine, because let’s face it, we will have to be able to make it on our own. And, yes the helpless I am girl I can’t do things on my own persona really needs to be shaken out of our systems. Sure, we are a girls, we can be girls, enjoy it, be everything a female is. We, don’t need to switch genders to live in this world as women. And, yes we don’t need to prove our abilities by burping in public, using swearwords, or going into fist fights , or acting like one of the guys either. While we embrace being a female, we can also embrace being independent thinking individuals , we really shouldn’t be moving through life waiting for the prince to save us.
Better yet, today, the princes may need us to save them, and help them. After all, times are tough and we must be able to do that.
So really feminine is not an equivalent of stupid, feminist is not an equivalent of tough, and single is not the equivalent of waiting, women need to be women, but if they are hoping for any respect in this world, they need to use their brains too.
In closing I ask all the girls out there , sporting the pathetic helpless women character, if they would respect a man saying that he needs protection or he can’t do anything on his own? Would they respect a guy who is crying because his boss shouted at him, or a guy quitting his job because he works long hours? Would they respect a guy who panics because he had to get a cab late at night on his own?, or a guy saying he is afraid of sitting at home by himself? Dear girls, if you are answering “No” to any of these questions then think why should anyone respect you for doing the same? Stop giving us females who are embracing being females a bad name. Get over it, today the world needs you to grow up, toughen up, and think, but do it while being real women!