Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Mantle (Monday on My Mind)

Society has a considerable influence over who we become. Many moons ago, society dictated that we should marry at 14, have 7 children, lose all our teeth at 30, and be happy if we survive ‘til 37. Since then, we’ve become more “liberated.”

Now, we can throw off the shackles of family life and take the working world by storm. Or we can have them both, cradling a baby in one hand and a cellphone in the other. I mean we could still get married early (16 in most places) and have 7 children – although medical advances would hopefully ensure we keep our teeth and life a little longer- but that would be like spitting in the face of every women’s liberation advocate who fought for all we have. Right?

When I was younger, I was a rebel without a cause. I hated all things traditionally associated with girls. I wouldn’t be caught dead in pink or in a skirt. I refused to learn to cook. I hated perfume and makeup. I was a tomboy. A large part of it was because I liked the things boys liked. But, maybe, just as much of it was the fact that I was supposed to fit a mould. And I’ve never liked being told what to do.
Only recently did it occur to me that when you do the opposite of what society expects, your life is still being dictated. Unless, you’re doing it because it’s what you want.

I still hate perfume and makeup, but I love pink! Sometimes it cute and ultra-girly, sometimes it’s loud and attention grabbing. Just like me! (Seriously, my cell phone, camera and laptop, as well as most of the clothes I buy…) And I happen to love Prince Charming. Yeah, I know I get on his case a lot, but I LOVE him, and I’d love for him and his white horse to ride in. Any moment now.

Sorry, women’s libbers, for not taking up the mantle you so painstakingly made available to me. I thought the point of liberation was to be free. In my mind, freedom doesn’t really have boundaries. Consequences, yes. But, no boundaries. But that’s just in my mind. And I’m wrong a lot.


Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Nothing wrong with being girly or tomboyish, as long as nobody holds you down. In the history of the world, there are times we have to fight for rights and times we don't. But we should never forget. (that's my soapbox spiel for the day) ;)

Claire Dawn said...

Of course not Tricia. I always remember. But some people seem to solve problems by going all the way in the other direction.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think tomboy is feminine - and sexy. (My wife is very tomboy.)

Claire Dawn said...

lol. Thanks, Alex. I hope there are others like that out there!