Like many people in young adulthood, I’ve been finding dating hard. I live in a pretty rural area, which contributes to this, but while going through this, I’ve noticed something interesting in our culture today.
For the longest time, it seems that women have been taught that their worth comes from their ability to attract guys and get married. Thankfully, that’s changing, but we also seem to be swinging too far in the other direction, where now we’re talking as if being a strong woman means staying single.
The message we get that a woman wanting romance means that she’s feeding into the damsel-in-distress trope. But wanting connection, or a loving relationship and partner, does not automatically equal oppression.
If you look at the trend in movies today, it seems that many female characters are not really given a love interest (such as the new Snow White film, the She Hulk series). We also see this as a growing push on social media, in marketing, and with influencers.
There’s certainly nothing wrong with a woman who chooses to stay single; however, it starts to become an issue when it is being presented as the ideal, or the main way that we can perceive a woman as strong.
Telling a woman that she’s only valuable when she’s not with a man is just as bad as telling her that she’s only valuable with a man. To me, being a feminist doesn’t mean you don’t need a man, it means you aren’t defined by one either way.