The Conflict

I am in constant conflict. About the way I want to be, and the way the world wants me to be.
I’m not a romantic person. I am pragmatic. I don’t care about shiny rocks, chocolates, spending every waking moment with my partner. Hell, I don’t even know if long-term monogamy is right for me. Fashion and makeup are largely scams. If I had absolute freedom right now, I would buy a small but well-made, self-sufficient house in the middle of a wooded lot and live there with a big dog. I’d wear warm, lovely flannel and sturdy long-lived leather boots and not care about what people thought about it. Not exactly the picture of modern womanhood, am I?

Oh, well, I know what most people would think. A woman like that can’t be heterosexual. It’s very simple-minded of them, and also dead wrong.
I am physically and emotionally attracted to men. The problem, for me, in being in a relationship with a man is that they can’t seem to truly fathom a woman being an equal partner. At least unconsciously, the woman needs to submit on most things. Step aside, and let the man take leadership. Even in non-serious events.
No, I’m not gay. But I think the lines of gender are blurred for me, however. I crave the power and respect a man can achieve with just his words and deeds. Women achieve by looking really attractive, and then, if that hurdle is passed, then maybe they can achieve power and respect with their words and deeds. Or, they can take another path to power and respect, by acting more dominant, i.e. sort of masculine.
There’s no easy middle way. An average or even ugly man can achieve great things, because appearance doesn’t matter as much for men. But as a woman, I have to be really hot, or I have to start acting like a man. It’s stupid and I don’t want to do either of them.

It is a sad, unacceptable truth to most people. Nobody in my immediate circle of friends seems to understand this. They maintain wishful thinking that IF YOU TRY HAAAAARD ENOUGH, you can get whatever you want without sacrificing your principles! How precious that is. It must be hard speaking with your mouth full of sand. How do you even breathe?
But, as always, the people that seem to get it are all online. Guess what the IRL friends think is a bad influence. They maintain that it’s all an echo chamber. They don’t seem to get that they almost always tend to act as a denial chamber for me. Sometimes it’s nice to actually discuss things with people without being immediately dismissed.

Well, enough of that. So, I don’t want to be defined by others. I don’t want to be told what I should like, and what I should do with my free time. I don’t want to be told what to feel and what to look like. But at the same time, there is pressure to do all of that. Social pressure. Though I am aware I will never quite fit in anywhere, or be truly accepted in a group, I must spend time with people. And if I want to spend time with people, I must be defined by their expectations. I must wear makeup. I must wear trendy clothes and high heels. I must spend hours styling my hair. I must be catty and gossip. I must act as though the male gaze is the only thing I truly care about. I can’t have interests that I am too into, you know, the way it’s acceptable for men to be really into some specific, narrow interest. The male gaze must be first and foremost my main concern. Well, if I was really super attractive I could get away with having a strong interest not related to men. It would be considered cute. Because most super attractive women can get away with anything considered unseemly for less attractive women.

So, I struggle. I seesaw back and forth between wanting to completely live my life the way I want, and therefore abandon the people in my life, or living a kind of miserable half-life where I reluctantly wear makeup, do all the consumeristic shit that I hate, and hope like hell I’ll finally be accepted.
Living the way I really want to means leaving my husband, since he can’t be a true partner to me, and I would not have to live in his shadow as the little weak woman anymore. However, I have enough skepticism even of myself to know it’s not a good idea. Not really. Not for a long, long time, anyway. God, this need of mine to have complete power and control of myself and my surroundings pretty much guarantees my desire to be alone. Because I can’t have complete power and control of myself when other people are around, pressuring me implicitly with the force of their expectations, I must be completely alone to have it. Since I will never be able to fit seamlessly into society that seems quite acceptable.
Despite all this crazy-sounding bullshit, I know I can’t do it. Because I could be wrong. I could be terrible at being alone. All the shit I dream about, about being competent and independent without the shadow of other people’s expectations looming over me, could be unrealistic. I could be completely wrong about myself and what I’d do in my “dream life.” Still, it has appeal. So much appeal. I feel frustrated and hateful towards the world because I can’t acceptably have it.
So therein lies the problem – as much as I hate society, I still seek its acceptance. What an idiot I am! I should just do the things I want to do, and still have people around me. Just don’t care about what they think I should do. Even if I were to strive to meet all their expectations and hope that it wouldn’t make me absolutely miserable, they would still dislike me. And they’d dislike me no matter what, so why not do the things I like? Why don’t I learn to shoot, draw and paint, learn martial arts, go hiking and camping by myself, and play the piano, and all of that?
In the end, I think that’s the place of true balance for me. A maintainable middle ground. I just need to figure out how to get there.


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