I’ve Been Hurt Too, Sister. Let’s Move On.
Let’s discover how we have neglected ourselves, how we let them take advantage of us, how we have not loved ourselves and our bodies.
Sister, let’s not give them the power to control our lives anymore. Sister, let’s rise together and create a better world where we lead with love, dignity and compassion. Sister, let’s tell our men that we love them, we appreciate them and we want them in our lives. Sister, let’s let them bring our glasses of water when we cough, support our families when we have to bear children, carry our bags when they’re heavy, and go to war to protect us.
Does my reality with men have the same right to exist and be expressed?
For the past couple of months I’ve been afraid and doubtful. To express my reality of relationships with men, the sexism, the discrimination, the equal pay and everything else.
I am still afraid and a little anxious to put it out there. Why? Simply because I am doubting that what I am feeling and experiencing is so different to so many women out there who are struggling, suffering and pushing hard.
I am afraid to say something that possibly isn’t true… What is #truth anyways? I am afraid that possibly my experience is a lie and an illusion. Maybe I am imagining it all?
If the whole world (read: the U.S. media) is talking so loud about feminism and issues women face over there…
Maybe what I am experiencing is just one unique case that really doesn’t matter when so many women are fighting what feels like a war?
I was thinking that I need to back this all up. That I need to go and read a pile of books related to feminism and the history of how women have struggled through so much bullshit and oppression to give me the right to what I have now. Maybe I am not educated enough on this subject. Maybe I need to indeed get that Master’s Degree in Woman Studies that I’ve been thinking about for a while. Maybe then I’ll understand and feel what they’re feeling. Maybe then I will join them in this battle for “equality and freedom.”
So why am I feeling this now?
I was interviewing an amazing woman on my Girlskill Podcast who has left the academia world after being a brain researcher to become an entrepreneur. She got tired of the bureaucracy and women being discriminated against in the academia that is mostly comprised of white men who are the decision makers on giving grants, peer reviews etc. To my comment on the fact that discrimination still exists in academia even in prestigious universities, she said that discrimination does not only still exist in universities but it is “everywhere.” “Have you checked the news recently?!” I have felt her desperation… and I got really upset and frustrated.
I came home determined to write a piece about the fact that IT IS NOT “EVERYWHERE.” That I am 100% sure that within a radius of 50 kilometres any woman can find a decent work environment where women are celebrated, respected and deeply valued. Where they are surrounded by good, educated men who haven’t even thought of them being less of a performer or less of a person because they have a vagina. In fact, in my whole life I honestly have never met such a person. Call me #lucky or #blessed but I think it’s all in the attitude and in the beliefs. I have met some douchy men, but none that made me feel like I can’t do something or can’t get something because I’m a girl.
Or maybe I just didn’t care to notice? Maybe I just didn’t let these men affect my life and have control over how I view myself as a woman?
Another woman I interviewed on my Girlskill Podcast has worked as a professional pilot for many years flying cargo, corporate and commercial planes. She had never felt like she can’t fly a beast of a plane because she is a female. That thought simply didn’t cross her mind once. She knew what she wanted and she went for it.
She also told me what is happening today is really bizarre and she is having a bit of trouble raising her three little boys into conscious men. She told me about a situation where a female acquaintance of hers started coughing in a meeting at work. Her male colleague got up and brought her a glass of water. She had reacted with quite a bit of frustration and told him that “Thanks, but she can get her own glass of water.”
I don’t know about you, but for me personally that situation is quite strange.
Another friend told me that she wants to be treated equally, but like a lady. I agree. I want the same thing and I know so many women do too.
But what the hell does that mean? How does this work? How do we navigate through it?
I actually would be upset and find it rude if that colleague hadn’t brought me a glass of water. Yes, I know this case is perhaps extreme, but it illustrates perfectly how I feel about everything that’s going on in the world (in the U.S. media) and how I think men are quite confused these days in how to treat women.
To those men who have been brought up by good mothers and fathers and who have been taught to take care of us, girls, and be respectful and open doors, I say:
Men, please continue doing what you’re doing. You will be at times judged for it, and even ridiculed, but know and trust that there are women out there who will deeply appreciate it and will want nothing less than your respectful and caring behavior that makes us still feel like ladies.
I want nothing less from my man and the men surrounding me. I want to be treated like a lady because I am one. I want to feel protected and taken care of by my man and by the men surrounding me every day. It makes me feel like a woman. And, although, I understand this concept is becoming quite foreign and strange for many women today — those women who are still feeling it — stay on course.
I am a woman too. Not less and not more than any other. I feel deeply, have my cycles and mood swings (thank you hormones!), am a feminist (in the true and classical definition of this word) so my reality and my experience deserves the right to be expressed.
I know so many would disagree with me because their reality is so different. They have been mistreated and discriminated against. I don’t deny their experience. But I can’t deny my experience either.
I can’t identify with someone whose pain I haven’t felt. It’s very hard to understand what war is if you haven’t been in one. It’s very hard to understand what period pain is if you’ve never had one.
But have I not felt the pain, really?
As a little girl I was regularly beaten with a belt by my strict and conservative father. (Child abuse is still a foreign concept in Eastern Europe.) Just like so many little boys and girls in that part of the world. I was punished for bad grades and misbehavior with periods of silence up to 5 days in a row. My winter jackets and shoes were taken away from me so that I learn my lesson. I had to start working since I was 14 to earn my own money. Did I hate my father? Yes, I did. Up until the point I realized he didn’t know any better. I accepted it, healed my trauma, and moved on. I have even invited him to spend three weeks with me in Asia because I knew that healing my relationship with my father is the path to my emotional liberation.
I lost my mother when I was eight years old. Did I hate my mother for abandoning me to deal with the world and learn everything by myself at such early age? Yes, I did. Up until the point when I realized that I can’t change what happened. That I grew stronger and wiser through that experience and there is nothing I can do to change it. I accepted it and moved on. I’m still moving on.
I have been touched inappropriately, ridiculed and made fun of by little boys when growing up.My body at one point was viewed as just a body with a vagina that has to be used for only one purpose: penetration. Did I hate boys when growing up? I think I hated myself more. Until the point I realized that whatever happened happened and I can’t change it.
I can’t give that situation and them the control to define who I am today. I can’t let that story play in my head day in and day out and define my self-worth.
Kids and teenagers are a weird sort of humans. They are angry, they are frustrated, they are deeply misunderstood, they are raised in families where mothers and fathers who blame each other for their own lack of self-worth. Am I defending them and sayin it’s okay? Of course not. But all I can do is take responsibility for my own life and happiness and have my influence in the world and on my children. That’s all I can do. Or, better said, that’s all I choose to do.
I have been broken-hearted by many men. I have been taken on dates clearly knowing that sex is the primary denominator in this “relationship.” I’ve had a couple of #metoo moments. My body has been clearly used for different purposes of self-indulgence and vanity. To be honest, most times I had actually enjoyed it and was a co-participant in it. I let them do it to me. I have been attracting these weird situations because I didn’t respect myself and my body. I didn’t love myself.
Do I hate men for it? I did at some point. Up until I’ve done some work on myself and got exposed to a better kind of men. Men who treat women with respect and dignity. These men do exist everywhere if you’re willing to look and see the good in them. Sometimes they have to rise and reclaim their dignity.
Who the hell am I to preach?
I should back my thoughts and beliefs by the fact that I’ve interviewed 43 men (that is more than 43 hours actively asking questions) on my first podcast ManInside Show, including John Gray, author of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.” I’ve read many books about men, relationship dynamics and polarity. I’ve actively tried to understand men, masculinity and who they are as a species.
I’ve already already interviewed 38 women on my Girlskill Podcast (that is more than 38 hours of actively asking questions) on womanhood and femininity, their personal journey and their success. I’ve read and still reading many books on the subject, going through a bunch of courses and digging deed into it.
I’m a certified yoga instructor, worked in personal growth for five years, have been traveling the world full-time as a digital nomad for three years now. I’ve worked with theta healers, chakra healers and all kind of other healers to heal my trauma and limiting beliefs.
I also just got married to a man who shares my beliefs about the world, who makes me happy day in and day out, treats me with respect and makes me feel like a girl. We are planning a family this year.
Not sure why I had to provide proof yet again of my “credibility” to talk on this subject but thought I’d put it out there.
I’ve also grown up and matured in a way that I understand that sexual attraction can happen everywhere: on the street, in a club and in the work places. That sexual attraction is natural. We are sexual beings. I’m not sure we can contain our sexual energy 100 percent. It will happen anyway. Men will be attracted to women and women will be attracted to men. Understanding these natural dynamics have relieved me from the pressure.
Even though I’m married now, I know when a man is trying to “pick me up.” In fact, I enjoy getting attention from other men. I feel beautiful and I feel wanted. Ooops, yes I said it.
When he looks at me, quite possibly the first thing that comes to his mind is not whether I can hold an intellectual conversation, but whether he can bend me over and have sex with me. It’s the first animal instinct. He then, hopefully, recovers from his hormonal reaction and switches to being a citizen of a normal society. So what? What’s the big f*cking deal? It is what it is. Understanding this very simple dynamic provided me with less stress and less fuss. Yes, of course, we are moving on from primitive sexual impulses but can you change how men are wired?! I don’t think so. And maybe we shouldn’t. That’s the point of the game and the polarity dynamic.
Uuuuuuf, I know I know. It’s hard to read this. But I’m speaking my truth. Just like I would say it to my girlfriend.
By now I hope it is clear that I have been hurt too and I have felt the pain too. And that I’ve studied the subject enough to be able to debate this topic.
Or maybe not?!
Why do I have to justify my right to express my reality with men and with myself? I should be able to say what I feel just because I feel it.
Or maybe not?!
Sister, I’ve been hurt too. Sister, let’s move on. Sister, let’s discover how we have neglected ourselves, how we let them take advantage of us, how we have not loved ourselves and our bodies. Sister, let’s not give them the power to control our lives anymore. Sister, let’s rise together and create a better world where we lead with love, dignity and compassion. Sister, let’s tell our men that we love them, we appreciate them and we want them in our lives. Sister, let’s let them bring our glasses of water when we cough, support our families when we have to bear children, carry our bags when they’re heavy, and go to war to protect us.
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