by Dr Gonzo
Many women suffer self-imposed guilt & put themselves last. Why? And what is the payoff?
|Say to a woman that the only person she should put on a pedestal in her relationship is herself and watch for the reaction. If instead, the man is the one who is on the pedestal, it is, in my opinion, much more likely that the relationship will suffer in the long term.
It goes against most people's beliefs, both for men and for women, for a woman to put her needs above her partners (I think we can exclude the children from this, as they are the very reason men and women choose to be together in the first place) and in some cases, they might struggle to put themselves above the doormat.
From a young age, girls are (or at least until very recently were) taught where their place is...and it is not in the boardrooms, battlefields, or operating theatres (as surgeons, not as nurses) that limitations are being set. No, they are preconditioned for more menial tasks (some are important roles, yes...but not many men are being taught that they have an important role in the kitchen and that will be their place in life), tasks that are not just taught, but conditioned to believe in.
Boys should play with guns and girls with dolls mentality is fine if modern society could let those antiquated rules for roles go and let people be what they want and deserve to become. It is at best stereotyping, and at worst discriminatory and simply unfair, unless the same opportunities are being offered to both genders, done genuinely and not just as a token gesture meant to appease minority groups or politically correct do-gooders.
Equal opportunity should never be made easier for one group or another because that defeats the whole purpose of equality...and if that means not many women will be on the front lines in battle because the training and mindset to kill another human being is not what they are cut out for, at least the chance to do something society considers unwise, is an individual's choice to make, and not brainwashed, one way or another, into our psyche.
Society, along with the expectations of those closer, who really should know better, teaches that it is not OK for a woman to put herself first, and in fact, it is much more acceptable if she puts herself last. Unfortunately, it is that very sacrifice, all be it noble and what is expected, why so many women find themselves feeling like they are being taken for granted.
Most men, and when I say the word men, I am talking about men who are not selfish, but selfless...men who understand that unless there is something more for her than being a glorified servant and housekeeper, that eventually, there will be rebellion...and that there is no truer saying than 'happy wife, happy life'.
And the irony is that these men I speak of, find women who are confident and put themselves above the relationship not scary, but attractive. Confidence is attractive. Sexy is not a look, but an attitude…a vibe. When a woman believes in herself, people see this and are more likely to also believe in her...and if some of those people think she is full of herself...well, that's their right to believe, but, it is also their problem, and not hers.
It is only important what others think of her if she chooses for it to be. It is, in my opinion, much more important what SHE thinks of herself. Putting herself above any relationship (except the children) is not selfish...and should be empowering and confidence-building (so long as she understands there are limits which must be observed, so as not to become a lonely monster).
If a relationship ends, and she is not the instigator, it's OK to still love and miss him, but the worst thing she can do is compromise her worth for another chance, even if she would kill for it.
She has to play the best hand she can by retaining her pride and dignity and keep a positive outlook. To go out with friends and genuinely enjoy herself...and when he sees her getting over him and moving forward with a smile...he will wonder why he let her go.
I thought I was finished with this piece, but then I realized something...that it could appear as if I am assuming I know how it is for most women...and I do want to clarify that I do not know how it is...how could I? I haven't spent one day living with all that a woman does throughout her life, and I want to apologize if any woman finds this aspect of the piece difficult to accept.
I may not know HOW it is, but I can empathize. What I do know, however, is that we men have been treating women in a fashion that we should feel ashamed of, for far too long, but if things are to change, it will not be men who will, or even should, lead the way. If women want equality and a fairer slice of this pie called life, they are going to have to demand it, rather than ask for it in a nice and polite way. It just isn't going to happen unless women are prepared to basically go it alone...but do not fear girls, we men will not be far behind you, and prepared to share the pie more fairly, once we get used to the idea that we no longer rule the roost alone and that if or when this happens, we will happily share that role.
And finally...I do understand that the roles of men and women are changing, but also that many women are perfectly happy being the homemakers and following in traditional roles...and that is, and always should be a choice...as it should be if young women want to go into non-traditional roles. The entire point of this piece is to try to shift the gender-specific mindset of us as a society, and recognize that we should not decide what these roles should be, and leave it up to the individual to decide if they want to try to become whatever it is they want in life.