I know so many needy women. Women who rely on men to make them feel better, to drive them around, to give them the status of being in a relationship, to give them the stability and comfort that comes with being in a relationship. Women who need constant support, women who basically need a counsellor, but they attribute this to their boyfriend. Lucky them.
I am not that woman.
Women we do not need to rely on men for everything *bombshell*; to drive us around, to support us, to care for us, to save us, as we are not, I repeat NOT damsels in distress. Yes, we are damsels, yes there are moments of distress, but it is you and you alone who has to get out of those stressful situations. Like Trevor’s response in Iron Man 3 to why he didn’t press the panic button, he panicked but then he handled it. Be like Trevor. Actually, no don’t, he’s a moron, but moving on.
Sometimes obviously we call for help, bc that’s actually v human, we go to our friends to watch movies, we get our favourite take out, we talk to our partner. But it is not their job to “fix you” it is not anyones job to “fix you” regardless of your age, sex, education, gender, as the only person that can truly “fix you” is you.
I am in a relationship, with a man who is nurturing, kind, caring, protective, funny and all round fab. He does not think that he is here to save me. I do not think I am here to save him. We treat each other as human beings, and we will help and support each other to be the people we are and want to be.
I am with a man who respects women. Who believes in equality and calls himself a feminist. Who corrects me when I slip and fall into gender stereotypes. He teaches me to be better feminist, because he is one himself. He understands that I am my own being and we have different interests and needs, and he never expects me to give up mine in order for him to have his. We are a team and we help each other to be better people.
I know couples where the balance is all wrong, where they can’t stand on their own two feet as they are too busy leaning on the other person. You know the trust exercise where you lean on someone and they have to lean back in order for you to not fall over? That is what a relationship is. That is actually what all relationships are, with your family, friends, partner. You lean on each other so you are equally supported. I have been the person who is purely leaned on and I have also been the leaner too, and that is why those relationships didn’t work, because people can only take so much. People are selfish and need attention from another human being, and they also want to give attention and care for other human beans.
I know girls who rely on their boyfriends for everything, they use them as a taxi, they use their house for convenience, they have a problem and instantly have to share and unload onto the other person. They basically shout in their best damsel voice, help!
But what happens when the man next to you, who you keep leaning on falls over? Because he so badly needs to lean on you but you’ve been sucked into the stereotype of a man protecting and caring for his woman that you didn’t stop to think that the stereotypes aren’t real. That you don’t always need his help, that sometimes you are just crying wolf. When if you stopped and realised that you can deal with your own day and your own thoughts life becomes far simpler. Then the weight would be more balanced and hopefully he wouldn’t fall over. He’d be comfortable enough to break his own stereotype and lean on you for support.
Men are not strong, women are not weak. We can all be strong but we can all be weak, we can all be vulnerable and lost and belittled. We can all be lonely, and feel trapped and scared. But that is why we have to learn to lean to a certain extent on each other in order for us all to feel stronger and powerful, wiser and better.
Women, we are not inferior. We can be strong, or weak, or tall, or lean, or fat, or small, or soft. We are all shapes and all sizes. We can do anything. We do not need to rely on men for everything and also we should not ever want to aim to do that, they need our support as much as we need theirs.
I realise this is a roundabout way of saying I do not agree with unequally balanced relationships between the sexes, but unfortunately I seem to see it everywhere at the moment. But to try and prevent causing offence, in fitting Rosalind fashion I say that I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this post as please you.
P.S. Massive love for Michelle Terry as Rosalind.