Dear Women, Let’s Stop Feeling Guilty About These 50 Things. Like NOW.

confidence culture, dil dhadakne no, anushka sharma, priyanka chopra
Women feeling guilty: Can there be a list like that? A list of things women and only women should be guilty of doing? Please have mercy on yourself not go looking for things you should be guilty about.

Some of us have taken the patriarchal rulebook to our hearts and that is why we are guilty of steps taken for our benefit. Women should not do this, women should not do that is a hymn of yesteryears. The fight against patriarchy will go on but meanwhile, women must also learn to stop punishing themselves for anything and everything that happens to them. It is revealed in many studies and surveys that women are easily guilted as compared to men. Here is an example.

Whether we do well in our career, excel in education, buy an expensive item for ourselves, some of us always walk around with guilt weighing us down. The guilt of not being considerate of our families’ unrealistic expectations, guilt of calling out sexist behaviour of a loved one, the guilt of “ruining lives” of abusers. The list of so many unsaid things is endless. Some women feel the guilt of being alive and there is nothing surprising about that especially in Indian societies where a girl is deemed a ‘burden’.

Here is a not so exhaustive list of things that you should never feel guilty about:

  1. Making work and career a priority
  2. Making family and kids a priority
  3. Being compassionate
  4. Choosing yourself over others
  5. Not following traditional customs at weddings
  6. Dressing a certain way
  7. Not being good at cooking and cleaning
  8. Getting drunk too easily
  9. Not wanting to have kids
  10. Wanting to have kids
  11. Eating before the male members of the family
  12. Being outspoken about opinions
  13. Feeling competitive against co-workers
  14. Wanting to stay away from family members
  15. Not wanting to marry
  16. Feeling sexual desires
  17. Wanting to get married to a man or a woman
  18. Being angry against people who do not take your case of caste, class and gender identity into consideration
  19. Expressing anger
  20. Earning a living and not being financially dependent on people
  21. Choosing to be a homemaker
  22. Marrying outside one’s community
  23. Falling in love with a younger individual
  24. Making more money than one’s partner
  25. Wanting to hang out with friends late at night
  26. For liking their bodies
  27. Asking for leave during periods
  28. For choosing to have pre-marital sex
  29. For not putting sindoor after marriage
  30. For being a woman with big boobs
  31. For having small boobs
  32. For being friendly with men
  33. For being drunk when they face sexual assault
  34. For not being religious
  35. For loving make-up
  36. For not being able to do make-up
  37. Asking for help
  38. For not wanting to date people
  39. For being in multiple consensual sexual relationships
  40. For being crazy about a man
  41. For breaking up with an emotionally unavailable partner
  42. For being attracted to both men and women
  43. For choosing to be in live-in relationships
  44. Working hard for a job and putting everything else aside
  45. For not always liking their kids
  46. For someone who enjoys food
  47. For taking of their bodies by going to work out in public
  48. For not wanting to lose weight
  49. For catering to their own emotional needs
  50. For being alive

Suggested Reading:

Dear Women, Premarital Sex Isn’t A Mistake. Get Over The Guilt

Are Women Bigger People Pleasers Than Men?

Six Sexist Expectations That Desi Moms Have From Their Daughters

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