I've hesitated writing a post like this but it's something that has been on my mind for quite some time, is often the topic of conversation (not always of my choosing), and is something I feel very strongly about. I have had some wonderful conversations with other single women about their stance on it, mostly to see if I'm off base. Turns out we're all 1) a little stronger-willed than we may have realized and 2) confused by what society tells us.
I've gratefully been raised to be a strong and independent woman. I'm not even sure when I realized that as my identity. I'm definitely a woman of action and I'm tackling some very big things right now (big announcement coming soon!). I have goals for my life and I'm actively creating the person I want to be. Interestingly, society agrees that a woman should be independent and "successful" (quotes only because I feel there are too many definitions of success, not all of which I feel are accurate). In the workplace a woman must be strong-willed, competitive, and show no signs of emotional weakness (or any other weakness for that matter). We're supposed to "keep up" with the men (another tirade altogether).
Then we return to our personal lives and our (or at least my) feeble attempts at dating and relationships. All of a sudden, I'm supposed to be "needy": need a man to carry something, to fix something, to keep me company, to provide for me, etc. The men I've interacted with have all expressed a desire to be needed, and I get it. I also appreciate it, but I don't know how to accept it. And the thing is, this "need" goes far beyond traditional gender roles and stereotypes. Then I think of the men and feel they may have the same type of conundrum in reverse (oh my brain...chill out!).
If you're reading this, expecting some conclusion, sorry, I'm still working on it. (If you're still reading, bless you!)
I will however leave you with the following story that probably should have been left here without my rambling. It states far better what I'm thinking than I can write. I found this little gem on Facebook a couple of weeks ago (yes, that's how hesitant I've been to put this out there), and promptly forgot to get a good source reference. I think it's right on target with how I should be thinking. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
In a brief conversation, a man asked a
woman he was pursuing the question: "What kind of man are you looking
for?" She sat quietly for a moment
before looking him in the eye and asking, "Do you really want to
know?" Reluctantly, he said, "Yes."
She began to expound, "As a woman in
this day and age, I am in a position to ask a man what can you do for
me that I can't do for myself? I pay my own bills. I take care of my
household without the help of any man... or woman for that matter. I am
in the position to ask, 'What can you bring to the table?'"
looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money. She
quickly corrected his thought and stated, "I am not referring to
money. I need something more. I need a man who is striving for
excellence in every aspect of life."
He sat back in his chair, folded his
arms, and asked her to explain. She said, "I need someone who is
striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation and
mental stimulation. I don't need a simple-minded man. I need someone who
is striving for excellence spiritually because I don't need to be
unequally yoked...believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for
disaster. I need a man who is striving for excellence financially
because I don't need a financial burden. I need someone who is sensitive
enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to
keep me grounded. I need someone who has integrity in dealing with
relationships. Lies and game-playing are not my idea of a strong man. I
need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and
provider to the lives entrusted to him by God. I need someone whom I
can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be
submissive to a man who isn't taking care of his business. I have no
problem being submissive...he just has to be worthy. And by the way, I
am not looking for him...He will find me. He will recognize himself in
me. He may not be able to explain the connection, but he will always be
drawn to me. God made woman to be a help-mate for man. I can't help a
man if he can't help himself."
When she finished her spill, she looked at
him. He sat there with a puzzled look on his face. He said, "You are
asking a lot." She replied, "I'm worth a lot".