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Don’t dumb yourself down

Gleichberechtigung 2I read a good blog a few days ago. The title is Getting Married is not an Accomplishment, written by Natalie Brooke. In her blog the author states that society tends to see “getting hitched” as a much greater accomplishment than getting a promotion or having a great career. She added, “You don’t have to have a brain, drive or special skill set to get married. You just have to have a willing partner. However, getting into X school, graduating with Y degree, and landing Z job does require actual hard work.“

It is basically a sad thing that in 2016 Western societies, which are often considered modern and associated with forward thinking, still regard women as more accomplished if they are married or in a committed relationship. Of course women have to fight this kind of misconception. But what caused this misconception to linger in the modern minds in the first place?

(Copyright: contrastwerkstatt/Fotolia)

(Copyright: contrastwerkstatt/Fotolia)

I would suggest that women also play an important role in how society looks at them because society also consists of women. And I would say the problem lies not (only) in the workplace. Of course the glass ceiling, gender bias and stereotypes exist. Those are big problems that women are facing and have to fight. But what I am talking about is connected more to self-confidence, self-acknowledgement and courage in private life. Women have to display these qualities also in private life, in their relationships with friends and families, AND in dating. Believe it or not, women can still stay feminine while displaying their qualities, degrees and achievements to the man they like or love.

Doris Lessing said, “Few women are ready to defend what they really think, feel or know in front of a man they love.“ It is stressing enough that some women tend to worry about not finding a guy – any guy – when the biological clock clicks louder and louder. Some women – in their effort go get a guy – dumb themselves down. The feminist Emma Watson said something similar, “The saddest thing for a girl to do is to dumb herself down for a guy.”

That doesn’t only mean acting dumb in front of that guy. It can also mean changing opinion to please the guy. Ever seen the movie Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere? Like Maggy Carpenter in the film, sadly enough, some women can change their opinion depending on the man they are “after”. They could also give up their ideas, and even their faith. All is done, in order to find similarities with that guy, in the hope that the guy would like and stay with them forever.

I doubt that strategy would work. That would mean limiting themselves from opportunities, “cutting” parts of them and denying their own achievements.

Copyright. Fotolia/Ljupco Smokovski

Copyright. Fotolia/Ljupco Smokovski

And besides, if you were a man, would you find a woman who is always available for you, and depend on you to tell her what to like or do interesting for a long term relationship? Or rather a woman who has her own life and interests, and is her awesome self? Which one would a man tend to pursue? I guess the answer is clear.

I would also argue that a REAL man, who loves a woman, would love her the way she is. He will not put himself between her and her accomplishments and interests. Instead he will support her.

Natalie Brooke ends her blog with the remark: “The ring is no longer what defines a woman.”

So women, don’t dumb yourselves down. Don’t throw away your faith and what you have earned. Be brave, and if it is necessary, fight yourself so you don’t make that mistake. You decide what you are going to become, and you are responsible for your life. Not a man.

Author: Marjory Linardy

Editor: Grahame Lucas



Sometimes, I miss being single!

‘Singleton’ is not a privilege given to many women in South Asia. We are ‘protected’ closely by our families and then given away in marriage to the man who will ‘protect’ us. We grow up in one nest and then just before we get a chance to fly, the wings are clipped a little and we settle into another nest. (From March 27, 2015)

India’s single women

“What you think, you become… If you think you are weak, then you are. If you think you are strong, then that’s what you become. Women are not empty vessels that someone will fill our lives with empowerment. We have to draw on our inner strength first, as the power to bring change lies within ourselves.” (From August 20, 2014)

Beautiful single woman seeks…

“… A tall, dark, handsome guy earning a six-digit salary. Should have the qualities of ‘Lord Rama’ because my parents have trained me to be like the goddess Sita.” Apparently, an ideal wife looks best when paired with an ideal husband! (From September 24, 2012)


03.03.2016 | 11:06