Earlier this week, Cynthia Nixon released an honest and confronting insight into the constant bombardment women endure every day.
Whilst I feel pretty confident in who I am these days, growing up came with a relentless commentary from society about how to be the perfect lady.
My first year of uni came with an adjustment period as I had previously attended an all-girls high school and so interactions with the opposite sex had been limited to the weekends mostly.
One lunchtime a group of us decided to head to the pub for lunch between classes and we got onto the topic of life post-uni. One guy proudly declared he’d never marry a lawyer, before a table of both guys and girls.
We were all a little taken aback as we were all studying law and wanted to know what on earth was wrong with being a woman in the legal profession. When we pressed him further he revealed he couldn’t imagine being married to someone who worked all the time and wasn’t at home when he got home.
This was 2010.
Fast-forward a few years, I was in a terrible rebound relationship and one evening we were watching Jim Carey’s Liar Liar. Long story short, the movie is about a father who is constantly letting his family down as a result of his busy work schedule.
My then-boyfriend kept poking me and saying ‘that’ll be you when you finish uni‘ and ‘our kids won’t know their mum because you’ll always be too busy at work‘
That was 2014.
Thank you, next!
I was lucky to find my soon-to-be husband who is my biggest fan both personally and professionally but that doesn’t mean the societal scrutiny has stopped.
I’m constantly battling between being curvy but not too curvey whilst trying to pull off the not-wearing-any-make up natural look. All the while trying not to give anyone on the bus too much eye contact in case they follow me home, but that’s ok because I have my keys lodged between my fingers whilst I scan the houses around me that I can run to should I be approached, or worse, grabbed.
It’s 2020 and we’re still having this conversation and I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m supported to work hard, wear what I want and be independent but that still doesn’t mean I’m not scared all the time.
I think the problem is whilst this video screams true of what it means to be a woman, at the same time, men are getting mixed messages also.
Be a man. Don’t show emotion. Be the provider. Be strong. Don’t earn less than your wife. You can’t be a stay at home dad. Be loud. Be proud. Stand up for yourself. You’re in control. You’re in charge. You’re not bossy.
I’m not saying ‘oh poor men, they have it so tough‘ but I think we need to stop telling women what to do and start educating men how to act.
I hope my generation can see the carnage that is toxic masculinity and is able to talk to our dads, our husbands, our brothers, our sons and our friends to try and put a stop to this ideology that men and women aren’t equal.
Take a look at the video below and let me know if you too have felt the pressures Cynthia shares.