Am I the only person who feels as if the people making the decisions about what it means to actually be a woman are, in fact, NOT women? Men, systems, institutions are all weighing in on what it means to be a woman. And I have to tell you, it ain’t good. I dated a guy once who would incessantly accuse me of being emotional. At the time I was just really starting to learn what it meant for me to be a woman in this world today. I took what he said to heart and considered it a weakness. In response I worked tirelessly to control my emotions by not responding to his every snide remark, not getting too happy or excited when I heard his voice or making sure I wasn’t too loud or passionate during our lovemaking. Eventually, I lost the desire to be affectionate towards him, to do little things like give him a card just because or write an affectionate note. See not only had I actually begun to the play the part he thought he wanted me to play, but I truly stopped authentically feeling the emotions I had once before. And guess what happened? He complained that I acted like I didn’t care. I now wasn’t as affectionate as I had been before. He thought my feelings had changed. Needless to say, soon after, I removed myself from that toxic mess.
I feel that as women we’ve allowed ourselves to be deluded
by certain ideas that hold us back,
such as the over-glorification of masculine consciousness.
To me, liberation doesn’t mean that I can think just like a man.
Real liberation means that I can think, act, and be like a woman
and receive equal respect, honor, and compensation. ~ Marianne Williamson
The thing that separates women from men is a woman’s capacity/tendency to be emotional. Unfortunately, at some point in this now patriarchal society, men started telling us that this was a weakness. They convinced us that it was more acceptable to be like them. They began to make us feel badly that we were created, wired, differently. Can you believe this? The very way God intended us to be has been used as an excuse to make us feel inferior. Our emotions have been the butt of jokes, the topic of long, heated discussions, and the so-called “reason” for many break-ups. What’s even more unbelievable is that there are women who share the sentiment. Some women now believe that being emotional is a sign of weakness. We’ve imprisoned our emotions for the sake of what? Being accepted by men as partners? Sadly, we’ve responded by becoming more masculine in our relationship behaviors and thus, creating even more of a derisive confusion between women and men with regards to intimacy and roles in relationships. So many of us approach HIM first, ask for his number and even take HIM out to dinner. Is it really a mystery why things have gotten so mixed-up? Controlling, hiding, or dumbing down our emotions is obviously not the answer. We must embrace our womanness. (*Invoking poetic license here*)
Womanhood today is tentative and unsure, a thing defined more by what it isn’t than by what it is. For some women, this is not a problem. They have risen above the complexities of society’s projections and misunderstandings and now fly high above the clouds. For most women, however, the resistances they encountered as they reached for the sky were so great that their wings have now drooped, and they try no longer. ~ Marianne Williamson
After ending that very unhealthy relationship, I realized that I am, authentically, an emotional person. My emotions are directly tied to my soul. The expression of emotions is my soul’s way of speaking. I would never dare limit my soul’s voice here on Earth. I refuse to apologize for the way I was made. And I damn sure will never attempt to change that about myself again. There are far too many people walking around with “controlled” emotions who one day just blow up because they never allowed themselves a healthy, expressive outlet. No thank you! I love my emotions. As a matter of fact, I celebrate them. God makes absolutely no mistakes. I give myself permission to operate authentically just as I am. My goddess is secure and confident and knows that our emotions are beautifully necessary. Smooches!
*SN: The excerpts come from Marianne Williamson’s book A Woman’s Worth. An excellent book and must read for every woman.