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.