“There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and everyday confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of either merit or sense.” Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
Today was a rather conflicting sort of day for me. I had to smile politely while seated at a dinner table and try to convince the faces staring at me bewildered (and with pity might I add) that I am indeed happy as a single woman at the age of 31. No one believes me. And quite frankly, if I had come across someone like myself vehemently professing such things about a year ago, I’d probably be just as suspicious and disbelieving. But to call me a liar at the moment would be questioning my intelligence greatly. And I feel I’m being prodded with a silly stick as people assume I’m unhappy not having a man at my arm. Pride and Prejudice has always been a favorite of mine. Something about the cool rationality that Jane Austen approached the world with, reeled me in. And something about Lizzie Bennet, with her wit and resilient nature, appealed to me. The idea that all women are seeking a husband and all men are seeking a trophy never sat well with me. I don’t buy into it. You see, I still believe in fairy tales…just not that part that insists prince charming comes along to save you. Or that a woman’s worth is based solely on the man she acquires. That insinuates that a man is a possession meant to add beauty or purpose to a woman…and I honestly find that quite demeaning for men everywhere.
As for the idea that women exist solely to find a man. That notion just sickens me. A day spent surfing the net, or strolling through the local mall affirms my fears that women (especially young women) are being taught to value the wrong things.
They push and pull at their faces, they rip the clothes off their bodies so men can ‘see’ them and they spend countless hours in pursuit of this above acquisition of a boyfriend/ husband. The recipe for happiness has become :
beg for attention- acquire-keep at all costs to yourself and the other-die
because that is what society says is the correct way for a woman to live. That she is nothing (despite having a successful career) if there are no babies or a husband to show that she is worthy. Times have supposedly changed (so they say) but a lot of us are still feeling the prejudice and disdain that is kept for the lone wolf, single gal that reads too many feminist pieces and fills her head with ‘nonsense’ about liberation and self-knowledge.
Why do you believe that it could be impossible for a woman to be truly happy being alone? Perhaps she considers herself pretty darn awesome company, gets to do whatever she wants without having to answer to anyone else…maybe there are no expectations of her, there is no impediment to her growing and quest for self betterment. What is so difficult for people to comprehend about a creature like that? It takes a very brave man to accept and nurture a woman that is so comfortable with herself or in search of deeper things. Where there is a lack of women like that, there is a lack of men with such bravery.
I, myself have always been rebellious. Always had far-fetched ideas and ideals. I have an idea of what I want and I won’t settle for anything less. At the moment my studies and future career goals don’t complement hours spent wasting my time at things that don’t fit the picture I’ve painted for myself in my head. Should I apologize for that?
What is the point of pursing a relationship if it is just to satisfy my lust, my need to not be alone or to fill up my time and save me from boredom? What is the point of pursuing a relationship if it’s just to make me feel validated or significant in the world? And why would I lower my standards or sense of self for any of those things? So I can fit in? Be what society wants me to be? Not be a freak? Not be me?
I’m tired of the same question. Tired of the same ‘awww shame’ at my romantic status. And definitely tired of people assuming that by having a fiery response to their negative views on my choices, that I’m deeply unhappy or compensating for some sort of lack. How about you just let me be a Bennet and you focus on all those Kardashians instead? Because I’m happy to not have your spotlight treating me like some sort of puppet. I’m happy to not be another pretty face or female touch to fill a void you created. I’m happy to have my books and thoughts. Happy to have my personality and resistance… the freedom to be myself and breathe deep gulps of a life that is not bound by strings or webs or cowardice. I’m not like the popular women, the trendy women or the socially acceptable women…I’m just me. And I won’t be apologizing for that anytime soon. The world could do with more Lizzie Bennets.