There’s No “We” Without ME: The Value of Individuality in Relationships.

We live in a society where it has been historically normative to undermine Women. Women have had to fight for mediocre rights, that of which men have seemed to automatically be privileged to. From my perspective, this separation of genders seems to be the root of biblical times—where Eve came from the rib of Adam. How I have been raised, it has been so important to please the man. The bible tells us Women to submit to our male spouse, and other male figures, like our fathers. “This is what you need to do in order to get and keep a husband.” Raising questions like “Who’s plate do you make first? The man’s or the children’s?” How about my plate?

All I can ever do at that is laugh. I am just 23 years young and I have learned already that you could do everything and give everything and a man will only love and cherish you if HE wants to do that. We have to get it out of our minds that we have to be subservient to men. They do not control us. We are equal beings. Take aside from what we learn from the bible—about how Eve was created from Adam; gender is a social construct. We as Women should demand respect too. Why do people view this creation of Eve as a signal to be subservient to men, instead of a mere example showing that WE are what men need! I could speak on and on about my views toward this, but there it is in a nutshell. People pick and choose what they want to follow or derive from the Bible. God talks about fornication and people ignore it, yet anything denoting that men are superior—BOOM, they choose to follow it.

I’m currently in a happy, committed relationship. We’ve been dating for over a year now. Boy, have I learned A LOT from him. He’s also learned a lot from me too. At first, I did enter the relationship in a docile, submissive position, but over time I’ve realized how much my Womanhood exists and matters. What I mean by this is that often times men…they hide from emotion. Not only that, but they hide their own emotion too. As for me and my emotional self, no matter how dramatic and reckless of a mess I get, I know that this does not define my Womanhood, but my humanity.

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We are all human and as Women, sometimes…oftentimes, we are able to express that differently than men. Well, in my case. My Womanhood allowed me to teach my significant other how to love, and be loved, and express himself. It is the most beautiful thing to me, to think about the trajectory of our relationship. Do you know how hard it is loving a closed off person? Women are so beautiful and we have so much power within us that sometimes cannot even be fathomed. Adam was lonely without Eve and was not complete until she was made from him. That does not mean she is inferior to him. He needs her. You know, James Brown told us “This is a man’s world, but it wouldn’t be nothing without a Woman or a girl”. Smart man.

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Speaking of relationships, and this “need” for one another,  a clear sense of self and individuality is so important to remember. Although I have strive to feel at one with my significant other, at times I fought to not lose myself, or my identity, in our relationship. That is not easy. It is so easy to become consumed in your love life—in your lover too. They become a part of your world. You don’t want to be separate from your partner, because you want to feel unified…especially when you plan for a future together.

But as Women, this sense of individuality can sometimes diminish when being in a committed relationship. Sometimes, men are intimidated by a confident, educated, and independent Woman. First of all, we should strive to be with men who respect that, rather than try to take it away from us…and by take it away from us I mean men that want to take care of everything, and don’t want us doing anything. I mean, YES, it’s lovely being spoiled by my partner, but at the end of the day I can do it on my own too! I’m truly an egalitarian when it comes to my relationship. I help and support my partner just as much as he helps and supports me, whether it is financially, emotionally, or anything else. For me to hold the notion, for example, that the man should be the “provider”, that equally leads to the woman being dependent on him. Nope.

Men often compare women to themselves based on some sort of inferiority. We’re associated with being emotional wrecks and what not. SO not cool. The power of Womanhood is so beautiful and strong. We are stronger than men through the very thing that they claim to be weak: our emotion, love and passion. It takes a lot to show that and to give that to another being. As much as we need, we are needed. As a Woman, to love yourself, individually above all else, you must first understand the power you hold in being that—a Woman

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I’m truly in love with my partner. For many reasons than just one, but one thing I love is how I’ve gained a better sense of who I am and the Woman I can be from my relationship.

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A truth written by Shira Smith.

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