Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Woman Beings

Coming back from a long break. Summer is ending, schools are back and the lights and winds announce the arrival of more temperate days. That´s good. Although I enjoy Summer, eternal Summer is a sort of a nightmare for individuals like me, who appreciate the shade as well.
Yesterday was ‘International Women´s Day’ or something like that. Really . Some colleagues said they were really PROUD to be women and I even saw some women on TV saying that we are multi-task by nature and can handle everything, from very time demanding jobs to raising children. Who invented this? And what does it mean to be proud of something? How can I be proud of something I didn´t choose or achieve?

I am a woman, and I´m very happy as a woman, but I don´t feel I should be proud. It´d be the same as female jaguars being proud of being female jaguars… None of us women ‘achieved’ being women. We are. And for that reason we have our place in the sun. There´s no way of ignoring it. Unless we allow or even contribute to that ignorance. Watch out. Pride can be very tricky. Pride can sound a lot like ‘I wanna sit in the grown-up table’. Also, being able to handle everything steals our humanity. Human beings are not able to handle everything so, are we, women, not human beings? That´s tricky, too. And very, very confusing.

There are some choices we should focus on, though, because they´re extremely important. I´m not talking about sexual interactions, because they´re not a choice either. It´s not like saying ‘from now on, I´ll sleep with men’ or ‘ I decided to like to sleep with other women’. It is. There are women who like men, there are others who like other women, there are others who like both, and there are the ones who like their own company. Fine. They´re all women and that´s the way it is. I just don´t think anyone should be pushed into a marriage. And that´s a choice we should be thinking about: marrying or not getting married (I´m not talking about paperwork here, I´m talking about living and sharing a life with someone). It´s a lot of giving and taking, of chaos and order, and there should be something that holds it together. Glamorous,cinematic sex won´t. Children won´t either. All in all, it´s how human we are as beings to truly love someone in spite of.

Also, we can choose whether or not we´re going to be parents. Yes, that´s a choice. Women have the right of not wanting to be mothers. As they have the right of being one. Both choices should be respected and appreciated. It´s a sign of maturity when a woman realizes she wouldn´t have the patience required for bringing up a child. Many women don´t contemplate that choice and end up making their and their children´s lives miserable. But when we decide to be mothers, we should be allowed to be there for our kids. You cannot possibly expect the mother of an infant to work outside the home for 8 hours a day. Of course a lot of women do that, but end up being stressed and frustrated, many times depressed, because of that. Who are we kidding? And we do need men to share that with us. Men have to be allowed to be parents, too. It´s not fair to exclude them. Just let´s not try to turn them into mock mothers. It can be disastrous. They´re men and are able to be caring, sensitive and affectionate in their own way. They have their own role. They are there to cut the umbilical chord, as many times as it is necessary. They are there to dress the kids up with the most impossible to match clothes and think they look fine. They are there to teach them to be bold and look into life from a different perspective.

Of course I know that in many parts of the world, including parts or social segments in my own country, all I´m saying doesn´t make any sense. Medieval and Modern co-exist.

But what really bothers me in this whole ‘women issue’ thing is that we´re all blind to one simple aspect: we, women, shouldn´t try to play by the rules that are out there. It´s not fair. We should write our own rules. Women shouldn´t have to delay motherhood to have a career. They should be allowed to return, restart or begin a career after their children are grown, if they wish so. We, so smart and free western women, tell our daughters they can be anything they want: astronauts, physicists, athletes, CEOs, and mothers-the sky is the limit- but then we expect them to be all that at the same time, working full time outside and inside their homes. It´s insane.

Who says that working 40, 50 hours a week is more productive? ‘Quality time’ should be applied to jobs, not to children. The rules have been made to/by men, and we try to follow them to prove to ourselves that we can? Ha! I don´t want to be a woman disguised as a man to be respected as a professional. And I don´t want to feel that I´ve sacrificed my career for my family or vice versa. I shouldn´t have to.

I think we, women, have a lot to think about. About what we want for ourselves, about the way we raise our boys and girls, about the way we interact with our partners, about what are the real achievements in our lives, and most importantly, that there should be a day when we don´t need to have a Women´s Day.