‘-You are such a girly girl!’
‘Girly’ is no longer part of our daughter’s vocabulary. ‘This does not exist mom!’ – it is what my 13-year-old-daughter told me when I said: ‘That’s really girly!’.
‘This is for boys’ or ‘ this is for girls’ also does not belong to their repertoire. Our girls understand that stores do not need to be divided into ‘Boys’ / ‘Girls’ sections. If she wants to buy boxers fine, if he wants to buy a skirt, fine. It is just clothing, it does not come with personality or gender built in. Check these out: ‘Boys in Skirt’ click here to see teens in France protesting, or here to see what is going on with ‘Boys wearing skirts’ in Brazil.
Our girls also deal with their sexuality in an experimental way, free from prejudice:
‘-I don’t know if I’ll be like homosexual or heterosexual, but we could also be bisexual, right?’ – this is a conversation between two pre-teens:
Or, two little sisters come to their mom and say:
‘-Mom, we are homosexuals’ 🙂
‘-Oh…wow! Ummm…er…How did you guys get to this? Interesting!’
‘-Mom, com’on we kiss each other, we hug, dont’ we? So!’ 🙂
And we, the mothers, hear them all and think…
‘-Wow! Give me a sec.. breathe in: I am a modern woman…1, I am free from prejudice…2, breathe…breathe…’ 😉
At Cafe Feminista, we also discussed being a woman in the workplace. We heard from a friend who resigned from her job. She got to know that her male co-worker, was earning 100k more than her. He was doing the exact same job, but with a penis, of course!
We tie up our hair, we put on that ugly suit and we let go of the pink lipstick in order to be taken seriously. And even though you are or you behave like a tough cookie, there will be the odd time when you drop a tear:
‘-This role is jut too much for you! Why did you have to put yourself into this? Why did you have to accept this promotion? Looking after a family and undertake a job with so many reponsibilities?! Seriously?!’ – these are the comments you may hear from your mom, your girlfriend, your co-workers!
And take two men talking…
Men meeting men:
‘-Hey dude! Haven’t seen you in a while! What is up with that beer belly man!?’
‘-Whatever man! Where the f…have you been?’
They leave and…
‘-That guy is really cool, he’s a good guy!’
‘-Hi! Wow! Haven’t seen you in a while! You look good! Have you lost weight? Your hair!? Love the colour!’
‘-Thanks! You look well, too!’
As soon as they turn their backs…
‘-What the heck was that? I had no idea she had put on so much weight!’
The lack of respect amongst ourselves, the judgemental comments. Where is the so called ’empowering each other’?
You are a mom and, you decide to go out there and work full-time…
‘-Yes! Welcome back to work! I knew it! I knew you’d go crazy sitting at home! Housework is a nightmare and it takes you nowhere!’ – these are your friends who like yourself; have a full-time-job.
Well, some time goes by and you change your mind; resigning from your job. When you meet with your friends for a brunch – the friends who like yourself, also decided to be stay-at-home-moms…
‘-Yes! You are back! I am so glad you gave up that job! You were like, all over the place! I remember when little Zack got sick and you sent us that message on whatsapp…I felt so sorry for you and for Zack; you had to give him Motrin and just drop him off at pre-school…’
And in your head; how does it feel to be you?
The cruelty we experience since little girls…
‘-What an ugly T-shirt!’ – the mean comments from the mean girls (they can start as early as elementay school or…earlier).
‘-You hair looks gross!’
‘-What are you wearing?’
Did you know there are girls cutting themselves, commiting or trying to commit suicide, getting literally sick, depressed, having social anxiety, panic attacks…all because their environment is becoming a bit too much to cope with? All the bitching and bullying, accompanied from excessive amounts of homework, extra-curricular activities, crazy expectations from parents, schools, society. Absurd levels of competition and the sense of inadequacy are driving our little girls to the edge. All these added on to puberty, is simply way too much of a struggle for one to battle with, alone. I speak of my own environment; the Silicon Valley.
And how about our networks? We, women, together! Together we get there faster! Together!
There are few women who genuinely empower and support their sisters. Our big majority still send us these messages:
‘I am the perfect one and I have the best formula for’:
‘The perfect hair!’
‘The slimmest figure!’
‘The best, most youthful skin!’
‘The best diet!’
‘The most perfect education for my kids!’
‘The most sublime breastfeeding!’
‘The most incredible and ‘problem-free’ kids!’
‘The most intelligent kids!’
‘The best behaved ones!’
‘The most amazing kids at school!’
‘At Community Service!’
‘And they go to the best Summer Camps ever! In fact, they are camp counselors!’
‘They are superb in Arts!’
‘And guess what? My kids are so entrepreneurial, too!’
And these women also hold the incredible art in materializing all of the above plus: they travel a lot, they do something fun every weekend, they go on dates with their husbands, and they have sex like 10 times a week! They show us life in the blue world is sensational!! Thank you Facebook!
You see all these and you do not feel we are together, do you? You feel lonely and inadequate.
But…it is not true! There is not a perfect woman, you are not perfect, I am not perfect and neither are they! We do not need to be perfect. Besides, it is not even good for us! What we need to do, is to say that little word we learned at around the age of 2…the word that showed that we have a self; we have a say: ‘NO!’ No, I am not going to do all of these things! NO! My kids will not be busy 7 days a week. NO! I do not have a plan for this weekend or next one! And yes, I am fine thank you 😉
Feminism, in my humble opinion, is an important movement which defends equality between man and woman. It makes us aware of cruel behaviours and chouvinistic acts that end up killing women either physically or psychologically. The Feminism I support is a humanism.
Equally, I believe ‘bitching’ to be an extremely harmful behaviour to any age group. We women, have to abandon ‘bitching’ entirely, so that our daughters will be truly capable of fighting our Feminist battle, together. Only then, they will be able to empower and above all respect one another, as human beings.
Big thank you to all women present at our Cafe Feminista and looking forward to our Cafe Noir! Our end of the year celebration!! Stay tuned!