What Scares Me about Being a Woman in this World


The scariest thing about being a woman in this world is men who view your intelligence as a threat, your humanity as a nuisance and your body as something to be controlled.

This attitude gives permission for every type of abusive, restrictive and dismissive action that creates a barrier to understanding and intimacy.

Or, maybe the scariest thing is there is nothing I can do to change it.

I can oppose every idea that has been created for me or I can embody every role created for women and there is nothing I can do to repel the dangerous attitudes towards women.

Being intersectional as a black woman, it’s doubly scary for me. I not only have to protect myself from sexist attitudes but also racist attitudes. There is no way possible I can be everything to everyone enough to convince people that I deserve peace in this world.

I walk through this world confident that I am okay, but never really certain. And, with each report of a woman being raped, murdered, disappearing or otherwise maligned the only thing that keeps me from going crazy is to convince myself that my choices will keep me safe.

When really, there is no way to sniff out someone who may hold deep resentment and anger towards you while smiling and pretending to think the world of you to get what he wants.

Yet, as I interact with men online, some feel completely justified in their duplicitous, self-serving behavior. Some even try to convince women that despite their outer appearance to be aligned with the woman’s wishes that she should inherently know that he feels completely different whether he says it or not.

And, if he leaves her to pursue his future with another woman that she knowingly agreed to waste years of her life with him because she didn’t figure out his true intentions. If she possessed self-love, she would have recognized his deception.

The lack of respect for the feelings, investment, and desires of the other person is almost an expectation in the dating world. We are viewed as silly or naïve for expecting common decency.

And, if we challenge disrespect then a woman is viewed as shrewd, bitchy or a nag while simply calling out less than stellar behavior in her male counterpart.

There is cognitive dissonance and deflection when a woman expresses her feelings about being treated like a barrier to male desire whether she is protecting her own sexuality or securing her own future.

There are times when I wish I could just take off my gender like one would slip a dress over their head and stand with just my humanity under the scope.

There you would see that I just want to accomplish dreams that have been put inside me by some higher power. And, that I just want to be loved and appreciated for my contribution.

I don’t shun being a woman. I actually love it and everything that comes with it.

I just wish everyone did.

The scariest thing is to fall for a man who never loved you. To trust a man who never had your best interest at heart. To be vulnerable to a man who would put you in harm’s way from his selfish decisions. To give years to someone who has many more years than you to have children and marry again. To sacrifice in support of a man who has no intention of reaching his potential but also demands you serve his ego. To hope, wish and wait for something that you will never receive even when you appear to get it.

To never be the version of greatness you see for yourself because you gave it up for the wrong person.

And, to have no blueprint to choosing the right person or knowing a good one versus a bad one because no one modeled that for you. And, then to be blamed for every mistake you ever made because you are expected to be the model of perfection. To be placed on a pedestal instead of loved on land.

But, the scariest thing in the world about being a woman in this world is to never truly believe someone will love you in a way where the world doesn’t feel so scary when you’re in his arms.

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