Ok let’s talk. I haven’t been here in a while but hey, sometimes life gets in the way of other plans (or in the words of my oh-so-wise father, “sometimes things block other things”). That plan to remake my blog? Spoiler alert: never happened. I’ll get around to it eventually.
However, a recent browse of my Facebook pushed me to get back here. After reading posts upon post from BuzzFeed, ThoughtCatalog, EliteDaily, and many many more similar sites about ’12 things you need to do for xyz,’ I’ve decided it was time for a little PSA.
Ladies, I’m talking directly to you.
We need to quit allowing ourselves to be victims, and more importantly, portraying ourselves as such. We are not sad, we are not pathetic, we are not weak. But we are acting like complete morons.
These posts about not doing things for a man, or what we need to do to keep ourselves happy with these guys, are complete and total bull. We’ve become a culture of self-help, proving to each other what we should and shouldn’t be doing in our lives, jobs, and relationships. You cannot read a book that will tell you how to make your relationship work. You cannot read a book on how to make your boy into the perfect man. You can’t make yourself happy by following someone else’s exact steps. You cannot learn unless you’ve made a mistake. We are setting ourselves up for disaster by measuring our success or happiness by the standards set on the internet, most likely by people we’ve never met.
Take, for example, my older sister and I (HIII MUSH). If I asked her to write out a specific list of steps on how to be happy, or how to achieve the beautiful family she has with her husband, it would never work for me. Regardless of our many similarities, we are different people, and both of our minds operate in completely different ways. Our end goal of happiness in ourselves and for those we love is the same, but it is impossible for us to both get there using the exact same route.
This is not to say that I haven’t gotten suckered into a three hour black hole of Buzzfeed posts about lord knows what. It’s solely a recognition that what I’m seeing out there isn’t accurate, and that rather than creating happy people who have happy relationships and happy lives, we’re creating sad people who don’t measure up to the ‘perfect’ models they see before them on their Facebook pages and inboxes.
Some of these posts are designed to make us feel better about ourselves, but actually end up making us women look like the victims of our own minds. Take for example this post I saw a few minutes ago, the “12 Mistakes Women Need To Stop Making When It Comes to Their Kryptonite: Men.” Literally the only good thing about it is the Superman reference in the title (if you don’t know what it is…I can’t help you).
The author makes some decent points, with the idea of helping women feel better about themselves, which is by all means a positive thing. However, her way of going about it makes women into more the victim than anything else. True, you should never put your worth in a man (or anyone else for that matter – my mama didn’t raise no fool), nor should you think that you need someone else to make you happy. But not believing him? Not missing him post-breakup? Come on. I know for a fact that there are good men out there (I have the best dad, two amazing brothers, an awesome brother-in-law, and two nephews who are the sweetest boys in the world), so telling us never to believe anything they say, and to never miss them is just idiotic. You’re setting yourself up to never be satisfied, because it’s impossible to be happy in any relationship, whether with friends, family, or a significant other, without trust in what they’re saying. True, actions speak louder than words and some people are gullible and others are liars BUT going into it with the negativity of not believing someone won’t achieve anything.
Feminism, in my opinion, (which is what I think? this author is trying to push for? Maybe?) isn’t about man-bashing. It’s about accepting the differences between the genders and respecting what the others have to say and can contribute to the world. We can’t portray ourselves as weak without inadvertently portraying men as powerful, and vice-versa. It’s about equality people. So take each of these little posts you see with a grain of salt before you go crazy and try to make yourself into something you’re not. Be happy with who you are and what you can do, and work towards what you want to be able to do. Celebrate your small victories and try to be genuine to who you are. And please, please, do not become who they describe online. Just be you.