The Down Side of Feminism and Success

I am a businesswoman.  I worked my way up from my first McJob, put myself through college, and busted my ass to get to the point where I can finally claim some kind of success in life.  Why, then, do I still feel unsuccessful?  It’s because, when you remove the business, I am still just a woman and I have needs that money can't buy.  So, I find myself in a conundrum where I am happy until 5 pm, and then my empty apartment reminds me of everything I’m missing out on. 


I grew up in a very traditional home and my mom was a stay-at-home mom.  As a young girl, I thought my life would end up like hers.  I thought I would meet a great guy who adored me, have a beautiful wedding, and spend my mid-to-late 20’s having and raising a few beautiful kids.  Maybe that would have happened if I hadn’t chosen the college and career route.  As the years passed, my timeline kept on changing and now I am 30 with a great career…and that’s it.  It is an accomplishment to be proud of, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it feels like a hollow success that lacks substance.  Sometimes I think I would be happier if I had become a housewife because at least I wouldn’t be lonely all the time and in danger of never having a family.  It’s an awful anti-feminist thought that I hate to admit to. 


So why is it not possible to have the best parts of both lives?  I have a few theories.  The first is that men got upset when we infiltrated the business world and stopped needing them to be the breadwinners, so they just said “fuck it” and decided to stop being serious about life.  The second is that successful professional women are intimidating to men, so they unintentionally gravitate towards women who aren’t as outwardly strong and (knowingly or not) project need.  Third, maybe the world really has just gone to hell in a hand basket and it was inevitable, no one’s fault except the Universe. 


I’ve always been proud to be a feminist, but I wish I had known that it could mean losing out on the parts of life I looked forward to the most.  Maybe, if I had known that, I would have thought about it longer before deciding my path.  I don’t want to be intimidating or unapproachable.  I certainly don’t want to be unlovable, but it seems like I am all of those things.  All I wanted to be was successful and independent, able to contribute to a household 50/50 rather than being weak and needing someone to support me.  Men of the world, I hope you can understand.  I’m not after your money and I don’t want to control your life.  All I want is a partner, a teammate, someone who asks each evening how my day was so I don’t have to talk to my computer or my iPhone about it.  I want someone to embrace my soft side and want my love rather than getting freaked out and running away the minute I remove my mask of strength and let my walls down.  At this point, I honestly don’t know if he’s out there.  All I know is that I have to stay strong and keep those walls up because I’m all I have right now and it will probably stay that way for a long time. 


Until next time…

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