“Can women have it all?” —- “Women CAN have it all!” —- “Women CANNOT have it all!”
What the hell is all? Did someone forget to put this list of all in my kindergarten cubby? Did I miss the Sunday School session where the teacher lectured about all? Because I sure as hell didn’t get it attached to my diploma! Is there a guide for this shit? I don’t see a “Having it all for Dummies,” anywhere.
Oh wait, because there isn’t one. There’s no list.
If you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw my tweets from last night (if not, see below). Those were a result of something I saw in the “Discover” section of my Twitter app. Yet again, another article about someone famous saying something about ‘having it all.’ My tweets are pretty self-explanatory and sum up my opinions.
Here’s what I’ll say, now.
The world is full of expectations. Expectations are everywhere. Some people will do everything in their power to fulfill these expectations. Others will take a “I don’t give a fuck” approach and say shit like “expectations are stupid” or “never expect anything because you’ll always be disappointed.” I personally fall into the second category. Certainly, there are situations where I truly am very indifferent and don’t expect anything. I have been at the other end; where I have fought to meet certain expectations. I’ve also failed to others’ expectations. And that is life.
But the second someone even alludes to telling me about what to expect, want, and need in life…I have a problem. And so should you! I don’t care if we have the same career trajectory or similar life stories or the same family…my life is different. What I experience is different. What and how I learn is different. How I think is different. There is no one size fits all solution or list. I’m not saying that these advocates, feminists, or writers are saying that there is. It’s just so important to note that everything is relative. All of this stuff we’re hearing and going to hear is only going to get more and more repetitive. Essentially, it’s just going to piss us off.
I grew up with expectations (both negative and positive) from my family, my friends, my mentors, my colleagues, and even strangers. And of course I met them all, particularly the negative ones. But something also clicked for me at a very young age (here we go…) —- when it comes to having it ‘all,’ expectations, and standards, I have to set them for myself first. They may change overtime or they might not. But knowing myself and how I define success will shape everything else that follows. It will shape the relationships I choose to build; the people whom I choose to work with and for; the way I look at life as a whole; what becomes a priority; and how I handle all the naysayers. Be selfish. It’s okay.
No one seems to be talking about this logical approach to handling all of the messages behind the Feminist Movement 2.0. Cut the crap with this whole “having it all” bullshit. Not every woman is going to be successful even by her own definition.
If everyone just thought about themselves for a hot second…maybe a little longer we might not have such a huge gap.
While I have your attention, I’ll bullet a few other things that really piss me off as a self-proclaimed feminist:
Women who blame men for the sake of placing blame
Women who don’t appreciate the awesome men that have graced their life
Women who blame other women; take personal responsibility first
Women who don’t listen to each other, especially when it matters
Women who criticize other women for being successful because it doesn’t match their definition of success
I am simply not amused.
So lean in, stand up, take a walk, run a lap … do whatever you got to do to figure out what all is for you, why and how you’re going to attain it. Because you should know your all better than anyone else.