Well, I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing here. I mean, I know what I’m doing writing, but I’m unsure of this whole WordPress thing….
If you’ve read previous blog post you’ll likely recognize this site: Looking for a Blue Sky.
That blogger site has been my home for awhile, and there’s an excellent chance I’ll float on back there. It is, after all, where my archive is. But, after noticing that WordPress seems to be the favored blogging site (or at least it is for the people whose blogs I follow), I thought I’d give it a shot. And I probably spent at least an hour trying to play with colors and fonts, so it may ultimately prove to me more of a distraction from writing than anything….
Anyway…I’ve been meaning to write all week. I’ve had ideas people, ideas that felt SO IMPORTANT to write about in the moment. But these ideas presented themselves in the evening hours, when sleep beckoned. And I told myself “tomorrow I will write that brilliant post, and the world will love me and my wondrous insights,” and then tomorrow came, and my insights didn’t seem nearly as spectacular.
Story of my life.
So guess what? I’m going to write, and see where it takes us. And if it’s terrible, my foray into WordPress will never be spoken of again, and I will return to Blogger like this never happened. Deal?
Last night I somehow found myself engaging in a heated facebook discussion revolving around the question of who should be expected to pay on a date. And by “somehow,” of course, I mean that I willingly decided to offer my opinions, against my better judgment and despite the fact that I was probably already feeling kind of feisty (oops).
Anyway…the discussion got a bit heated, although I will say that everyone remained respectful overall (including, I hope, me). It really got me thinking, though. About a lot of different things, actually, especially as the discussion evolved. In the beginning, it was more blatantly about the question of whether or not a man being expected to pay on a date is a sexist notion. When the debate really picked up, it involved someone insisting that a man paying should be expected, and is the gentlemanly thing to do, which began a bigger discussion about gender roles and expectations.
I may start to get a little crazy here (at least a couple of people last night thought I did), so bear with me. I have no issues with a couple who is together and happy and the man and woman fall into traditional gender roles: Husband as breadwinner, and wife as homemaker. If that’s your situation, and the balance you have works for you, then great. What I have an issue with, is anyone who states that the above scenario is the way that it SHOULD be. And that if another couple does not follow those traditional roles, then the man is not really a “man,” and the woman is some kind of crazy feminist bitch.
Like it or not, times have changed. And a strict adherence to “male” and “female” roles just doesn’t (or shouldn’t) work anymore, and those who don’t fit into those traditional ideas of what a man or a woman should do shouldn’t have to feel judged because of the choices they make or have made. The truth is, nowadays in most households, both partners have to work to survive. Many mothers don’t even have the luxury of being stay at home mothers because they need to help provide for their family by working.
Also? Many women want to work. Even if they have a family. Is the balance tough? Oh, I’m sure it is. The work/life/family balance is tough for everyone. But we do what we have to in order to provide for the life that we want to be living, and to feel fulfilled in it. A woman shouldn’t be judged because they’re a mother and they work. Or because they’re a female breadwinner in a family.
In the midst of the discussion that took place last night, as it evolved, someone made a comment that if a woman insists on paying on a date, then she is sending a very clear signal that “her real HUSBAND is her career.” There were also comments about motherhood (made by a man), indicating that No mothers = no future.
I had (have) issues with both of these things. And while I know that these comments were not necessarily directed AT me specifically, they felt very personal. In regards to the first comment, I found the idea of a woman who wants to pay for/support herself being very clearly “married” to her career insulting. So, because I take my career seriously and like being able to pay my way and therefore not indebted to another person, then I can’t prioritize another person? I’m sorry, but that’s just not true. As a woman, yes, I do like feeling independent. I’m not the kind of person who would feel comfortable relying solely on another person for my well-being. That doesn’t, however, mean that I cannot or will not prioritize the people in my life over anything else. A man is allowed to be dedicated to their career AND expect the devotion of a loyal wife, but if woman takes her job seriously, then she’s not worthy of a man because she won’t give him enough attention? Oh, the problems I have with that.
Moving on to the comment about motherhood. This has been a super touchy subject for me lately, and I admit it’s almost entirely due to my own issues. I’m clearly at an age where motherhood is an expectation. My facebook feed is filled with the families that friends from high school have built, and are still building for themselves. I have close friends with small children. And I’m happy for them. I like seeing their cute children. I love visiting with the cute children in my own life. I would do anything for my nieces and goddaughter. Anything.
And yet…I’m not a mother. There’s an excellent chance I never will be. Admittedly, this is at least partially a choice on my part. I’ve never had a burning desire to have children, and I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is the implication that I’m somehow destroying the future by my decision not to procreate. On my bad days, I fear that somehow the motherhood status of my friends and my own lack of children is going to somehow drive a wedge between us that would devastate me. Because I know, I get it — I don’t know what it’s like to be a mother. I can guess, I can try to relate, but at the end of the day I just haven’t had the experiences they have.
The other thing I think about when I hear comments like the above about motherhood is the women who so desperately want their own children, and can’t have them. I can’t even imagine what that is like — the judgment feels terrible enough when you don’t want children, but to have to sit there and have people comment on your childlessness when that is the thing you most want? That has to be so hard to deal with, and I don’t envy anyone going through that.
As I wrote that last paragraph, I realized this post has gotten long, and is kind of dark, and is feeling more and more destined to get buried in a single post on this new site before I return to my good old Blogger page and post something new. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s fucking hard to be a woman sometimes. And I’m sure the expectations and pressures put on men are tough, too. Gender expectations go both ways, I get that. Life is just hard.
Despite my childlessness and my singleness and my weirdness, though — overall I feel good with who I am. I love my job, and I really do try to be good at it, and to succeed. I love my friends and my family, and know that they’ll all still love me at the end of the day, even if our lives aren’t all exactly the same. What would the fun in that be, anyway?
Anyway, I’ll keep reading, and (sometimes) writing, and appealing to Cassie to love me even half as much as I love her. And maybe one or two of you will keep reading my blogs despite my forays into topics like this one…. 😉