Friday, July 11, 2014
(For those of you who are unsure, yes…this is Jane. Jane believed that women should be given the opportunity to be independent, self-reliant, and own their own property. Unfortunately, she had to be satisfied with promoting the ability to choose their own husbands, instead of marrying the person who could best help the family.)
For the record: I chose my own husband. The rest is debatable.
Lately, there has been a lot of talk in the news regarding the role of women. Fox News has the “Princeton Mom” espousing the idea that women should spend 75% of their time in college finding a suitable mate, because if you’re single in your mid-thirties, your time is up. She also wants us to quit being entitled princesses, and start being nicer to our husbands. She believes that feminism has gone too far.
In a related event, some guy at Fox named Steve says that we should talk softly (but not too much) and wear well-cut jeans and a colorful top in order to please our husbands. (As opposed to…? Making him cookies?)
Meanwhile, over at PepsiCo, the female CEO, Indra Nooyi, has made it a point that she doesn’t believe women can have it all.
So, after digesting all this, I have reached the conclusion that NONE of this matters to me. I found a husband after college, but not long after---I was still cute, and therefore I had a little bit of power. I am fortunate that he is a nice guy and relatively easy to get along with. We rarely (and I mean that TRULY—maybe two or three times a year) raise our voices, and a lot of our ‘nagging’ (if you can call it that) is silly and full of humor. I don’t feel at all entitled, and if I feel like splurging on myself, I use MY money. (Last year I bought the first new car I have ever owned…with MY money.) Could I be a better wife? Sure…I can think of things that I could improve, but I’m afraid that perfection would intimidate my sweet DL. So I’m actually doing him a favor by not being perfect. I will never be a CEO, so I don’t have to worry about having it all, and I wear jeans and shirts when it’s appropriate. I also wear dress slacks and cardigans and skirts (occasionally) and I own one dress that currently fits.
None of this matters to me.
But this stuff DOES matter to my daughter.
Does she need to hear that she has lost the opportunity to find a husband because she didn’t find him in college? If she continues on her career path, will she be giving something up? Does she have to decide now? She’s 24, and these things matter.
What message are we sending young women? ‘Don’t speak your mind, or guys will resent you?’ ‘If you choose a demanding career, be prepared to pay the price?’ ‘Your jeans better fit and your top better be colorful or you’re a loser?’ ‘If you’re not married by 30, you will be a crazy cat lady?’
I can’t believe it’s 2014 and we’re still talking about this. Every young woman has the right to do what is best for HER…whether it’s marrying at 22 or 42, wearing corduroys or a ball gown, focusing on career or family…can’t we just present all the options and let these young women choose for themselves without making them feel insecure in their choices?
The world is your oyster, young lady. Don’t listen to the naysayers.