From the day women are born, we are programmed to believe that in order to fulfill our societal roles, we must one day either answer to a man, cater to a man or marry a man. The few women in history, who have rebelled against this fixed notion of patriarchal norms, have instead left a mark so big for themselves that they will be remembered eternally.
Whether it’s Jane Austen, Coco Chanel, Queen Elizabeth I, Frida Kahlo or Margaret Thatcher, the one thing all these powerful women had in common is that they wanted more for themselves. They saw things in an unconventional way and refused to succumb to what society wanted of them. All of them were criticized, insulted and ridiculed, but that never stopped them. They were each, in their own unique way, a force of nature.
Today we see modern examples of great women like Hilary Clinton, Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé, who are successful, inspirational, independent, influential, beautiful and powerful. Because regardless of what century we’re in, and what society shoves down our throats, we are each born with an innate force to do something big with our lives. As children, none of us dreamed about hunting down a husband and catering to his needs as a goal. We dream of becoming doctors, performers, writers, astronauts, and prima ballerinas, until one day we lose our courage or become lazy and settle for the logical and practical route.
The above-mentioned women were crazy enough to believe they could change something in the world, and they did. Of course they wanted love – we all do – but that didn’t stop them from achieving their goals. I am not saying loving a man is wrong or that marriage is bad – on the contrary. I am thrilled for all women who are already happily married for the right reasons, and are dedicated to their families and raising their children the proper way. But, how many married women are miserable and regretting their decision everyday? I believe that it is a basic human need to love and be loved, and eventually procreate – but, it shouldn’t be at the expense of who you are and what you want to be – because at some point, whether you want to or not, you will feel melancholic.
I was supposed to wake up one day after 25 and realize that I was ready to settle down and have kids. Instead, I listened to my inner voice and decided I did in fact want to fall in love, have a loving, supportive partner and a child, after I accomplish certain personal achievements. And I am not planning on settling down or settling for anything in the meantime. The man I will fall in love with will understand my goals and not try to stop them from happening because love isn’t and shouldn’t be selfish. Just as I support my partner, he will support me. He will understand that I exist regardless of him and that I should do something about my existence. Married women should not forget this.
Forget what society taught you. Forget how it should be, what’s right and what’s wrong. Do you really want to go by the book and wake up jaded one day wondering where your dreams ran off? Focus on yourself. Focus on becoming the best version of yourself possible; whether it’s on a personal or professional level, and without you realizing it, the right person for you will fall into your life. Once you’ve covered your essentials, you will know the right qualities to look for in a man. That way, when you choose a partner to spend your life with, it will be for the right reasons. That way, when you do have kids, you will know the right lessons to teach them and how to raise them properly – because you are the best version of yourself.
Instead of using your wit and charm to hunt down a husband, try investing all that planning and effort into making your dream a reality, regardless of where you come from and how much money your family has to support you. Those factors shouldn’t even be obstacles, because most influential women in history came from very humble backgrounds and from towns most people have never heard of. It’s not enough to be a dreamer; you have to be a doer. You have a voice; be brave enough to make it heard no matter how many times life knocks you down.
I am writing this on International Women’s Day to remind all the ladies out there who are feeling jaded, weak, heartbroken or hopeless that at the very core, you are a force of nature that can only be discouraged or stopped by one person: you.
Wake up everyday remembering that you are important. Love yourself. Believe in yourself. You are not the weaker or inferior sex. In fact, you have the beauty, charm and intellect to bring the most powerful man to his knees. Use that to your advantage and pave your own path instead of obediently following in the footsteps of others.
As Marilyn once said, “Well behaved women rarely make history.”
In other words, don’t be a basic bitch.
Happy International Women’s Day! I am proud and privileged to be a woman!