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A Man Doesn’t Validate Me

So often, women’s lives are strained because they do not have a male counterpart to “complete” them. I am inspired by my life and the women in my life to write this post. The issues which have ignited this fire to write this blog are the constant struggles of my own fight for self-identity and those women who fight the same battles as I have.
This blog is not intended to offend anyone, especially not men, but since when does a man’s presence in a woman’s life validate that woman. I love men but I love being a woman who is independent and who feels there’s an ongoing battle to be an individual and not an extension of my husband. I am not the only woman who feels this way. As a young woman, I proudly carried my father’s last name. I was not allowed to date until age 16 and it was part of my parents’ blueprint that I would eventually marry first, AND THEN start a family. I understood that any actions that varied from this path were pretty much unacceptable.
I should have known that I was a feminist when, as a little girl, I asked myself “Why do they have to paint my room pink”. I loved the idea of the new paint job and even the ballerina silhouettes my aunt so artistically painted over the doorway of my and my sister’s bedroom door. I just didn’t like the pink. Then, I was conflicted with the idea that I didn’t want children. I didn’t feel I had the patience. HOWEVER, it turned out that I had my first two children “out of wedlock”. What an uproar this caused. I was faced with so much stigmatism that it hurt like a sword. I thought it was because I’d possibly ruined my future college plans and that my parents had big dreams of my life being better than theirs. To a great degree, this was so BUT I learned more of what was behind the whispering voices of family. Some of these people didn’t even know me on a personal level. All they knew was that I was pregnant and had no husband.
I am disappointed with the fact that in 2013 society still ostracizes women who aren’t married. It can’t be a simple issue of marriage because if that were the case, there wouldn’t be an issue of rights for homosexual couples as parents. It simply is that society mistakenly and sadly places more value on a woman being with a man. I wish and hope that someone shows me a different perspective. This isn’t static but it is a general concept in our society. It is sad when a young woman, especially teens, have to hide pregnancy or that when a woman such as myself earns the good graces of her family once she marries the father of her children. Even if she marries a man who isn’t the father, he gets praise for fathering children that aren’t his biological children. Women do it all the time. By no means am I condoning childbirth outside of marriage or teen pregnancy but it my hope to help reduce stigma and make people aware of the judgments that we tend to make in society as a whole. How does marrying him make her life “correct”?

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