6 Things We Need To Stop Telling Women They Need To Do

I am not sure what qualifies anyone to determine what separates a “woman” from a “girl.” I am not sure what qualifies anyone to tell another person how he or she should behave. Because as far as I am concerned the only thing that separates a “woman” from a “girl” is three to four years of awkward pre-pubescent behavior, zits, braces, getting your period, and maybe a couple of solid life experiences.

You know, when I woke up this morning, I couldn’t help but think, “You know what this world needs? Another article written by a man about what type of woman is most desirable.” If there’s one thing on this planet that there’s a shortage of, it’s definitely male opinions about “feminine” behavior. I only wish I could decide for myself what type of woman I want to be, but when I think too hard, my boobs get in the way of my brain. Being a lady is real hard!

1. How I should dress in order to be taken seriously.

Because of course when I wear a dress or shirt that reveals my shoulders, or chest, or collarbone, I am doing so because I want you to LOOK AT ME. LOOK AT ME. I am SO SEXY. I am THE MOST SEXY. Look at my collarbone! It’s a woman’s collarbone. I am a sexy woman with a sexy collarbone, and I am begging you to notice. Conversely, I sometimes wear sweatpants. Sometimes I wear nothing at all. And I don’t care if you notice. I don’t care if you like it. I do what I want, when I want. That is what makes me a woman.

2. How I should speak, or express myself.

Don’t tell me that only silly girls internalize their feelings. Then again, this is probably true. Although I think what you meant to say was that “babies” expect men to know how they feel and what they’re thinking, and that “anyone over the age of 2” uses their words. I’ll remember this the next time I need my boyfriend to change my diaper or feed me nom-noms.

3. That “real women” pay during a date, and that means that they’re secure.

I mean, come on. Why are we even making this an issue? Who actually cares who pays for a meal? When I am in a relationship, I tend to keep my boyfriend around because he is fun, and he is charming, and he gets my obscure pop culture references, and yes, he occasionally takes care of me. As an adult, man or woman, everyone should be able to physically and emotionally take care of himself or herself. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t nice to share the burden from time to time. That doesn’t make me any less of a woman; it makes me a functioning human being with feelings and a fluctuating paycheck. Sometimes I pay, sometimes I don’t.

4. That “real women” eat ‘just like one of the guys!’

This one is probably the worst, because why should it be more desirable to be ‘one of the guys’ when I am a woman? Additionally, the same guy who tells you that real girls eat whatever they want is A) The guy who will order for you at a restaurant or B) The guy who says “real girls eat whatever they want” but gives you the old side-eye when you order a cheeseburger because calories.

What if I actually want to order a salad, and then when I get home, I kind of feel like binging on chips and queso? Clearly a ploy to seem thinner and more desirable. You caught me. Or maybe I just eat what I want, when I want, and sometimes that’s a spinach and arugula salad and sometimes it’s an entire frozen pizza with a side of pepperoni rolls. Deal with it.

5. That “real women” don’t get wasted.

Really? They don’t? THANK YOU! I really was unaware that it is not in my best interest to get blackout drunk and eat an entire pizza before passing out on someone’s couch. But hey, it’s pizza and not salad, so I guess I’m a real woman after all! Yippee! Here’s the deal: If you want to drink, drink. Free booze is free booze is free booze. If you want a woman that prefers not to drink, or who prefers to stay in, that is totally fine, and there is nothing wrong with that. That doesn’t make a woman who enjoys whiskey, dancing, and letting loose on a Friday night less of a “woman.” It just makes her “not your type,” which is okay.

6. That “real women” only like certain types of books, movies, and TV.

I read so much sometimes it gives me a headache. I read classics, and YA, and science fiction, and dystopian novels, and memoirs, and US Weekly. I also watch The Real Housewives of New York, Pretty Little Liars, Orange Is The New Black, The Vampire Diaries, Game Of Thrones, AND Honey Boo Boo. Oh god… What fresh hell is this? This simply… Does… Not… Compute. Literature… mixed with POPULAR CULTURE? Highbrow… mixed with lowbrow? I’m tired now. I think I’ll go take a nap.

I often wonder how women do it. How do they juggle maintaining a perfectly modest wardrobe, a tasteful library of leather-bound books, keep tabs on their alcohol intake, AND still manage to stay so… fascinating? To top it off, now you want us to have rudimentary knowledge of current events?! It’s just too much. I better get back in the kitchen before my lady brain implodes.

Can we all just agree to stop this? Telling people what makes them “real?” Just stop it. Stop the “30 Reasons You’re Not Living Your Life The Right Way” articles. The “20 Things You Need To Do To Live Your Best Life!” articles, “The 16 Reasons Why You Haven’t Found The One Yet” articles?

If you want to travel, travel. If you want to get married get married. If you want to focus on your career, then you should. If you want to get blackout drunk, you do you. If you want to have 16 kids by the time you’re 20, good for you! If you want to “find yourself” while backpacking through the Himalayas, have a swell time. Making decisions or having traits that don’t sit well with everyone in the general population doesn’t make you less of a woman, or less of a man, or less of a human being. It makes you independent. It makes you indefinable. And that’s the best thing you can be. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

featured image – Mad Men

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