Love. A simple word, yet a complex idea. What was once understood to be lollipops and candy cards for your entire kindergarten class, is now so much more. What happens when you get older and love and pain meet hand and hand? When @haileyslament and I were brainstorming on subject matter for this blog, we came upon a conversation that stemmed from the contemporary ideas about heteronormative relationships. It is so easy to point the finger towards what we think is the source of this pain, but finding the source requires more understanding than we often think.
When you’re in a relationship, the obligation is to be placed on the two partners, not external factors. Two people decided to commit themselves to one another , this comes with accountability. When your partner steps outside of your relationship, it is easy to place blame on the outside factors and not hold your partner accountable. Due to situations like this, women are put into this unspoken competition against each other.
Some may think you can’t love your fellow sisters, be a feminist, and say women rule the world when you bash another woman because of your pain. Having a lens such as this does not consider the factors that many young women have not given thought to yet. These factors are not having the proper tools to direct your pain, or deal with it in a way that does not tear down a woman who may be experiencing the same thing as you. When your partner “cheats”, or “steps out”, it is often instinct to begin a point of comparison between yourself, and “the other woman”. What does she have that I don’t? What does he see in her? Why does she dress like that? Should I dress like that? The list of comparison points can go on, but at no point did he receive any question about what he has created between the two women. Well known artists have given us a countless amount of songs that can help us relate, like Resentment by Beyoncé or Why Her by Monica. Many writers show us this instance through stories in series, or movies we watch. The idea of a fight between women is shown far more than the cause of the issue. The “cat fights”, and arguments become so interesting, that we forget what the man has created. He has created an unspoken (sometimes turned spoken) competition between them.
While the idea of women being against each other is the most hegemonic, this can be changed. Women can band together and change the narrative. Women can change the narrative by coming together to uplift one another, in addition to coming together to help a guy to realize how his wrongdoings can affect women on a much deeper level. Many of us are on the same page with this idea. There is more strength with unity. When women come together, we are reminded of who we are. As said by our fellow blogger @asaprock22 , “College is a time of finding yourself and becoming an individual, making yourself the main priority and doing and being around the people that make you genuinely happy. The purpose of sororities is to have a support system and practice values that you feel strongly about with other girls, not a competition of who can get the hottest girls and be ranked the highest by the frats. The only approval you need is from yourself, because you are your biggest supporter and hype man, not Brad with a nicotine addiction and a snapback. Trust me.” Although you may be used to seeing one outcome of repeated situations, the story can always change.
“A woman without a man, is like a fish without a bicycle. It isn’t needed.”
Instead of face to face in anger, women can be side by side with an end goal of empowerment in mind. A man should not be the driving force between what was always meant to stand together. So, next time someone causes you pain, and makes you question yourself, here are a few things we have acquired over our short years to remember you are invincible.
Don’t Take It Personally
Often people have their own insecurities that are projected in their actions. Most times, they don’t even understand this themselves. It’s not you. It’s them.
Love yourself first
It is easy to say why her, and not me. Developing a love for yourself that is unmatched will always be a reminder that you are far beyond comparison.
Know your worth
Self-awareness allows you to properly value yourself. Know what you will and will not allow. Know what you deserve, and how you would like to be treated.
Timing is everything
There are moments where we feel that something should last forever. When things are meant to exist in your life, they will exist at the perfect time.
Everyone’s ideas about love, heartbreak, and drama are different, but I think we can agree that hating someone who is experiencing equal pain is not the answer. @HaileysLament, and I wrote this post with both experience, and forward thinking in mind. What has life taught us? What will we teach our daughters, and sons? As cliche as it sounds, there are many fish in the sea, and every person is a unique catch. One day you will meet that perfect someone, you won’t have to share. One day someone will be your accessory and not a necessity. Until then, its us (women) against the world. Hand in hand, side by side, never letting a man be the driving force between something that was always meant to stand together.