During my online reading of blogs I frequent, there is a disturbing prevailing theme that women are the perpetual unwitting victims in relationships. They are the victims of men-the big bad enemy. I beg to differ.
Coming from a school of thought that believe in individual choices, I find the unintentional message insulting and very dangerous. I would consider myself a feminist in the traditional meaning: The right for women to make choices about their lives. If the US feminism movement did not occur, I shudder to think that this society and women’s rights would be equivalent to those of the middle east. So for women who hate the term feminist, I say shut up and move to Afghanistan.
‘Without accepting crap, no one will give you crap.’ That is a sentiment women need to have engrained on the brain when they are in interpersonal relationships. When a relationship goes sour, the first thing that the women cohort will say is “It is his fault…” and they forget that the woman is a willing (more than willing) participant in whatever treatment she accepts.
Women need to command respect from the men in their lives. For people who do command respect, it is not about being bullies, pretentious or obnoxious. It is the ability for an individual to say: I know who I am and I know what is acceptable to me and what is not. For most women, they allow certain things (domestic violence, cheating, lazy or disrespectful partners) from the men they CHOOSE to be in their lives.
Christianity is especially guilty of breeding female victims. Christianity is patriarchally ruled and the mentality that one’s wife/woman is property prevails in either a very overt way or subtly. Christian women are taught ‘obedience’ and despite living in the 21st century, women are still seen as less than and some choose this position while sprouting this is what Jesus taught.
Women can learn from Jesus’ example. Throughout his life on earth he was and still is Lord and Saviour. However, according to the bible, he never once treated his disciples with any malice or with an air of superiority. Jesus got to know his disciples: the good and the bad. Jesus knew who He was. Likewise, women need to first learn about themselves and this will give you the strength to make better choices in men and stop crying victim.
Exercise: Sentence starter for women which may give you perspective on how much control you have with your lives. “I choose to accept ( not accept)…”