I recently became extremely frustrated when I made an observation about one of my close friends. My friend is an activist of women’s issues and has worked with a woman’s charity. She would be classified as very liberal on the political spectrum, and is a stringent judge of what is wrong with male attitudes in society. And there are things wrong with male attitudes concerning women in society today (see: the debate to get rid of Page 3, the stigma attached to the word ‘feminist’, ‘lad’ culture and so on and so forth). But that is an issue for another day. I was angry at my friend, the self proclaimed feminist, and her attitude towards a romantic situation she was involved in that was out of character. It made me question why women forget what they deserve once they meet a man.
The situation was as follows: My friend was not being taken as seriously as she would have liked in her ‘relationship’. She wanted more from the relationship than her love interest but allowed herself to be treated in a way that made her miserable, in the hope of him seeing the light and wanting her to be his girlfriend. Yes, we are all of guilty of wishful thinking, I know.
In all honesty, I found my friend’s behaviour hypocritical- on the one hand she would preach about how men control women in various ways, and the next she was entertaining such a man and even worse, making excuses for him.
‘You don’t even know him’.
If she saw a woman in the same situation as the one she was in she would definitely have something to say about it, that’s the thing. You could say love is blind, but this wasn’t love. This stems from insecurity and loneliness.
Loneliness is the single thing that is universally feared as we become older, the fear of having no companion in life and no one to wake up to we’re seventy. When you picture yourself as a cat lady, especially after a long period of being single, as was the case with my friend, it can be overpowering- strong woman or not. It is easy to see why women are then so persistent in their quest to keep a man, sometimes at any cost. From that point of view, there is always hope that a man can grow to reciprocate your feelings, but there is no hope for you when you’re seventy years old, alone and surrounded by your 17 cats looking like Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham, not Mrs. So, our best bet is to try, and try hard, to find our partner.
No one wants to end up alone, and after a while of being alone, we may cling on to a romantic situation out of desperation, a far cry from what she would and what we should do if we know what’s good for us. The way I see it, we owe it to ourselves to be respected, even if it means we are temporarily lonely. If anything, it is the best excuse to do things for yourself, things you haven’t done because you were so preoccupied with a man that isn’t worth your time.
Being alone doesn’t have to mean you’re lonely, you know.
Featured image credit: laberlisienne.com
Photo cred: feministproblemz.tumblr.com