When you’re a woman in your early 20s, there are a number of things you know not to be. It’s been learned through multiple experiences that guys will think you’re ridiculous and weak if you cry in front of them. If you get mad at a guy about something, then you’re a bitch. If you fall for a guy who doesn’t reciprocate your feelings, then you’re over emotional. On top of it all, people often confuse kindness and respectfulness with a lack of self-confidence. So what are we supposed to be? What’s left for them to tell us how to act?
It takes women an awful long time to believe that they have every right to the way they feel. It’s not just about what a guy thinks of us, but it’s about how we think a guy thinks of us. Time and time again society tells us that, as women, we should talk and act a certain way in order for men to like us. Just read the headlines of any women magazine out there and you will see. When it comes to our individual lives, it’s the small things that chip away at us; like that surprised look some guys get when you tell them you like sports. This makes us feel as if we have to constantly prove our worth. When we’re young, we don’t realize that we’re already worthy and we don’t need to prove ourselves to anyone.
It’s time to change the negative connotations that go along with words like ‘emotional’. Say you’re going on a hike and you become so tired and hot that your emotions start to build up and you just break down right then and there on the trail. You can feel stupid about yourself, which will probably just make you cry more, or you could realize that you have every right to feel the way you are feeling and if tears stream down your face and you fall to your knees, just tell yourself that you are strong for being able to show your emotions so openly.
Say you’re yelling at a guy for flirting with another girl and he calls you crazy for acting out. You can either take that hit to your confidence, or you can think of ‘crazy’ as another way to say passionate. You care so deeply about the relationship that you can’t hold in your frustrations when your guy threatens it. So stand up and take the breath out of his lungs by embracing the word crazy because it means that you have a strong heart.
One of the worst things a guy can call a girl is “bitch”. It’s hurtful and degrading. So let’s take back the power by seeing this word for what it really is. In my experience, guys gravitate towards this word when a woman rejects them. If he’s the type of guy to call a woman a bitch for making her own choice about him, then clearly he is not a good person and she was able to recognize this. Therefore, when a guy calls a woman a bitch, it truly means is that she has enough self-respect to do what’s best for her and to make her own decisions. Thinking this way will take away a guy’s power to verbally degrade you like this.
No matter what, it’s wrong for any guy to call any woman these things, but if we are able to change the narrative so that the words have a positive meaning, then we as women can grow with a stronger mindset and sense of self. It takes a long time to change society and it seems like a far distance until men stop putting women down with these words. What we can do right now is stop them from having the power to hurt us. And that is a big step towards a brighter future.