I was on Facebook the other day and saw a touching post by a mother who’s daughter is being bullied by her school mates about being over weight and unattractive. I forget exactly what her post said because, although I was touched by her daughter’s blight, it was some of the comments that really hit home with me. And not for the reasons you may think.
The mother posted a pic of her daughter in hopes of getting a bunch of likes and encouraging comments to make her daughter feel better and there were a lot of lovely messages of encouragement posted.
The first comment I read hit me between the eyes and I immediately felt angry. It got me thinking “And we wonder why women settle for less than they deserve and tolerate abuse just so they can say they have a man.”
The relatively young female who commented did so with genuine caring and with the best of intentions I am sure but her attitude screamed at me the problem with society and it’s attitudes about women. It is such a common belief people don’t even realize what they are saying.
I can’t quote the comment word for word but this is basically the message she conveyed.
“Don’t listen to them, you are beautiful inside and out. They are small minded and you are better than them. here comes the clincher………. wait for it……… Some day you will meet a man who will think you are beautiful and love you for who you are.”
I tried to respond to the post but for some reason was unable, but if I could have this is what I would have said.
“Please, everyone commenting, I know you are all well-intentioned; but please! stop attaching a woman’s worth to having a man! This young lady has a whole future to look forward to, to live her dreams; encourage her to be the best version of herself that she can be. Tell her to live true to her inner voice, respect herself, and value herself and all her wonderful talents, some of which she may not even know she has yet. Explain to her that bullying comes from small minded people who are insecure, that is why they must bully others; in an attempt to make themselves feel powerful. Teach her how to set and defend boundaries and believe in herself so that when she meets a man she doesn’t compromise herself and her beliefs just to keep him. Don’t put so much value on having a man, that someday if she ends up being abused she stays because it is better than being without a man. Encourage her to live for today and to actively seek out things that give her joy, to pursue her dreams and passions, forget what others think of her, if she lives true to her inner voice and living her life to the fullest; people will gravitate to her because her joy will radiate outward.
When you are doing something you love, you do it well, you can’t help it and doing something well builds self esteem and confidence. A person does not need to be part of the popular crowd, they don’t need dozens of friends (who really aren’t true friends) we only need one or two people who will have our back and not talk smack behind our back. But no matter what there is only one person you can or should rely on, only one person you need to be accountable to, one person who will be totally honest with you if you are willing to listen, and that person is you. Listen to your gut, not the crowds, not the bullies, not your girlfriends, or your boyfriends or what the latest teen magazine is saying about how to get a guy. Live your passion and always listen to what your gut instincts are telling you and you will find happiness and yes, you will find love.
I know bullying hurts, especially when you are a teen you want to be popular and no one deserves to be bullied, but to tell her that someday a man will love her and it will all be ok; is telling her she has to have a man to be valued. For generations upon generations we teach our girls that they need a man in their life to be whole, to be valuable, to be considered attractive, successful, and if you don’t have a man you are flawed in some way.
I wish to God that when I was 15-16-17-30!! someone would have said to me;
“Be you!! you are enough! you are special just the way you are. You don’t need to lose weight, you don’t have to be the perfect homemaker, you don’t have to tolerate shit from any man, just so you can say you have a man. “Man” does not complete a woman, she is a complete package all on her own and very capable of making it in this world. Since women’s lib, women have been proving they can do anything a man can do time and time again and instead of being respected and admired for their strength and brains they are told they can’t have it all, a career and a family. The only reason she can’t have it all is because people are clinging to the belief she is nothing without a man. She can be a homeowner, top executive, breathtakingly beautiful but if she doesn’t have a man everyone assumes she is flawed in some way.
I am 57 years old and I regret spending most of my life trying to be “enough”, I am tired of the hearing from people that a man will solve my problems; excuse me!! that attitude got me where I am today! I spent most of my womanhood trying to be the kind of woman who men want, I strived to be the perfect partner, loving, supportive, home owner, homemaker, a whore in the bedroom but a lady in public, the perfect hostess, the perfect mother, a good friend, and I continually gave more than I could afford to lose. Even after leaving James I an’t count how many times I was told, “It’s ok, some day you will meet a man who will love you for you.” As if without a man happiness isn’t possible; women are all on hold thinking once they meet a man, then they will be happy. What bunk!!!
All through high school I was told by my mom to wait until I got out of school, then I would meet a man who would love me. My dad was telling me that I was going to be a better wife than my mother was and I would know how to keep a man happy, I would never deny my husband sex, (yeah he actually said that) he even told me that when he was single he never went after the really beautiful women because the less attractive women tried harder. (yeah I hear ya, great way for a dad to talk to his daughter, well how about this one) if I wasn’t a good girl he would take my brother and leave mom and me. So the whole responsibility of keeping the family together fell on my shoulders, any wonder I had an ulcer at 9?
The whole time I hauled scrap metal no one understood why I would do that, my family thought I was crazy, but for the first time in my life I felt empowered, I wasn’t doing a job because it was a job I was told I should do, it wasn’t a typical woman’s job, I got dirty, greasy, and I worked as hard as any man and could operate that truck as well as any man and I was still every bit a woman. I felt attractive, in control, confident, I didn’t need anyone to tell me I was doing a good job. For the first time in my life I enjoyed going to work instead of crying every morning at the thought of being locked in an office all day and living for the weekends; and that radiated out.
I cringe at the thought of how many weekends I was quite content to be home with my son, putzing in my garden and at the same time feeling I should be with a man on a date. I remember having girlfriends who dated guys they didn’t even like just so they could say they had a date on the weekend. I regret all the time I wasted worrying about whether the guy would all or not, whether I needed to lose 5 lbs, never feeling attractive enough because I look at old pictures of me and my God! there was absolutely nothing wrong with me!! If only I had known how attractive I was and appreciated myself more.
We never say to our boys, just wait, some day a girl will come along who will love you for you and then you will be happy and valuable, because boys don’t worry about that. When boys are taught about women terms like these are used;
They are “trapped”, a woman “catches” them, they get “tied down”, “lose their freedom”, “the old ball and chain”, “henpecked”, and if they get dumped they are told to just go to the bar, get drunk and get laid. Who ever taught our young people that it is acceptable to ask for a pic of a girl naked and it was ok for the girl to send it??? and that it is acceptable behavior to give a guy a blow job and leave a lipstick ring as your “claim to fame”.
Why, someone please tell me! in a day and age when women are more independent, self sufficient and supposedly “equal”, and society has no excuse to be uninformed, a time when people talk openly about how wrong abuse against women is; are women still being told “wait until a man loves you”.
Why aren’t our girls being taught that;
- If you are going to dress like a whore, men will treat you like a whore and there is nothing wrong with leaving a little bit to the imagination, it does not make you a prude, it gives you class.
- It may be a double standard, but men on a whole do not respect a woman who has sex with them too soon and if a man is interested in you as a person and not simply as a vagina, he will wait until you feel comfortable.
- Women may be able to do it all but they shouldn’t have to. There is no way a woman should be working full time and doing all the housework and child rearing also, and if the daddy of your children spends time with the kids, he is NOT giving you a break, baby sitting or doing anything miraculous; he is spending quality time with the children he fathered, period.
- No one, male or female; should ever be treated with disrespect, hit, called names, or denied their feelings; ever! but we can not ask for respect, we must demand respect and if it isn’t given, we must be prepared to walk away.
- There are people in the world who do not have a good side, evil people who will exploit you and use you; and you can not fix them nor should you try.
- It is quite ok to not be liked by everyone, and for you to not like everyone.
- It is ok to walk away from a relationship with a man without having proof he is an asshole. The fact that you are not happy is reason enough to walk, it doesn’t matter if everyone you know thinks he is a nice guy and you are crazy, you know how you feel and if your gut is saying to walk away, walk away!!
- Listen to your gut instincts!! pulleeeeeeze!!!! it will never lie to you, trust yourself before you trust anyone else.
- People should earn your trust, not automatically get trust until they prove they don’t deserve, then it is too late.
- It is not selfish to say No to someone, and they should respect that you said no and not badger you, if they disappear because you said no then they were not the person for you. Never ever compromise your principles for anyone else. The minute you do you might as well walk away because from that day forward you will be expected to compromise more and more and No will mean nothing to the other person. The minute you compromise your values you have lost the game, he may be happy he got what he wanted but he lost respect for you and you for yourself.
- We teach people how to treat us by what we allow. People say, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer, he kept badgering me, or he did it anyway……….. then you must walk away. He made his choice when he didn’t respect your feelings/wishes and so you must make your choice, tolerate being disrespected from this day forward or walk away with your head held high and your self respect intact.
- And last but not least; have some loyalty to your gender, this is not a competition between women for who gets the guy. If you “take” another woman’s man, it does not make you a better woman, no matter what he is telling you. It makes you the next sucker in a long line of women who thought they got their worth from a man instead of from their integrity, honesty and values. and don’t be all surprised and indignant when he screws around on you. The number one unwritten rule for women should be, you never ever date a friend’s man, ever if he is an ex. Loyalty to your friends first and foremost and if he was worth your time and a decent guy, he would never have asked out a friend of his partner or ex partner. Think about it.
That is the end of my very long rant! *sigh* I feel better now, thank you all, I will just pick up my soap box and let you continue with your day.
Hugs to all!!