I’m glad I can contribute to this week’s Quote Quest, as I’ve been wanting to write something about Patriarchy recently. The quote is from The Other Me, and is “So many things to unlearn…” I am getting fed up of people saying that women are playing the victim, by mentioning what they have gone through at the hands of men. Blaming women doesn’t absolve anyone from what they’ve done. It just says that the people who committed the acts don’t want to wear it and take accountability for their actions. That behaviour is immature, and damages women’s confidence in putting themselves forward for jobs, careers and other positions of authority.
As a young woman growing up in a traditional home, with a father who was the leader of the household and sole earner, patriarchy feels like something I’ve grown up with. Women should obey their husbands and agree with them was the lesson I learnt. We need to walk in their footsteps; not on our own, unaided. Not only are we physically weaker, but we are also mentally weaker too. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can take ownership of ourselves as adults. Women can be independent and be as mentally strong as men, if not stronger.
It is only when we are told, we are “not good enough,” we believe that. Providing we can free ourselves from these ingrained beliefs early enough, we can set out to achieve whatever we want. How backwards are some men (I realise not all men), to think that women could survive and thrive in a period of World War, and do the jobs that men did while they went to fight, only to then be subdued by their men when they returned home?
It smacks of arrogance and ego. From my teen years on, I learnt to question what my parents and other adults in authority told me. Just because they believed it, did not make it correct. Lies and mistruths have been told for generations to keep some people down. For instance, ‘if you don’t have wealthy parents, you won’t get a good education in a state school, and then won’t do very well in life.’
These types of myths are perpetuated to keep people from bettering themselves because oppressors are scared of being ‘found out’ and exposed for the crooks they are. I won’t accept being told that my opinions don’t matter. That’s to say 50% of the world’s population do not matter. Of course women’s opinions matter, as do men’s. People do not have to agree, but they need to learn to accept when to shut up and listen.
I’ve learnt that it matters not what other people think, but it matters what I think. My opinion accounts for everything I do, and their’s won’t. That’s my biggest lesson as an adult. Opinions are made sometimes on limited information. Sometimes based on mistruths. I prefer to look at the facts and make my own mind up. So while I’m learning these life lessons, I am trying to unlearn ingrained beliefs that hold me back.
See what other quotes I have written about for this project here.