Dear, any woman (or anyone for that matter) who have put themselves down in the hands of someone else, you can do better. This is for you:
You are completely powerful on your own. You don’t need anybody. You don’t need to become dependant on a man to fulfill your self-worth. I’ve met so many incredible women, who are creative, intelligent, and filled with kindness etc. who put themselves down in order to elevate a boyfriend because his internalised misogyny whispers to him that he should be the powerhouse in the relationship. Somebody who is right for you, would thrive of your own power and enjoy your separate successes without having to put you down.
You should never give up something because your boyfriend thinks it is taking up too much of your time. Most likely, he has a hobby that takes up a chunk of your time too and you shouldn’t ever be made to feel like your loves come second to his. A friend of mine was a ballet dancer and had fallen more and more in love with dance from the age of three. Her ex-boyfriend made her give it up, arguing that it was taking time away from him and that she should put more time into there relationship. He pushed her further away from her friends and the things she loved until she was reliant on him for company. After the breakup, she met somebody who appreciated her love of dance, and he attended every one of her shows and believed that she was the most beautiful dancer in the world. Not all men will be damaged by the patriarchal society, but you are better without someone who puts you down.
You can do things without a man. You can be better off chasing your successes alone. If you know what you want, go, and chase it. The only person who can validate you is yourself. Love yourself first.
You should not be controlled by your internalised misogyny. When you have grown up in a society where your needs have been put second to a mans. Or where you have spent your time watching TV where the perfect family is portrayed as a working man and a housewife woman. You don’t have to follow any of this; because let’s be honest, we are sick of the inequality. It doesn’t make you any less of a feminist if you want to be a housewife, but it also doesn’t make you any less of a feminist if you want to explore your hobbies on your own. You can do anything you want, and you should never put yourself down for somebody else.
I am sick of women putting themselves down because of a man, you are amazing in your own right and don’t need your validation from someone else. It should come from within.
Photo courtesy of Becca Tapert