I have been having a difficult and quite painful time expressing how I felt about this for a long time.
I’ve written probably a hundred personal journal entries trying to describe my discontent with my relations with men, romantic or otherwise. But it’s been easier to separate myself from men when I haven’t involved myself with them sexually, and so I feel I have been much more likely to dismiss my pain.
Children are given toxic ideas about love throughout their indoctrination into the patriarchal culture. Such as movies like “Beauty and the Beast” to books such as “Twilight”. Women are taught to romanticize all of men’s abusive traits. And between this, and witnessing and experiencing male violence from a young age, I had a really hard time standing up for myself and from escaping these types of situations.
I’ve learned a lot about the ways in which men keep women below them and submissive to them through the process of working on my trauma that I am not to blame. and I am not to blame. The root of this problem, is male dominance.
The next thing I have realized while trying to rewire my brain after my trauma, is that I have always put more energy and more emotional investment into my relationships with men, and have always felt that my needs always came last.
I heard other women complain of this as well, but never connected it to male and female socialization until I was introduced to feminism.
And I have had a hard time coming to terms with it. So to a certain degree, I understand how easy it is to dismiss these feelings and to internalize them.
It’s not like I felt like I could bring this up with any man I was in a relationship with because I had this uncontrollable fear of being alone.
Women are damned into one of two subordinate roles. The first is the submissive and nurturing woman, the one who cares the most and is cared about the least. Or as social media would term it, “wifey material”. The Belle, the Cinderella, The Snow White. You get the point. Women are taught from a young age that the pure and worthy women devote their lives to a man, it is her paramount that she marry and remain faithful. And by doing this, she will be praised but on the contrast, men are taught the extreme opposite, that they should have as many sexual partners as possible, and that if emotionally committed to a woman, they are “whipped” and she is demonized for “holding him back” and so in and so forth.
Not only does this create a cycle whereby women are always subject to heart break and/or emotional abuse but to be completely to the point, because I don’t really know how else to say it, it makes us feel worthless. And what’s worse is when we can’t name the root of the problem. A woman will just become frustrated trying to express it and blame herself, and try to change.
The feeling is this-No matter the energy we put in, we will never, as a woman, be worth the same emotional commitment as a man. A man deserves loyalty, women are just there to fill his desires. I assert that women, on the whole, suffer more pain in and after relationships than men do on the whole do to this socialization.
Women only exist in their relationships with men. In an attempt to gain back my dignity, I recall, after this had happened to me once, I had tried to “act more like a man” sexually, feeling that I could have sex without any emotional attachment, without the thought of a commitment, with a man and this would guard my heart. It failed miserably because it truly wasn’t what I wanted and I knew all I wanted was the same commitment and emotional investment from a man that I was willing to put in.
Not to mention, I was placed in into the second subhuman category that I mentioned earlier, “slut”, meaning that I was meant to be a sex object and was no longer even worthy of being considered as a life long partner. So either way I felt I would never get the treatment I believed I deserved. When I realized this was a common, and I began to delve deeper into the problem, I came to the conclusion that having equal relationships with men can hardly be expected and so what was I to do?
I already had it in my head for some time that it was necessary for me to find a man, get married, have kids, buy a house… But I’ve trashed the idea of marriage all together trough my growth and understanding in feminism.
It’s clear to see the validity of political celibacy, female separatism, and political lesbianism as radical options that have been adopted by many radical feminist. Even if I haven’t accepted this for myself, radical feminism has given me the language to be able to name the problem.
The way that men are taught that commitment to women was an act of throwing away their dignity and the throwing away of experiencing having sex with many women, (which is seen as being of major importance because this is supposed to be the way in which exist on this planet, to serve men’s sexual desires) is so heavily joked out throughout movies and other forms of media.
He left her for a younger woman, he cheated on her with the house sitter and “What was he supposed to do? They had been married for so long!” And “What did she really expect? This is just how men are.. Every marriage goes through it.” And it was always her fault, she got old, she gained weight, her sex drive went down.
But women are told, don’t you dare express that you think you’re anything more than a gas station, a rest stop for men while they are on the road to bigger and better things. It’s you’re duty to fill him up, fill his desires. But don’t worry sweetheart, just wait. Continue to be subservient because maybe a man will come along who truly values you and will emotional invest himself in you the way you have with him. Maybe it won’t be a waste… and this is just what we are taught to.
And it boils my blood thinking how I’ll never be able to articulate this the way I want. It will never be a very coherent because of the worthlessness I feel as I write it. The subject becomes too personal to me and I just hope I have done myself some justice by actually writing it out, for the few wonderful, good noodles, that will read read this, finally.