There are just some “ladylike” things I’m completely fed up with. Being a woman is a personal experience, and I won’t allow society to set the parameters. Here’s a list of things I’m calling it quits on.
A lady must be seen, not heard. I learned my first lesson in sexism and gender inequality from a teacher. “Mariah! Ladies should be seen, not heard!” to which I replied, “Silence isn’t always golden!” Was I supposed to silently sit in the background, look pretty, and nod along to everything I was told? Was it wrong to be engaged or interested in what was going on in class? Back then I hadn’t fully grasped the idea of sexism or really even knew what it was. But was I going to adopt passivity and deference at the expense of my curiosity, outspokenness, and assertiveness? Absolutely not. Not then, and certainly not now.
A lady never makes the first move. Some may disagree, but I see absolutely nothing wrong with a woman making the first move. What’s wrong with seeing something you want and going after it? If you wish to ask a man out, do so, with no apologies or awkward explanations. A simple “would you like to have dinner with me?” is nonaggressive and classy. But perhaps I’m a little biased: taking the first step helped me to meet my wonderful man almost 7 years ago. Would you ever ask a guy out on a date?
A lady always looks her best. Don’t get me wrong: I love getting dolled up as much as the next girl, but primping myself to perfection each day is a bit unrealistic. Only celebrities with glam squads can keep that up, and even Beyoncé trades in her pumps for comfy flats every once in a while. I used to be the type that couldn’t leave the house without makeup or stilettos, but I eventually grew weary of that. I haven’t let myself go, but I’ve come to learn that sweats are acceptable attire for the supermarket. Do you know the best thing about not wearing makeup most of the time? Not having to take it off. Don’t you hate when you’re tired after a long day, and just want to fall into bed, but still have to remove your waterproof mascara? Ain’t nobody got time for that. And by nobody I mean me.
A lady never boasts. There are plenty of people to criticize our flaws and mistakes, but so few to praise our accomplishments. Of course we don’t want to come across as conceited or arrogant, but why wait for others to recognize our genius, when we can be our own personal cheerleaders? Men have no issue patting themselves on the back and neither should we.
A lady knows her place. After a highly un-scientific Google search, I was led to a blog post helpfully entitled “How To Become More Feminine”. Tips included “let a man be a man”, “become a receiver”, and my favorite: “know your place”. The idea of a “woman’s place” is outdated and oppressive to say the least. And yet, a recent conversation with a friend proved this type of thinking is still around. His crude remark left a bad taste in my mouth: “I was walking down the street and this random girl handed me a sammich. Now there’s a woman that knows her place!” I, for one, am completely over it. Where exactly is a woman’s place anyway? Please don’t say the kitchen.