Thursday, April 1, 2010

Because not enough people are telling women what to do.

30 Things Every Woman Should Quit Doing By 30

Lists like that enervate me. Does anyone feel empowered by reading a laundry list of all the things that women do wrong when they hit that Tragic Age™?

I've come up with my own list of what it would make me happy to see every woman do or feel by the time she is thirty years old:

  1. Eradicate the word "should" from her vocabulary.
  2. Throw her own birthday party, and call out those close to her who forget it, and not in a forgiving, gentle way. And refuse to take responsibility for her partner remembering everyone's birthday, too.
  3. Look at herself in the mirror and think, "I'm darned sexy".
  4. Have a partner who says the same thing to her - all the time.
  5. Share her bed with whoever she likes, be it a partner, a baby, all her kids, the dogs, a teddy, or just her own lone, comfortable self.
  6. Celebrate every relationship she's ever had, with no regrets.
  7. Laugh at the ways she's like her parents, but continue to reject the values they have which she doesn't share.
  8. No longer be subject to male privilege in just about every facet of her life, or be called a lesbian or a man hater when she calls a jerk who happens to be a man, a jerk.
  9. Learn to shake the dust off her feet and not feel like she has to be polite to people who made her life miserable for any amount of time, at any point in her life.
  10. Be treated with respect by the health professionals who have access to her girlie bits.
  11. Be joyous in her skin, regardless of how dry or wrinkled it is.
  12. Be forgiving of herself when she makes a twit of herself, and be forgiving of others too.
  13. Explore her emotional reactions to people in all sorts of spheres, without shame.
  14. Be confident she knows enough to run her life competently.
  15. Celebrate if she has a parent she is close enough to, or who is still alive, to be called "mummy" or "daddy".
  16. Celebrate her siblings, and find others to be close enough to if she doesn't have any.
  17. Be immune from people expecting her to look a certain way before she can get by.
  18. Know that the pay disparity and superannuation disparity will be resolved so that she will no longer earn so much less than men in the same role and have so much less to retire on.
  19. Not be expected to be the rock on which a man can build his life, or be sneered at if she fails to play the role of the damsel in need.
  20. Cease sticking at things because of guilt or duty and nothing else.
  21. Use every human interaction, in person or online, to make the world a better place.
  22. Never feel like she has to put out because a guy picked up the tab.
  23. Celebrate the life she has, and the lives of those around her.
  24. Expect people to love her and treat her with respect, whether it's her birthday or just plain Tuesday.
  25. Be surrounded by people who validate her broken heart, and smile when she learns to smile again.
  26. Never be looked down on or judged again by someone because of a number on the scale.
  27. Not be dragged into classist ideologies about "cheap" or "classy" but live according to her principles and with dignity.
  28. Be prepared to take risks, with a hefty back up plan.
  29. Be able to look at motherhood, either for herself or her predecessors, with honesty and generosity, rather than the overhyped expectations put on mothers today. And if she's got kids, quit blaming herself for all their issues.
  30. Remember that people of all ages have a wonderful perspective on the world.


babyhellfire said...

I love you for this this post.
I will save it and look it up when I turn 30.

dulce de leche said...

Brava! I love your list.

Ms. Burrows said...

Beautiful! I love your blog.