By: Lanisha Porter
Nothing has shocked me more than the historic and lopsided expectations constantly reinforced as I navigate the heterosexual dating world. The unspoken, but very much expected, expectations from women are definitely not shared among men. It’s enough to make me, at times, want to opt for a life of singleness and freedom, where my autonomy as a person isn’t threatened or eclipsed.
"Tradition has significance, but it can also be extremely dismissive when there's a blind adherence to it."
Since girlhood, I was raised to be good. To create and maintain a clean and pristine reputation for myself, and to always make sure my name beheld it’s due honor. Suddenly, upon the cusp of womanhood, I’m thrust into a world where the expectation is to inherit a new name that beholds all that comes with that man—his successes but also his failures and his shortcomings. Suddenly, my acceptance no longer depends on my own goodness alone—it now depends on the opinions of others gathered over his family dinners; my ability to cook or not, and what I hate most—if I let people make my private matters communal discussion who feel they are entitled.
The issue here is that men, yet again, are somehow excused. Men are allowed to be morally-unrestrained, sexually-unrestricted, and yet the women he brings around should somehow feel “honored” if they make the cut of pleasing his family, and meeting the criteria of being the ornamental wife. Women’s identities somehow become lost in the shadow of who they’re dating—whether its for the good or bad. The other issue here is that women are expected to somehow make friends with silence when others uninvitingly assert their opinions, and report evaluations about our appraisal.
Hmmmm. Double Hmmmm.
Even in 2018 women still face unfair scrutiny when dating, and struggle to be recognized by our own identities. It is my prayer that as a woman I can and will have mobility beyond subordination. That my accomplishments will not be swallowed by the relationship I enter into; and that I will always do me, UNAPOLOGETICALLY. Tradition has significance, but it can also be extremely dismissive when there's a blind adherence to it. As far as my identity and the expectations of me as a woman? No thanks to being so traditional. I’d prefer to go against the grain and make my own history while doing it.
Welcome to my views from this horizon!