Impossible Expectations

Two posts of the Establishment and the Toast caught my eye. “Things Lucy Maud Montgomery Lied To Me About” and “I’ll Never Be ‘Low Maintenance’ — And That’s Okay” both talked about how women have unrealistic expectations placed upon them and how when they can’t meet those standards, they feel like failures and that they are undesirable.

“I’ll Never Be ‘Low Maintenance’ – And That’s Okay” is written by a woman who has a physical ailment that makes dating hard. She talks about how women are always told that they “crazy” if they demand too much. That men will flee when a woman talks about her needs in order to feel comfortable. Women are expected to be low maintenance. If they take too long to get ready, they are high maintenance. If they ask to go to the bathroom too much, they are high maintenance. If they tell someone they have a physical or mental restriction, they are high maintenance. It is impossible for women to feel as if they can express themselves fully to someone they are dating without fear of scaring them off.

“Things Lucy Maud Montgomery Lied To Me About” is all about how when women are young girls, they expect a lavish life of baking cakes and pies for their house guests and being praised about how clean their dish towels are. I’ve noticed over the years that young girls on twitter and pintrest and facebook share and post photos of couples dressed to the nines in mansions and call those things “goals.” We are programmed to dream about a leisurely lifestyle with all the time in the world to prepare a 5-star meal in a cottage home in a little town while suitors knock on the door. Yet when we find ourselves studying until late hours of the night in college, googling how to cook chicken, and with no love interest in sight, we feel like failures. We are set up to be disappointed when we can’t perform to the high-standards that we are taught.

I think both these articles do a good job at portraying how women have to re-teach themselves and realize that living a realistic life does not mean you are living a life of failure. Just because you don’t have a significant other by the time you graduate, a down payment on a house, and a knack for baking food network worthy cakes doesn’t mean you are weird or undateable. It means you aren’t perfect which means you’re normal.

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10 thoughts on “Impossible Expectations

  1. There’s such an unfair unwarranted conceited attitude about women coming from men in dating. Men have a huge confirmation bias towards women when it comes to calling them crazy, or high maintenance, because it’s all over pop culture in movies and other things. The girl will be seen as clingy or something like that, and the guy has to sort of roll his eyes about it. Never is the man portrayed has emotional and on the same level as the woman when it comes to discussing emotions. Men rarely get any flack for emotional abuse they show towards women, and its certainly never called crazy or high maintenance. Usually it’s just, “oh that guy is being such a dick”. It’s sort of frustrating that women start from a less advantageous spot than men in relationships, and have to always be proving they aren’t crazy or high maintenance to the man, rather than just being able to date normally.

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  2. I agree with your post as well as the fact that women today must now teach themselves that they are not failures if they haven’t achieved a picture perfect life by the age of twenty-five. It is a sad reality, but it is unfortunately the truth in the world we live in. I can relate to the one article you chose to read, “Things Lucy Maud Montgomery Lied to Me About”. As a young woman living in the twenty-first century, I am constantly surrounded by social media. Instagram and Twitter show edited pictures of impossible ‘realities’. Girls my age strive to live a life like the ones portrayed on social media, and when this is not achieved, the young women are left feeling like a disappointment to society. It is important to note that just because you have not achieved perfection by a set age, does not mean you are a failure, and this article did a good job in voicing that.

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  3. I agree with you 100%. Women/young girls are forced to believe and act a specific way. I don’t understand because who is one trying to “impress”… men?, other women?…. It’s also crazy how young girls are being taught to have this mindset of being “perfect” stamped into ones brain. It teaches young girls not to show their full emotions or else they will be portrayed as “clingy” or “crazy” or “weak”. Like you said people all over social media (mostly girls) look at one picture and comment “goals” or “why don’t I live this perfect life”. Little do they know what goes on behind the picture because in reality his/her life is probably more similar to yours than you think.

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  4. I can relate to this post about the article “I’ll Never Be ‘Low Maintenance’–And That’s Okay” because I have in the past been called “high maintenance.” I believe strongly that men and society have placed extremely high expectations for women and young girls to talk, look, and act a certain way. It can be challenging for women to find their place in this world when they feel like they have to be something or someone they are not in order to not be considered a “failure” in life. I notice every day girls my age trying to impress other people through their Instagram and Snapchat because they see unrealistic ways that other people like celebrities are living their lives and they want to be just like them. Girls are trying to conform to society and the way they think society wants them to behave and dress. I liked how the article, “Things Lucy Maud Montgomery Lied To Me About” talked about social media and its impact because social media is very influential in today’s world.

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  5. It is so unfair that women are belittled to the confines of the private sphere when they have so much to offer. Women are condemned for simply being human, much like other minorities, women are constantly under a magnifying glass while men wait for any sign of a socially assumed flaw to back up the theory that women are inferior. Men do this in very passive ways, for example calling women ‘crazy’. I have never heard a woman refer to a man as crazy, but if anyone were to look at the behaviors of men compared to the careful behaviors of women, the comparison is chasmal.

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  6. This post about the article “I’ll Never Be ‘Low Maintenance’- And That’s Okay” caught my eye because personally I have experienced not being ‘high maintenance’ enough- if that makes sense. My fall semester, I stopped caring as much as I did about my appearance because of 8 a.m.’s and I was sick for half of it. I didn’t think much of it but it clearly came to my brother’s attention. He would tell me that it looked like I stopped caring or that I haven’t worn makeup in a while – but really was that his place to say that? I feel like in our society, women are almost expected to be high maintenance and when we’re not, we get complaints. From my experiences, it seems like people don’t bat an eye to a guy that wears sweats everyday or wears the same outfit twice in one week. Society definitely has standards for women on how they act and present themselves.
    I agree with you about the article “Things Lucy Maud Montgomery Lied To Me About” and the unrealistic ‘goals’ and dreams that our society displays as a norm on social media. Anything posted on social media, we love to add filters and captions that make the post become unrealistic in the media schemes of things. With these unrealistic expectations, it can lead to let downs and it can become harder for some to reach happiness if they’ll always feel unsatisfied with their life compared to others’ that are displayed on social media.

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  7. First and foremost, both articles boil down to the objectification of women, in the sense of literal objects. It’s almost like the “perfect image” of a woman is one you could make with a doll. The perfect plastic body, with the perfect plastic pies, and the perfect plastic kitchen with all the fancy plastic gadgets with plastic prince charming sitting eagerly at the table. Needless to say, it’s a shame that such a general expectation exists in our society. Today however, it’s much more prevalent that there is a need to break that mold of the “perfect woman.” Leave the expected domestication, and perfectly symmetrical faces behind. The admittance that it’s impossible to be low-maintenance is like admitting to being a human being who needs things (and newsflash aren’t we all just human beings who need things?) The expectations for women to sit back and serve is something that needs to be left behind. I personally never even consider a person’s “maintenance level” when I get to know them, because I don’t focus on how their needs can inconvenience me. I can never truly understand what it would be like to be a woman trying to fit the societal expectation of women, but I never understood why so much was expected of women and girls. Nobody’s perfect, Hannah Montana said it herself.

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  8. I think this post was very interesting in the way you brought up all the broad categories that fall under being high maintenance. This phrase is very common, and many things can contribute to them being in fact, high maintenance like the ones listed in the post. Women may feel the need to be low maintenance in order to not have issues with a guy or because they don’t want to . Doing this may suppress what a girl wants to and normally does express just for the fact of being scared of a guy leaving. Women should not have to feel like they have to cut back or hide aspects of them. If a guy is not accepting of these things or changes how they feel about those women, let them go! No woman should change anything about her for anyone especially to please a man so they don’t feel differently.

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  9. I also think this post brings up a good point for the “stereotype” of what makes a woman a true woman. We are modern day and women don’t have to be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning while the man is out working. Everyone is here to get an education, which is setting them up to have their own career and not rely on a man for that. Touching on the “goals” that women, mainly on social media, are constantly pointing out, it has to do with a luxurious lifestyle that their man is most likely providing. When school work is getting stressful, women will joke around saying how they just want to become a housewife anyway, but why? Joke aside, spending 4 years in college to get a basis education that is the foundation of a future career with the mindset of just throwing that all away to just live off a man and not putting this education to use and not finding a career for themselves is crazy. The housewife image in my mind is a lady staying home while her husband is at work, and cleaning the house and having dinner on the table when he comes home. This is modern day where women can go out and have a job and provide for themselves and not needing a man for that, and being with a man is for a relationship and not for dependency on every aspect of life.

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  10. As a woman that identifies as high maintenance, I had a skeptical approach to reading these articles. I am someone who enjoys makeup, hair, and clothes. This is not because of the image I want others to see in me, but because I can express myself and make a true reflection of who I am through these platforms. Because of this I have identified as “high-maintenance” because I put in a lot of work, time, and energy to stay true to who I think I am. I agree that as a standard in relationships women are expected to be low maintenance, but I would argue that relationships require high maintenance if they are going to work out. If in a relationship my partner does not value that I choose to be true to myself, we are not a good fit. People, especially in relationships demand attention. This is simply unrealistic to expect otherwise. “Goals” in a relationship should not be about the image portrayed by the couple, but about the love shared and in our generation I believe these two things can get mixed up through media. I think a popular show now like Shameless can demonstrate that true love does not necessarily come easy or entail luxury, but rather a constant connection and overcoming difficulties together. Hopefully more media like this will be able to instill this realistic idea into more and more people.

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