The conversations surrounding, regarding and otherwise describing women have changed. For that, I should probably be grateful. However, being borderline ecstatic that people have stopped labeling women within the confines of the Madonna-whore complex feels somewhat Oliver-esque. And while it might be warranted, I’m not entirely ready to thank society while simultaneously and pathetically whispering, “Please sir, I want some more.”
Lately, I’ve come across attempts at highlighting the “complicated girl”. Pieces urging men to date the “complicated girl” or endless lists describing the “complicated girl”, as if it’s mind-blowing, unfathomable, urgent and otherwise breaking news that a woman is not just flamboyantly elementary.
Again, I should probably be grateful.
There is no such thing as a “complicated girl”. Just like there’s no such thing as a “simple” girl. There’s no such thing as a “strong” woman. There’s no such thing as a “weak” woman.
There are women, vast and multifaceted and interesting as they are boring and mundane and predictable. All different yet all the same in that they are capable of being whatever it is you think they are, and most certainly whatever it is you think they are not.
They are simplistic in their strength and complicated in their weakness. They are convoluted on occasion and straightforward in certain junctures. They are tremendous in their humanity and limitless in their consciousness.
So simply implying that a woman is either complicated or simple, this or that, one binary or another, is as preposterous as it is infuriating.
They are strong in moments, and weak in others. One instance of courage or regrettable feebleness does not a woman make. One moment she is crying in the shower, releasing a darkness that has no words or a fear that has no limit or an exhaustion that knows no mercy, and the next she’s standing toe-to-toe with a monumental life decision that requires earnestness and awareness and tenacity.
They are profoundly imperfect.
They are not easily categorized as just mothers or sisters, wives or girlfriends. They do not fit a mold predisposed for them by a demanding society, careless in its care and lazy in its efforts. The stereotypes attached to the labels we throw around with blatant indifference cannot possibly contain the numerous corners of a woman’s being.
There’s no such thing as an “independent” woman or a “needy” woman, only particular occasions in which she exercises her right to be unapologetically both. She’ll spend one night craving the strong shoulder and supportive arms of another, only to wake up the next morning desperate for space, making her own plans and selfishly hoarding her own experiences.
There is no “a real woman has this” or a “real woman does that”, as if being a member of the female sex involves successfully checking off a list of tangibles.
It’s maddening to watch as a woman’s boundless personas are whittled down to black and white tiers, pigeonholing her for the betterment of god knows who or what. Perhaps it is the listlessness of others, hellbent on circumventing the necessary time and energy it takes to get to know a person. Maybe it’s more malicious and vindictive than that. I hope not.
So, no, I am not ecstatic that people have stopped labeling women within the confines of the Madonna-whore complex, for they have simply found other, more “complicated” ways to do so.
I will not thank society for its vast, blatant and otherwise lazy dispassion, blindly categorizing a section of humanity that is as vast as humanity itself.
Instead, I’ll keep being the simplistically complicated, independently needy, fearlessly weak and pathetically strong woman who cannot, and will not, be filed in a cabinet of lazy disinterest.
Just. Like. You.