How To Be A Strong, Independent Man

How To Be A Strong, Independent Man

Women, you oppress yourself through your own language.
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How strange does that sound? A strong, independent man.

How normal does this sound? A strong, independent woman.

You will never meet a man, hear of his career and successes, learn he is single and think, “Damn! What a strong man who is providing for himself. And he’s doing it all alone, he’s so independent. What an inspiration! You do you, boo!”

But if this situation is reversed to a woman, those thoughts are very easy to come into our minds.

The answer for this “phenomenon” is simple, in the rigid categories that make up our society, women are seen as lesser than men. Women aren’t seen as independent as often as men are. Men are expected to be independent and strong. This is not groundbreaking news, everybody knows this fact of life. This limits men as much as it limits women.

Masculinity is an idea created by our society, for men to be seen as the providers, the strong ones, the brave ones, the rough and tough ones. For femininity, women must be nurturing and take care of the home and they must, most importantly, find a man to marry who will provide her with a great abundance of disgusting, snotty children who she must slave over and it’s her husband’s duty to bring home all of the bacon.

I like to think we live in a progressive country where most of this is changing or being worked on.

Because these definitions of “masculine” and “feminine” and the roles of men versus women in life are so intense and socialized throughout our lives, many times the “oppression” of women or the undervaluing of women isn’t even noticed.

We unconsciously support these ideas of masculinity and femininity. No woman wants to be forced to live a cookie cutter life, but our own language limits us and degrades ourselves.

“Just” and “sorry” are words which women use too often and they limit us.

I personally discovered this trait in myself first before realizing it was a widespread issue.

Sometimes people get upset, with themselves or others, or in my case, with a significant other. There were serious issues and when attempting to confront them and be open with my own personal feelings, the word “just” would be the first thing to come out of my mouth. It was almost like I needed and wanted to downplay my own legitimate emotions to be sensitive to my significant other.

After realizing this, I found through various researchers and articles that this isn’t an issue with myself. It’s something women have been taught.

By saying, “It’s just that, you do this and it makes me feel this way,” my emotions aren’t being received in full as they should be. Following the “just,” “sorry” is often in the same sentence.

I know I’m not the only woman to do this either. Too many women are downplaying their emotions and their human rights to feel by using these two little words far too often. It begins with small things like somebody bumping into you and you apologizing instead, then it grows to apologizing for feeling a completely natural way.

Take a hold of your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings, your wants and continue with them boldy. In a way any man can.

These two words socialize those around us by showing them that women must feel completely irrationally if they must apologize for it often. It shows women must be in the way or a burden if they have to apologize for something that is not their fault.

Things like our language are things we don’t often question. Seeing a woman as independent is great, but it makes you think twice why we can’t describe men as so. Apologizing is polite, but it makes you question why women must be so much more polite.

It’s the smallest, easiest change. Apologize less. Be yourself, completely unapologetically. You’ll be surprised how empowered you feel.

Cover Image Credit: Tracy Moore

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Scriptures:

Philippians 4:13

Isaiah 40:29

Psalm 119:28

Ephesians 6:10

Isaiah 40:31

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Psalm 46:1

Psalm 22:19

Psalm 28:7-8

Psalm 118:14

Isaiah 12:2

Isaiah 33:2

Isaiah 40:29-30

Isaiah 41:10

Exodus 15:2

Psalm 18:32-34

Prayer:

Lord, I'm weary. My energy is sagging, and my motivation is lagging. I am so in need of you. I need your strength and fresh touch to get back on track again. Your word says the joy of the Lord is my strength. I need your joy to replace all the bone-tired parts of my mind, body, and soul. The pressures of life sometimes corner me. Lord help me not to quit and to keep running towards you faithfully. Renew my strength, Lord. Fill me with your power and keep my eyes on you.

-Amen

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Marco Rubio, Do Your Fucking Job And Stop Letting Kids Get Slaughtered

Marco Rubio basically got a standing O for showing up to a test he bombed, because that's where America is right now, I guess.
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It has been a week and a half since the Parkland Shooting, five months since Las Vegas, a year and a half since Pulse, six years since Sandy Hook and almost nineteen years since Columbine. Yet we are still no closer to effective gun control.

Nineteen-year-olds affiliated with white supremacist groups are still able to buy AR-15s without a single red flag going up. Children are still dying in mass shootings. Politicians are still being bought out by the NRA and refusing to take preventative measures.

Marco Rubio, you have been a representative for Florida since 2000 and have done very little to prevent the Parkland shooting.

In fact, you have a history of trying to loosen gun laws, ultimately. Most notably, you voted against a bill that would prevent people on the terrorist watch list from getting guns less than a month after Pulse. You opted instead for a policy that would require a measly three-day waiting period.

You continually claim stricter gun laws will do nothing to protect us from mass shootings (even though they work in every country that has them), but you've barely even tried (tweets don’t count, just by the way). In fact, you've rejected a number of bills aimed at making it harder for people to get guns used in these mass shootings (usually based on party lines). And your constituency is over it.

You also claim that shootings like Parkland are the cause of mental illness.

However, not only have you done nothing pilot efforts for getting accessible comprehensive mental health care but, according to Orlando Weekly, you also voted AGAINST a bill that would prevent people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns.

I guess this is just what happens when you receive $3.3 million from the NRA, according to the New York Times. Or maybe it's because you're too scared of losing Republican support. It doesn’t matter to me either way; I'm just sick of your shit.

This isn't good enough anymore.

Not for me, not for students in Florida schools, and not for the victims and their families. Your thoughts and prayers are doing jack shit. We want action. We want a policy change. We want you to do your fucking job.

So here is my proposition: if you propose a bill that will actually do something to stop mass shootings, you might just get to keep your job for another six years. And I mean a real policy suggestion. I don’t care if it's imposing age restrictions, ID laws, or even mental health care.

All I'm asking is that you stop with the passive responses to tragedy or dodging criticism with NRA sponsored answers and protect us and our children and our families from totally preventable mass shootings.

All I'm asking is that you do your fucking job.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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