Women are stupid! Women can’t make decisions. They’re gullible. This narrative has run now for so long – like a never ending bad joke.
It’s run long enough that a lot of women too have internalised misogyny. They keep pulling themselves down, undermining their abilities, giving the reins of their life to someone else – most of the times a man who can make their decisions for them. What does that do for all of the women right now and in the future?
On the other hand- men have lived within stereotypes as well and come to believe that they don’t need to do certain things and have to DO other things to prove their manliness. Between us living by fixed rules, believing in stereotypes and gender roles, we’ve all become stupid. Time to change that?
Here Are Some Stupid Things Women Do:
1. Taking the burden of contraception on them: Condom use in India has declined 52% over eight years to 2016 and vasectomies have fallen by 73% – indicating greater reluctance among men to use birth control – according to Health Management Information System data. But the use of emergency contraceptive pills among women increased during the same period by over 100%.
Emergency pills are just to be used for emergencies. It’s not an alternative to long term contraception. But still many women pop these pills like candies like it’ll do nothing to their bodies. Can we push our partners to be more responsible towards contraception?
2. Dressing in uncomfortable clothes, trying to fit in beauty standards: Killing our feet with heels, wearing uncomfortable under wears, carrying huge bags that restrict our movements, wearing tight clothes. You know what I’m talking about. Why can’t we place an equal importance on comfort as we do on fashion?
3. Falling in love with stalkers: Well, this does happen in small cities. Sometimes. But come on, you’re better than that! Some guy stalked you, made you his even before you said yes. What does that tell you? Will such a person ever respect your agency, your ability, your decision to make choices for yourself? Does this guy even see you as an individual?
4. Believing that they can change a toxic men/ self destructive person: YOU are not a therapist or psychologist (unless you have the credentials to show) so it is not your burden or responsibility to “fix” someone.
You are someone’s partner, but you’re also your own person. Of course, you should be there for them in their toughest moments and help them get through, but if things are beyond your control, what can you do? You’ve got to keep your mental health in check too right?
5. Not valuing your consent enough: Your words matter. Your consent matters. You matter. When you say yes or no, it does matter. Don’t undervalue your consent or choices by deprecating yourself. Only you know what’s best for you. When you don’t give your sexual consent but your partner doesn’t listen- Should you really be with that guy?
6. Imposter syndrome– Imposter syndrome is an internal experience that forces us to believe that we are not so competent as others perceive us to be. Self-doubt is something women are taught from childhood- Nahi tum ladki ho, tumse nahi hoga. Or women are dumb, they’re not smart. This in turn can cause anxiety, affect our mental health, obstructs career growth and harms your leadership potential.
So stop doubting yourself. Appreciate the work you’re doing and surround yourself with people who appreciate you as well.
7. Using marriage as a quick fix for low or no self-esteem: Oh career ka kuch nahi ho raha- Shaadi kar leti hu. Pata nahi mein apni life mein kuch achieve kar paugi yaan nahi. Stop. You can do anything you put your mind to. You just have to be determined. Confidence rakho yaar khud pe thoda.
8. Lying to yourself about what you want: So that you can please others- Sabki khushi mein hi humari khushi hai. This what we are taught when we are kids. When it comes to making sacrifices, Indian women seem to have a monopoly on the matter.
Yes, we all make sacrifices for our near ones, but then one needs to know where to draw the line. Sacrifice shouldn’t become a habit or need or a way of gaining love and validation. So, be honest to yourself. I want to finish my phD, I want to become an artist, singer, dancer, engineer, scientist. Whatever you want to you, if you don’t tell yourself first, how will you do it?
As women do these “stupid” things that hurt us, because many of us don’t know any better. We are caught in this power structure and gender stereotypes which we’re trying to break out of but it’s not always easy. Important thing to do here is to keep trying to be less stupid.