There are many (in fact too many) expectations of what a woman should be, like how they should behave, attitude, political views, appearances, and many more. As a woman in her mid 20s having all these information laying around about feminism, body image, self-identity, I’m starting to think that there are no exact criteria on how to be a woman and there shouldn’t be. In my point of view, women are human beings and they should be treated equally as other human beings. Same as men, trans, gays, lesbians, atheists, religious people (and everything else), as human beings should be treated equally. Of course there are perks of being a woman (that’s undeniable) but we shouldn’t take that advantages for granted.
I’m not a true feminist, I’m not a religious person, I don’t have all the confidence in the world, I’m just one of many people who has something in her mind. Coming from a pretty conservative and religious family, as a kid I was taught to be religious, respect the elderlies, learn about my “supposedly” faith, and don’t really have any chance to speak your mind. My dad is a very hard-worker person and couldn’t spend that much time with his children. He is very strict about curfews and very religious from my perspective. Personally, I don’t have a very close father-daughter relationship with him. Looking back, the way he raised his children was through fear and that still sticks to me until now. I think that’s why I have this awkwardness when socializing with opposite sex, because the fear that I had as a child, when I said the wrong things in front of him and get yelled at, and to think that men have a more superior power over me create this shy individual.
On the other side, my mother, as a housewife, is the most loving person in the world. As they say, a mother’s love is unconditional, and I believe that. She will always be the one who protects her kids from looking “wrong” in front of my father. She covers for us when we go home late; she’s the one who reminds us to go home early so that my father won’t get mad. Now that I think about, it’s a little bit fcked up, right? Hahaha. Communications have never been a smooth thing in my family. Though I considered that I have the closest relationship with my mother compared to other my family members, I don’t have that kind of relationship where I can talk about anything (eg: my love life) to her.
So, from that background story you should have known what my views were for being a woman. Growing up, I have this vision of becoming someone great but also wanted to be a housewife. Get into university, married before I’m 25, work to get a good position (just like my father), and eventually retire to take care of the kids (just like my mother). I have never been a religious person as a child or growing up, as I feel like I’m the most rebellious kid in the family, so saying that I want to follow the path from my faith would be BS. But all of that have changed recently and as I’m drama queen, I’m going to say it changes dramatically.
I still want to be someone great, make an impact, and bring something meaningful to the society. But now I don’t see a woman should only be her husband’s accessory, she should be independent. She should be able to speak her mind (in a logical way) about her views of the world without the fear of stepping over the line as a wife or a mother. Or better yet, a woman shouldn’t be identified as a “real” woman only after she bears a child. Each of us is unique and that uniqueness is what makes us real, no question asked.
Livings in a country when a woman behaves in “different” ways (far from what society think as “normal”) are always looked upon, it’s very hard to show or convey what you really think. Matter of fact, if I bring this up to my family, damn I will be kicked out of the house for sure. Like until now, my dad still scold me when I wear pants, especially tight pants, because in his perspective women shouldn’t wear pants. And because of that (and other reasons) I’d rather keep it to myself, because family is still very important for me and I couldn’t bear it if I lose them. My conservative point of view still stick with me and I respect my parents for always reminding me of that, but I don’t think I could become the woman I want to be just having that.
Being an independent woman is not a bad thing. To focus on your career first than thinking about marriage or having a family is not the worst thing in the world. It doesn’t make us less of a woman. And I have no problem with other women who had chosen that path, in fact I envy their bravery to start a family and have a whole other responsibility on their shoulder. Dependency with our partner should go both ways, they don’t control us; both parties should be able to depend on each other on the same level. Women (and society) should also stop generalizing what a “real” woman should be. As long as we respect each other as human beings and basically just try to be a good person to everyone and everything, we (as women) should be able to have more positive impact to the world. I personally hope by writing this, I will be able to remind myself that every little thing that I do, as a daughter, as a woman, as an independent individual, would eventually create something good for myself and things around me.
*this article sent to us by a smart young woman who wants to be remained anonymous, and we respect that.