Gender Does Not Define Ones Societal Role

Settling Down Doesn't Have To Be My Future Because Of My Gender

Women get to control their own path.

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I'm a fairly new member of adulthood and that subconsciously has me thinking about what the rest of my life holds. There is so much ahead of me, I know, but I am a planner. I like to have goals set out way ahead of time.

I've been paying extra close attention to the way the women in my life are operating and living their lives. Not to be just like them, but to see if they are happy with whatever role they've taken in society. It makes me wonder who is happy and who isn't, because above all things, I want happiness for my future. I've been working hard to have the kind of life I want for myself with no strings attached.

But while I'm watching, so are they. They see me make certain moves and they show their approval or lack of it. So many people have expectations of me. The role I would presumably take would be to finish college, get a career or not get a career because it wouldn't really matter anyway, and then definitely settle down with a man and create a great family. It is what so many people do and because I am a female, it would be normal for me to do so as well.

The more I think about it and the more I watch housewives do their thing, the more I realize that I am not cut out for that lifestyle.

I wasn't wired to let any man tell me what to do, how to live, serve him, or give him anything. When God created me, he added too much sass, drive and maybe a little narcissism. I put myself first way too often and rarely feel bad about it.

I'm not the type of person to happily take orders or clean up after anyone and I certainly wouldn't want anyone doing it for me.

I don't have anything negative to say about any women who have made it their mission to give a man a family, a home, or a happy life; It takes more patience and consideration than most jobs. I just could not see myself doing any of it. In fact, I would hate myself if I did.

I feel like I would be wasting my potential and in return, I would have to work too hard at what I don't want to do. It works for a lot, but I don't think it would for me.

I've lived my entire life watching men act superior and expecting something from the women in their lives. I grew up disgusted by the thought of being one of those women. I met every expectation, request, or favor from every uncle, cousin, and acquaintance, with an eye roll and some resentment. I hated being told what to do by guys I wasn't seriously close to. I hated feeling obligated and inferior because of my gender. I still hate all of it.

I dance to the beat of my own drum and I'm great at telling myself what to do. My logic has always been that I don't need any assistance with that. I don't owe the world-or one man living in it — anything because I am a woman. I pray I never eat these words and that if I do settle down, which I'm not against, I still have the same independence and drive I do right now.

If my mindset is the same in 30 years as it is right now, I'll be OK with that.

Cover Image Credit:

Lovianna Blackwell

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I Support Late-Term Abortions, That Doesn't Make Me A Baby-Hating Monster

A late-term abortion is a horrible, devastating and heartbreaking choice... but one I'm glad women have.

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If you think that late-term abortions are for mothers who get to 8.5 months and then randomly decide they no longer want to have a baby, then don't even read this article. This article is not to argue with ignorance. Read some unbiased articles, actually, think about it for two seconds and then realize that women who are due any day now aren't just going to terminate their pregnancies because it is "legal" now. (It is not.)

I've seen so many posts and comments and arguments, the crux of them being, "I can't imagine aborting my child after 24 weeks."

Well, guess what... The women this law will apply to probably can't imagine it, either.

Nearly all abortions occur in the first trimester of pregnancy (approximately 91.1%). This tells us what is (more than likely) a pretty obvious fact: That beyond the first trimester, most women are planning to keep their baby (or give him or her up for adoption). So you can imagine that even being presented with the option of termination would be heartbreaking.

Imagine this: You're pregnant and absolutely ecstatic to bring a child into the world. You go in for an appointment at 30 weeks. During the exam, your doctor is quiet. You are growing extremely anxious. They tell you that they have some bad news. Your daughter has a serious condition, one that will allow her to live less than a year. They can perform a c-section, she will be in the NICU for a long time, but even once you take her home, she has an extremely low chance of survival. Her life will be painful. Or, they can perform an abortion.

What do you choose? For some, they absolutely cannot fathom the idea of termination. They'd rather take a chance at life. And for some, they cannot even fathom the idea of watching their child live a painful, short life that will end in incredible heartbreak.

Both of these are traumatizing decisions. Your pregnancy and your hope for the future and your plans for the child you are so excited for have come crashing down. This is not a lightly made decision. And if you would choose to take your chances, pray for a miracle and get to hold your child in your arms, you should have every single right to.

But if you decide that the trauma of terminating your pregnancy without having to fall further in love with your child and watch him or her struggle every day and deal with the gutwrenching pain of losing them, you should have every single right to make that choice, too.

This is not cut and dry. This is something that changes from woman to woman, from family to family. But one thing stays the same: Learning that the life that you planned for your baby can no longer be as you desperately hoped is heartbreaking. It is a uniquely horrific feeling that, you're right, you can't imagine. No one can imagine it until they're living it. I write about it and I think about it and I have to assume that there is nothing in this world that can prepare you for it.

Posting and commenting that women who choose the path of late-term termination are monsters or killers or heartless is wrong.

Picture this: A pregnant woman and her husband, sitting in an exam room alone after learning devastating news about their pregnancy. They're holding one another, sobbing, thinking through their options. Trying to decide if ending their pregnancy, crushing the hopes and dreams they had for their little baby is the right choice, or continuing on and hoping for a miracle but knowing they should prepare for the heartbreak of their lives. Picture them, through tears, while holding an ultrasound photo to their chest, telling the doctor they choose to terminate. Picture them going home, sitting in the nursery they decorated, calling their parents and telling them their grandchild won't be arriving.

Are you picturing a couple of monsters? A couple of heartless killers?

Or do you see a family put into an impossible situation, trying to make an impossible decision for themselves and their unborn child? A family who threw a baby shower and decorated their nursery and argued over the perfect name for months. Who took progress photos of their baby bump, who talked about what sports their kid would play, who had to hear the devastating news that turned their world upside down?

I don't see a monster. I don't see a killer.

I see pain, I see hardship, I see love.

And I hope that you do, too.

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It's Time To Start Standing Up For Yourself

A lot of people let others walk all over them but it's time to start standing up for how you feel.

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Whenever you've got into a confrontation or fight or anything that even resembles an argument, someone always says be the bigger person. What does that really mean? To some people, it means completely ignoring the whole situation and everyone's emotions and that isn't fair. Or maybe to some people it means letting them scream at you and you apologizing and just taking the blame.

Being the bigger person shouldn't mean these things. It should mean making sure no one is treating you poorly or taking advantage of you. Now maybe don't take it so far to become mean or a bully because that's just awful behavior.

Standing up for yourself is so empowering. If someone close to you is hurting you or taking advantage or anything you don't like, just a simple conversation can keep it from escalating. If you have a friend calling you names, even if it is just a joke, you can say something and not be a buzzkill or jerk. You 100% should feel comfortable and confident no matter who you're with.

So many times in my life I've wanted to save a friendship or relationship so I just ignored or took what other people were doing to me. This even happened and it led to an abusive relationship where I felt stuck and didn't see an out. It was an extremely eye-opening experience that taught me to never let any hurt me.

To say this is easier than doing it. Start small, if someone says something hurtful towards you just ask them not to do it again. If that person continues to hurt you leave the room or space. You need to take control of your own life and write your own story.

Life is a lot better when you live it free of worries and pain.

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