Friday, July 22, 2011

The Post that Doesn't Belong Here - ENOUGH with the Girl Judgement

I’m going to start by saying, this post doesn’t belong here; it has nothing to do with the purpose or goals of this blog.  But I have some things to say, and I needed a forum. 

I feel like this post should start like that scene in ‘Mean Girls’ where Tina Fey has everyone raise their hands to indicate if they have ever had a girl talk about them behind their back, and then to indicate if they have ever spoken about a girl behind her back. (My hand is raised for both, FYI.)

If you would have asked me when I was 16 if I thought girls would still be treating each other horribly as adults, I would have confidently told you no.  I assumed that, by my late 20s, women would have grown up enough to get over it and just appreciate each other for who we are. Sadly, I’m wrong.

As my 30s approach, a line is being drawn I the sand between those of us who are married/unmarried, those who have children/no children, etc. And girl world, which one would have thought would have dissipated during college, is only gaining more strength.  We judge each other on if we are married or single. We judge each other on if we have kids or not, and what choices we make with those kids.  We judge each other on ever minuscule detail of our lives. And, what's worse now is that we push our lifestyles on each other.

When is this going to stop? Keli wrote a little about this when she discussed ending the ‘mommy wars’, but I extend it further and ask all women, moms or not, when we are going to stop acting like children and let each other live our own lives? When are we going to accept that what works for me may not work for you, and that is OK?

Our mothers and grandmothers did not fight for women’s rights so that we could sit around and judge each other on the decisions we make.  They did not fight to gain us the rights to choose our own path in life, be it family or career, just so we could talk about each other’s decisions behind each other’s backs. If you have a career, the whispers say you should have children; if you have children, the whispers say you should have a career. If you have a man, the whispers are that you settled; if you don't have a man, the whispers are that there is something wrong with you, etc.

At what point are we going to stop pushing our values on each other and forcing each other into lifestyles that we may or may not want and simply ask each other this: Are you happy?  

I must get asked 10 times a week by my married friends if I’m seeing anyone.  (For some reason, married people think that single people deserve no right to privacy in the matters of dating.) My answer is always the same, “If it’s anyone you need to know about, you will know.” Everyone hates this answer. They hate it because it’s vague and, for some reason, everyone thinks they are entitled to a front row seat to my romantic exploits because ‘they know better than I do.’  A very good friend spent an entire evening devaluing my life this week, simply because, it is her belief that I 1) must have a man, and 2) if I knew how to (and I quote) ‘catch a man’, I would have one by now.  At no point did she ask if I am happy. (Which I am).  At no point did she ask if I even want a relationship. At no point did she do anything but attempt to push her lifestyle on me. The conversation was awful, and when I tried to confront her about it later (albeit in my I-take-no-shit-so-don’t-eff-with-me format), she admitted no wrong and saw no reason I should have been upset. In fact, I find that if you try to explain to another woman why what they said bothered you, they take it, generally, as an admission that you, somewhere deep down, think they are right and THAT is what bothers you, not their behavior. (Insert hysterical laughter here, and that is me laughing at people who think like that).

Do I have plenty of work to do on my life? For sure. (Don’t we all?) There are many things I would like to improve or change, but that’s part of being human. And, overall, I am extremely happy right now. Which I think annoys other women most of all, and that makes me sad.

My question to her, and to all of you: Are you happy?

Because that is all I want to know. And if not, let’s work on that together.  And you can choose any life you want. 

4 comments:

  1. Plain and simple, if you don't live it, you will never understand it completely.

    I think we can all stand to have more open mindedness in our lives.

    There have been many a time where I've judged relationships, not understanding how they work, or how they could be together because how could they possibly be happy? I have to constantly remind myself that what works for me, doesn't always work for others.

    It's a hard lesson to learn.

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  2. I've been married for 11 years and I would NEVER ask one of my single friends if she's seeing anyone. I think the next time someone asks you that you should ask them an equally inappropriate, none-of-your-business question, like, "So, are you and your husband having much sex lately?" Or, "Be honest... if you had it to do all over again, would you still marry your husband knowing how annoying he is?" ;)

    The good news I have for you is that as you get older (I'm 35--and a half, LOL) you care a hell of a lot less about what other people think of you. Or maybe it's just that I've filtered out the kinds of "friends" who'd give me the third degree. I'm still worried about becoming a mom because of all the mommy wars crap, but it all bothers me a lot less than it did even a few years ago and I think I'm better able to let things flow past instead of getting me riled up.

    It is a big shock the way some women act when they should be past all of that drama... I've seen some shocking crap from 50-60 year old women! It just makes me glad to be not like them, and feel sorry for them.

    Here's to being happy, friend. :) ::clinks imaginary glasses with you::

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  3. I am happy! But I don't think my way or my life is better than others. I do have to admit that I love talking to my single friends about their dating lives...but not if they aren't willing to share. Some of them just have some great stories from a world I never had the chance to explore (online dating, blind dates, etc). Actually, I feel like I missed out on dating as a "real adult." Yes, my husband and I were adults when we got married. It just feels like we were kids (still are kids?). I never did the casual dating thing and I just find it so intriguing. But I appreciate your perspective and will try to mind my own business and stick to romantic comedies for my living vicariously through others fix.

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  4. Amen, Amen, my dear. I'll be posting some more in the coming days, now that I'm done with my camp! :)

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