Friday, July 27, 2012

Feminist Friday: Things That Aren't Other Peoples Business

Alright ladies, I'm sure you've all noticed this and been the victim of it at some point in your life. When you're a woman people seem to think that you need to justify your decisions -particularly ones revolving around relationships, sex, and pregnancy. It's extremely difficult to be a woman and state that you want to be single or married. If you want to have casual sex with someone, only with people you love, or not at all. If you want to have 9 kids, 1 kid, or no kids at all but maybe a few cats.

No matter what you want regarding any of these topics people are going to question you. They want to know why you want that many kids -don't you want to focus on your career? They want to know why you don't want any kids -don't you want a family? I'm sure you'll change your mind. And they definitely want to know how much sex you're having and all the reasons behind that very personal decision -why would you sleep with someone if you're not going to get married? Do you want to be labeled as a slut? You're not having sex!? What are you, a prude?

The double standards are ridiculous. And in case you are one of those people who happen to think that you're entitled to know all the reasons behind someone's personal decisions and also have the right to judge them for it, let me spell that out for you.

Being a woman does not mean that I have to report to anyone. Having a vagina does not mean that I'm incapable of making my own decisions. The only person in charge of your life is you. No one has the right to tell you how you should live it or to judge you based on trivial things like how many people you've slept with or whether or not you want kids. It doesn't matter. 

I don't care how much sex a girl has had or with how many people. I don't care if she has a friend with benefits or has one night stands. She is not a slut and slut-shaming is not okay. And choosing not to have sex or to be more picky about who it's with does not make her a prude. We all make our own decisions and those decisions deserve to be respected without snide comments or rude names being tossed around by those who think their decisions are better.

And its not just men who provide this double standard so don't think I am singling them out. I'm not at all. Women are just as guilty of this because they have been taught from a young age (however indirectly) that having "too much" sex makes you a slut and having "too little" makes you a prude. The thing they fail to tell you is that there is no middle ground. There's no winning. You're shamed either way. Someone is going to go out of their way to judge you and try to bring you down.


Its not just sex either. If you're a single, independent woman then for some reason people seem to think you are in need of a relationship. People ask you if you have a boyfriend. They ask if you've been on any dates recently. They ask you about your ex. They want to know your thoughts on marriage and when you'll start a family. It can quickly become the main topic of discussion. Your job, friends, hobbies, dreams, and opinions are often easily thrust aside so that they can talk to you about your relationship status. It's insulting, first off, as well as not their business.

And children are where people really get annoying about your choices. I have personally chosen not to have kids. I made this decision when I was still a teenager and at 22 years old my position has not budged. I don't want kids. It's not that I don't like them, I just don't think being a mom is for me. And that choice is something people really like to have a go at. I can't tell you how many times I've been told that I'll "change my mind" or that someday I'll "think differently about it." Or better yet that I'll surely want them when I "find the right person." It's infuriating. I'm not going to change my mind, and seeing as I'm the only inside my head, I'm the only one who gets to call the shots on how I think and feel on the matter. Plus, I don't think "finding the right person" has much to do with it. Maybe some people find the love of their life and decide to have children, but that doesn't hold true for everyone and should not be something that is brought up.

To be honest, none of it should be brought up. When you tell someone you don't want kids they should accept it and move on with the conversation. Same goes if you tell them you do want kids. Or that you're single. Or married. Or in an open relationship. Or celibate. Or having sex 20 times a week with 3 different people. Whatever.

The point is, it's no one's business but your own. You do not have to justify your decisions and people shouldn't demand that you do.

This post has been long and if you stuck through it then I seriously commend you. I usually post happier, more positive things on my blog, but some things just have to be said, which is the whole point of Feminist Friday. Besides, once you free yourself from caring what others think about you and your life you'll be much happier anyways. 

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  1. I totally agree with you. I used to be married (got married way too young and to the absolute wrong person). After we got married people always asked when we were going to have kids. All. the. time. I have never felt the drive to be a mom either. If I were to get pregnant I'm sure I'd keep it and be happy but I will never go out of my way to get pregnant..anyway, we'd get asked all the time and I'd say I didn't want kids.. then "why!? you're married! everyone wants kids." It was infuriating. Then after we broke up "why did you break up?" I didn't feel like telling every one and their mother that he beat me. So I'd say "things just sometimes don't work" "but marriage is supposed to be forever. It's a promise you made to each other before GOD!"
    Gah. Sorry to ramble here i just totally get what you are saying. And you know, I think it's badass when women don't give a shit about sex. Whether they are having none, a bit or a ton and with whoever they please. I must say I judge myself for my wild, free love ways of my past. And THAT bugs me. Why should I care?
    I'm glad you posted this. Got me thinking.

    1. People can be so infuriating. I'm glad you got away from that asshole. No one should have to go through that.
      I'm glad you liked the post. I think these kinds of things are important to put out there.


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