On A Child’s Thought

"I want to be an astronaut, president of the United States and ruler of the universe! Chica power!"

I had to visit relatives this weekend. Like many, my family can only be described as “colorful.”

For a very long time, I was the baby of the family. I was delegated to the kid’s table. Even after starting graduate school, it was still the kid’s table. It was an odd contrast, because from the time I was a teenager, I was always asked about boyfriends, what my dating prospects were like, etc etc. So I was being treated like a child while being expected to live up to certain adult expectations.

I thought they’d finally given up, until my cousin asked me a question last night.

Now this cousin, I understand, has not had the best socialization. At family gatherings, there is minimal interactions between mother and daughter. It became very apparent upon entrance that the mother expected my sister and I to essentially babysit her daughter while she got some adult time. My sister and I were having very little of this.

My cousin, at one point, asked my sister and I if we had boyfriends/husbands. My sister said no. The cousin, who is 9, patted us each on the head and said, “That’s okay. You’ll find someone someday.”

Oh, hell no.

What has this girl been learning.

What has this girl been told about us.

What has this girl been told about single women.

What has this girl been told about her goals for her life.

What has this girl been told that she thinks it is okay for her to pat 20-somethings on the head and say, oh, that’s okay sweetie, you’re still of breeding and marriageable age? You could still find somebody…

Fuck.
That.
Shit.

I like men. Obviously. This blog is proof. Dicks can be really good. Can be terrible, but can be really good.

But I have never *needed* to date. Wanting and needing are fundamentally different things.
I will never need a man.  

And isn’t about fucking time we taught our daughters that? That they can stand up on their own two feet and be their own person without someone else by their side hogging their spotlight?

I want to hope that my cousin will figure this out herself, and I want to hope that she will learn it’s not okay to pat single women on the head like a lost puppy. It’s not a lot of hope, but it’s there.


Regardless, I’m currently sitting in the airport, by myself, eating a meringue, enjoying the last rays of sunlight. And I will sleep in my own bed and and enjoy all the space and the blankets myself, because I can and will.  

8 thoughts on “On A Child’s Thought”

  1. Fuck yeah, sista. I love this post. In fact, I am reblogging it – because I can, because I think this message is hella important, and because if I had a daughter I’d be teaching her that being conjoined with someone, in a co-dependant relationship, or overly reliant on a romantic partner for your self justification or your life confidence is just not OK. And I love sleeping in the WHOLE bed, not just a strip on ‘my side’. Twenty+ years of that shit is too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah cheers! Yeah, I think if I ever got to the point of living with/being married to someone we would need a second bedroom for ‘I love you but MINE’ bed purposes.

      Adichie said it best, “Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?” I honestly can’t add more to it than that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Unleashing the Cougar! and commented:
    “And I will sleep in my own bed and and enjoy all the space and the blankets myself, because I can and will.”

    So ends this post – brave, powerful words that every woman should read. Especially every WOMAN because we are so often conditioned (just like the little girl in the story) to believe that we are not complete without a man, that our lives will never be enough on their own, and that we can’t be happy without someone who wants to own us. This is short and sweet and I really like that Emma wrote and shared it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can answer this as the Dad of three daughters 🙂 All we do is teach them good manners, to be accepting of people no matter what, to be safe, and to know that we will always have their back. Their life choices? Totally their own. Judging others? Yeah – we always stand on that (usually by playing devils advocate, to force them to think).

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  4. “And isn’t about fucking time we taught our daughters that? That they can stand up on their own two feet and be their own person without someone else by their side hogging their spotlight?”

    There are a lot of blogs about dating, and after perusing a good number of them, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that there are definitely a lot of people in this world, both men and women, who desperately desire – one might even say “need” – to be in a relationship.

    It seems like you’re saying either that that desire isn’t okay or that girls should somehow be taught to think differently. If that is what you’re saying, I disagree. It seems to me that some people (again, both men and women) are born with a need to be in a relationship, and no amount of teaching can change that.

    I think that, perhaps, a better lesson for that young cousin is for her to seek that which fulfills her instead of worrying about what anyone else expects of her.

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    1. I am not saying that the desire to be in a relationship is not okay. If that is what you want, to be a wife/husband/patner/mother/father/parent then that’s awesome. Go do you.
      My point is that we should not be teaching girls that marriage and motherhood is the end all and be all. We do not teach little boys this – we do not expect their end goal to be marriage and parenthood. It can be a part of their life but it is not *all* of their life.
      I want us to teach girls/women that we are entirely capable of standing on our own two feet. That we can survive as human beings without a man by our side. That we are not ‘lacking’ as women or failing in our duties as women because we have no husband.
      I know some people who fall in and out of love easily and want that constant attachment, that’s fine. It’s a part of their personality. There’s a difference between being a serial monogamist and judging other women around you for not having what you have or what you want.

      Like

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