How long have you been at it? All this pretending to be a badass high-achiever, with your pussy-red lipstick and resting bitch face to scare all the peasants away?
The world has certainly come a long way from the time when women were nothing more than the wives and mistresses of the opposite sex. For sure, we’ve proven to the world we’re just as smart enough to make voting decisions, run our own companies, and save people from disasters, all the while having just enough time to cook dinner for our husbands before they get home from, oh, I don’t know, maybe golfing with the boss, put on 10 million products to keep our skin pore-free and wrinkle-free, and raise little human beings into the perfect mold the world has created for us. Woman has definitely proven that whatever man can do, she can do too and often much better.
But is that what we really need? Maybe, when women were seen by men as nothing more than objects to play with. Maybe, when women were rejected for jobs in engineering and astronomy because men think women can’t do math. (Hello? It was a woman who made it possible for Neil Armstrong & Co. to get to the moon half a century ago!) Maybe, when some men still think it’s okay to approach random women on the street because they think they can get some with some creepy pickup lines.
Yes, I know there are still many parts of the world where women and men with effeminate traits are still regarded as second-class citizens. Yes, I know many women still have to rise up in anger over the years (millennia, actually) of being suppressed by no other than the men who promised to protect them and provide for them, whether this rising up is done in street protests with other women or alone inside their bedrooms as they reflect on what all their playing small by virtue of their being a woman has taught them. Yes, I know we gotta keep smashing the patriarchy with love.
And how we do that isn’t by pretending we don’t need men in our lives. How we do that isn’t by operating for the most part on masculine energy. How we do that isn’t by fighting and struggling and resisting those who want to provide for us, including all the good men out there and the rest of the entire Universe. Because, yes, there are good men out there and they’re all available for you, if you only stopped insisting that all good men are taken, gay, or dead.
How many times have you seen smart, strong-headed, financially independent women say they don’t need a man because they can buy their own house, car, and clothes? How many of these women have you heard saying the only reason they can’t get themselves a good man is because their brains or their wealth or their massive success intimidate lesser men? And how many times in the past have you thought and believed all this to be true?
I have, and one too many times. For most of my adult life, my identity was wholly based on the fact that I could provide for myself. I was the quintessential rich, smart, and stubborn young woman of the 21st century. I thought I got it all figured out. And also? I looked down on men, for the most part, even on the men I dated and went into relationships with. Maybe because of the millennia of systematic oppression? Maybe because of the day-to-day goings-on that proved my suspicions that some men still didn’t see women as their equals? Maybe, as I have learned from the feminist side of the Internet, because life is unfair for women, financially independent or not?
It’s a dangerous way to think, that life sucks if you’re a woman. That you have to hustle and bustle more than men do to live a decent life. And if you’ve got big dreams to follow and your own path to forge? Well, you basically just have to break your own heart and soul to get to where you want. Isn’t it ironic that, despite the fact that we blame the patriarchy for, well, everything, we still willingly jump into the trap of trying to think and act like men? How funny is it that, if we want to shatter the glass ceiling and be on equal footing with men, we have to be exactly just like them? And we don’t want to be just like any men. We aim to be just like the men who’s got all the wrong ideas about how to run the world in the first place.
So we put on our power suits and saunter our way into the office, third cup of coffee in hand, at 6 a.m. We try to make a good impression with a firm handshake, professional manners, and an ability to make witty comebacks fast. And, most of all, we live our lives by a never-ending to-do list, constantly adding more and more tasks that don’t actually matter at all. We call ourselves the boss babes of the world. We convince ourselves that independent women like us don’t live up to others’ expectations but ourselves. And yet we doggedly and religiously continue to live up to men’s expectations of what success looks like and how we’re supposed to get there.
And, yes, we may experience a little bit of success with these masculine ways. We may make some money. We may attract some opportunities because we’re loud and proud go-getters. We may even fool ourselves into thinking that we’re feeling a semblance of fulfillment and satisfaction at what we do and how we do it. But for the most part? For the most part, there will always be this nagging feeling that something isn’t right. That, even though it may look like it on the outside, on the inside you don’t feel like the smart, successful, independent woman your mind likes to think you are.
If you’ve been looking within long enough, then you may already know by now that doing, doing, and more doing is not the key to a good life. It has probably occurred to you that most of the successes you like to go over and relish in are those times that felt like divine intervention stepped in and carried you forward effortlessly. And even if you haven’t really looked within, you’ll still feel worn out and a little bit too stretched, like the garter on your cheap stockings that has gotten loose over a couple of washes.
There’s a time and place for work. But that’s not all day every day and wherever you are. The time and place for work is when your heart tells you that you gotta do work. The rest of the time, the only thing you really need to do is to sit back and allow, allow, allow. Allow the men in your life to come in and support you, wine and dine you, and give you all the love and attention you crave but deny wanting. Allow the people who want to work with you, whether as partners or clients, to show up in their own time and on their own accord instead of you shoving yourself down their throats when they’re not yet ready. Allow the Universe to help you, provide for you, and give you what you want. Because that, woman, is what God wants to do for you.
But you can’t enjoy any of that, not the men, not the business partners, not the clients, not the successful career and happy life of your dreams if you keep believing that you have to take control like a man in a custom-made suit sitting at his huge mahogany desk barking orders through the intercom. You have to learn how to step back, take your hands off the goddamned thing you’re trying so hard to make happen, and let Him do what only He can do.
Yes, it’s gonna be hard for all you recovering schmindependent women, workaholics, and control freaks out there. Yes, you’re gonna have to get your mind to cooperate so it doesn’t get stuck in the past. Yes, you’ll find yourselves falling back in over and over again into your previous mind patterns.
But the good news is you can always fall back out. You can always choose which thoughts to pay attention to and believe in every day. When your wandering mind starts trying to convince you that you got to write more to-do lists, make more cold calls, or do something you can’t find in your heart the excitement to do, stop and remind yourself who you are.
You are a woman designed to perfection by God. You weren’t made to scramble to an imaginary finish line in an imaginary rat race. You were made to do only that you love to do and bless the whole world around you with all the love you have to give. You can’t do that if you’re in a never-ending rat race that doesn’t really exist, sweaty and stressed out and wondering if it is all there is. You can only do that when you sit back and marvel at the Universe as it throws itself at your feet.
With huge love,
A recovering schmindependent woman
PS: As for the patriarchy, men aren’t assholes because they were born that way. Men are assholes because we see them that way. Stop looking for a good man while at the same time complaining that all the good men aren’t available. Start looking at men as the perfect creations of God because that is who they are too.