*Warning: Naughty language below!
The last time I checked, we entered the 21st century.
We have progressed. (Okay, so we still have a great deal of work to do.)
I was sitting on a Zoom call with a friend from the United States, and he was pouring out his soul.
I was holding space. Listening. Giving advice when asked for it. And sharing a conversation with someone I deeply care about.
“I can’t tell anyone this stuff,” he said.
“Why?” I asked.
“Because I don’t want people to think I’m a pussy, it’s not manly,” he replied.
“Do you know how many women I’ve dated who have rejected me because I’ve shown ‘too much emotion?’ It’s a turn off, no one wants to be a shoulder for Prince Charming,” he continued.
I felt an immediate rush of anger—have we not moved past our assigned gender roles?
Here is a man who is in tune with his heart and soul. A man who has moved through trauma, taken his mental health seriously, hasn’t tried to escape through booze, drugs, alcohol, or mindless fucking, and he’s being rejected for working on himself.
I am fed up with gender roles.
I am fed up with the he/she bullshit.
When will we wake up to the fact that we are all connected by spirit?
Working on being the best version of ourselves should be the most attractive thing about us.
I’ve been in the same boat; I’ve been told by someone that I was dating that I wasn’t enough of a “damsel in distress.”
“You don’t need me,” he expressed with puppy dog eyes, like it was supposed to endear me to his cause.
Yeah, I thought. I wanted you, I thought that was more important than codependency.
Instead I said, “I think we’re looking for different things.”
I’ve had a man tell me that he doesn’t date a woman if she sleeps with him on the first date. “They’re easy,” he said. He looked pretty chuffed with his societal deduction on how a woman was supposed to behave on a first date.
But, I saw it as a person who couldn’t see past his own conditioning. I say person because this affects all of us.
We all come across these archaic ways of thinking and have to stand up for our own values as conscious humans.
Unfortunately, both men and women still have it hard.
A man is called a pussy for being open, trusting, and emotional—God forbid, he cries.
When I was a young woman, I had the self-esteem of a shallow pond, and I actively sought out partners who were the “bad boys,” only to realize that damaged attracts damaged.
It’s a recipe for fucking disaster.
Do we really want to share our lives with people who can’t look past assigned gender roles and what society expects of us?
Sorry, I’d much rather be living my truth, even if it makes the majority of society uncomfortable.
The world can adjust—I won’t—not anymore.
I told my friend that he needed to reexamine his definition of “manly.”
What does it mean for him to be a man?
Then I told him to drop the man part and to ask himself—what does it mean to be a conscious human?
We laughed, and in that moment I had a thought:
“What if we all held space for each other safely, what kind of world would that lead to?”