The Number One Way Society Sabotages Women

From the time women are little girls society teaches them that they need a man in order to be happy.

I was recently watching a Hallmark movie, which, as all women know; are sappy romance movies where the female heroine is searching for a man to love. In this movie the woman’s sister is playing match maker and is angry with her own boyfriend for not helping her, because her sister “deserves to find happiness”. Why does society feel a woman can’t be happy without a man, we don’t think a man needs a woman to be happy, in fact we subliminally send the message that men are somehow the losers in a relationship.

Women grow up preparing to “catch” a man and men grow up having all their fun, screwing random women, “sowing their wild oats” before they get “caught”. It’s basically a free for all for men until they get married to the ball and chain.

For generations we have fought for and won; equal rights for women to earn as much as a man for equal work, to do “man’s work”, and to be treated as equal human beings deserving of equal respect and autonomy. But we haven’t changed how we raise little girls, we tell them they can succeed at anything they want to do, except be happy. She can run a business, have children, be president!, But they can only find elusive happiness with a man.

After years of listening to heart broken women coming into this blog, it makes me sad that their top concern is, “how will I ever, find another man , trust another man”, and that they are going to spend the rest of their lives alone, instead of healing themselves.

Women sacrifice everything, even their children, in the name of “love” and having a man in their life. Ironically, they forfeit true happiness in pursuit of happiness. They profess to love their children, and yet continue to live with an abusive man that is causing life long damage to their children’s self esteem and ultimately setting them up to repeat history.

In my own family, going back to my grandmother, who married an abusive asshole who belittled her, beat her, raped her and used her as slave labor. I can understand why she felt she had no choice but to stay because there were no resources for abused women. She had something like a grade 3 education, didn’t drive, had never held a job, but she was good looking and willing to use her looks to catch a man who would pay her way, whatever the cost. While her husband, my mother’s father; was away during the war, she had a love affair with a man. He came back after 6 years, raped her, and the marriage picked up where it had left off. She had a nervous breakdown, her brothers came and took her away but she went back. She eventually met another single man who was willing to take her in and she left my grandfather. I suppose life with him was better than it had been, he was a drunk and womanizer but he wasn’t physically abusive and a good provider. My mother remembers being left in a vehicle while grandma went to the bar for hours. I remember my cousin and I being left in a car for hours while she and her 2nd husband went to the bar. It wouldn’t happen today, child services would be called and the kids taken away, but back then it was acceptable to sacrifice the safety of the children to keep the man “happy”.

Is it any wonder my mother was willing to sacrifice the safety and well-being of her children in order to keep the man?

My whole life was a mixed message of infidelity, my father controlling everyone, either you complied or be rejected, conditional love at its best, secrets behind my dad’s back in order to avoid his wrath. My mother had an affair, my dad had multiple affairs, but appearances were everything and to the outside world, we were the “happy” well adjusted family. The effects of being raised in a home based on lies, secrets, and appearances ended up with my brother being a drug addict, never able to find happiness because he never found inner peace. Me? 3 failed marriages and an abusive common-in-law relationship. My biggest regret in life is how much time I wasted trying to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be, what men wanted me to be, and not living true to myself. I shake my head when I look back at years of having an eating disorder, cooking, cleaning, contorting myself into the perfect woman in order to have a man in my life. I wish I would have listened to my gut, followed my dreams, developed my natural talents, believed in myself sooner. Mind you, we all do the best we can with what we’ve got and when we know better, we do better.

My dream for the future would be for society to raise girls to believe in themselves and their ability to create their own happiness.

10 thoughts on “The Number One Way Society Sabotages Women

  1. GypsyAngel

    This was one FANTASTIC piece!
    All your pieces are. You’re an excellent writer.

    However, I find myself having to challenge one statement partially as far as societal changes for women, yes we have come a very long way (baby). Unfortunately, we have not fully won equal rights. The ERA was never passed. It is now a dead bill. It was three votes shy of having been ratified and passed. There is no more Equal Rights Amendment. It will have to be reintroduced in another form. Frankly, this concerns me deeply. Especially as congress has failed to refinance the Violence Against Women’s Act. (VAWA) which is one of the primary sources for the funding of domestic violence shelters and programs throughout the whole country. I shudder to think that this has been the plan all along. To bring women “back under submission” as many of those in evangelical circles are shouting for. Which all goes toward proving your point.

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  2. Melanie B

    I agree and hope the same!

    Kind of along those lines, I had a guy at work say something to me that made me shake my head. . I’m in the process of my second divorce. The guy tells me he has a girlfriend now and asks if I’m “on the market.” He can fix me up with another coworker. What?! On the market? Like I’m for sale? Hope he’s not conveying that to his daughters.

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  3. Elizabeth

    Yes, it’s disturbing how family, friends, even co-workers will try to pick out someone for you, like you’re at the supermarket and can’t find the celery! “Look at him! He’s single, and he’s your age!” They think something’s wrong with you if you are not in a relationship. I’d never say to give up, but never settle. Seeing your children happy and thriving is priceless. Pets are better companions than having a bad relationship.

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    1. lisk

      My aunt used to send me that message, “Look! There’s a cute guy!” As if I’m going to go and chase after him right there and then.

      I do disagree, though, re: men being alone. I know many men who have a problem being seen as, or ending up, “alone” and without the right female companion.

      Men are fed the same stupid stories as women are about finding the right “one.” And that’s probably where the disappointment and abuse come in . . . none of us (man or woman) can live up to these stories.

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  4. Em

    My response is going to bother many people for exactly the reasons you stated above.
    I’ve been single for 8 years. And, I’m happy. I sometimes wonder what’s wrong with me because I’m not pursuing a relationship, and I don’t know anyone who is single for more than a few months at a time. Would I like to date? Sure, but it’s not my main source of self-worth.

    People feel sorry for me. Wonder why I can’t find a man. Maybe I would be happier? But, I own my own house, with my own money, my own dogs and my kids. For the most part, I feel happy, and that seems to bother people a lot.

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    1. Carrie Reimer Post author

      Em, I totally understand what you are saying. If I could go back and change anything in my life it would be to not waste so much time worrying about finding a man in my life.
      On occassion, very rare occassion; I think I might miss having a man in my life, but it passes quickly when I think about having to accomodate another person in my life and home.
      I am just very content with my life now, I think I am much healthier than ever before in my life.
      There is nothing wrong with a person who likes their own company and feels complete without a man.

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  5. Sonet Shields

    Hi there. I first read your blog the day after i eventually got rid of my X. I knew nothing about Narcisissm except what i heard on a radio station once when they discussed it briefly. When i read your post about knowing someonebinvolved with a Narcissist i bawled like a Baby. Now years later i am married again and boy what a beautiful marriage. I did extensive research since then and this week i started my own blog about what i been through, what i learned etc. I have to thank you because ifbi did not read your posts i am certain that i would have been convinced otherwise again. I also think i do suffer from ptsd but only think that now. I really thought i was doing well… until i read the Amber Heard / Johnny Depp story…. it landed me in the middle of where i was back then. I willbhave to make a plan to get healed properly this time. Feel free to read my blogs if you want to. As bad as it was, YOU helped save me. I will always be thankful that i by some miracle found your blog that day. Thank you.

    https://www.blogger.com/blog/posts/2276971818712443498

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  6. Paula

    I was on this site before after dating & marrying a narcissistic man. I agree with the post about PTSD after being involved with a NPD spouse ( or boyfriend). I have been to counseling and had gotten better, but now I have another NPD problem thst has out me right back to square one. Does anyone else her have the issue of dealing with a narcissistic adult daughter or child ? If so, how do you deal with them? Just when I think everything is great-she stops talking to me, and has her husband and my 4 grandsons ignore me., and I never know why. I am so angry and hurt, and tired of walking on eggshells around them. What do I do? How do I deal with her?

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