The Stereotype of a Woman's Success, and How To Overcome It
Feminism has made quite the progress over the years, but still today, women often get pitied for choosing to be single. We know men are usually the suspects of portraying this idea that women need to rely on them, but women can also be guilty of glamorizing this absurdity that a woman’s happiness and achievements depend on a man. It is something women might expect from some men, but it is unfair and becomes a shock when there are women who are selective about empowerment. A woman who believes that marriage and having kids is what make a truly successful woman, shouldn’t bash women who choose to do the opposite. There is no feminism when we shame one another, especially when it comes to women who choose not to follow traditional and stereotypical roles.
Why should we view unmarried women as a life of failure? Also, why should we look down on women who aren’t interested in having kids? There is nothing wrong with women who make these choices. Women can be happy and successful while being single, it is not often that single men would receive the same reactions. We should also celebrate women who decide to put their career first the same way we support women who are happily in a relationship. If a woman decides to focus on her friends or something else, such as treating herself, we should be able to support it too. Likewise, we need to stop this ideology that a single someone or a person in a relationship is most successful when married. Couples can definitely be happy and madly in love without a paper to prove their devotion. Additionally, a person who is single could be content without marriage or dating.
A successful relationship certainly doesn’t equate to marriage and it also doesn’t mean children. The reason why I bring up kids is because most people believe that to be successful, the ability to be able to reproduce and raise offspring is a popular goal for those who seek love or those already in a relationship. The desire of leaving behind a legacy is a dream for many people, but the idea of keeping the human race going by allowing it to grow just isn’t the dream for everyone. As a woman it is important we respect other women’s choices, we should not force the topic of “babies” and “marriage” because not all women want or can have the same things. It is important to keep in mind that there are people, and those in relationships, that have difficulty in reproducing, I think these people can still be an accomplished individual without kids. I also believe that a single mother (a perfect example of someone who doesn’t rely on a partner) is also successful and serves a powerful role in defeating those odds. A single mother can still thrive without a partner. We shouldn’t make women feel like crap because of these annoying stereotypes and expectations among women in our society.
The moral of my point is that we all have our own way of loving and living, we shouldn’t shame others for choosing the lifestyle they please. It is frustrating to see women who celebrate equality but suddenly bash other women who are different from them. For example, as we know women are also usually the victims of judgment when it comes to beauty. Why judge a woman who wears too much makeup, only because you choose not to? It’s even the other way around, where some women pity women who don't like makeup, just because they like makeup? Why do we create these assumptions about women? Why should we accuse what makes the confidence and happiness of a woman?
During my early days as a High School student there was a moment where a male student would jokingly pick on my name “Leslie” and they would pronounce it as “Lesbian” instead, only because I wasn’t interested in being in a relationship with anybody at school. A playful assumption like this is very problematic, it definitely shows how much society finds being gay to be “not normal” first of all, and how much it is a cultural issue for it to be seen as abnormal for a woman to not care about being in a relationship. If we see a woman who is satisfied with her own company, we should treat it as nothing. It is unnecessary to instantly spend time thinking about their sexual orientation and marital status. It is surprising that there are people in the world who truly believe there is something wrong with a person who is okay with not being coupled up with anyone. But then again, it is not so surprising, most of us want a close companion in our lives, and the fear of loneliness can raise an alarm for everyone. It is important that we keep in mind that not all single people are miserable and suffering.
I am the voice of someone is currently in a long-term relationship, but I have friends and family who are absolutely fine with being single, and they aren’t miserable or suffering because they are not lonely. Everyone should train themselves to be comfortable with their own company. Enjoy it, because forcing relationships is not okay or important. If you want to be in a relationship, as they all say, you should definitely let it happen naturally. Be the amazing you that you only are, and live this one life we have. Women shouldn't feel the need to search or become obsessed over the idea of finding someone. It might be easy for me to say this because I'm in a relationship, but it took time until my significant other arrived. I wasn’t thinking about it, I wasn’t planning on it, but somehow he came into my life. I still want to remind the single ladies (and men who might be reading) that love has been in your life. Love is coming from your family, friends, and the many other things that make you happy. Unfortunately, some of you might yawn at that and say," well, it's not the same." Okay, probably not. However, if you're single and okay with that, let that be your choice.
The media and society itself make it seem like it is not normal to be okay with being single. I say screw that if you're okay with it. It’s totally normal if you don't want to get married, have kids, if you're a virgin still (and might want to be one forever) it’s okay if you're not a virgin, and it is okay if you choose celibacy. Our existence is too short to be miserable, to compare yourself to other people, to let bad moments get the best of you, to let anyone doubt you, and to not realize the greater things in life. You just never know who you'll meet and who will suddenly knock you off your feet. Unless you don't want anyone to, which is fine too. The point is that you should love how you want to and how you feel like it, when you feel like it. Your own happiness should be a priority.
by: Leslie Garcia