A lot has been written about the way society perceives women, and by far wiser people, so I’m aware of the fact that I’m standing on the shoulders of giants here. But I don’t mean to make it a feminist rant; what I want to write about concerns me personally.
You see, I find – to my amusement – that society as a whole just doesn’t know what to make of me. To an extent, they never have, but as long as I was “young”, it was a little more accepted to live as I do. They could still put me into the “wild years” category. A young woman is allowed, to a certain extent and at least by more liberal minds, to live out her desires including her sexuality.
But what on earth should the world do with a woman in her mid fourties who is a. single, b. sexually active and into connection and intimacy, and c. picky?? As well as being childless, if I may add.
I see this in almost everyone I meet, with very few exceptions. The first assumption is usually that I “just can’t get a feller to settle down with”. When they begin to realise that’s not quite it, they are confused (or they think I must have been “hurt”. I mean, yes I have, I doubt there’s anyone over the age of 15 who hasn’t been hurt in love, but I have no bitterness and I adore men).
I think it’s to do with restrictive notions of how women are “supposed to be”, and considering how long feminism has been around, that’s astonishing. It’s the same reason why women seem to disappear from Hollywood movies once they hit middle age (except in very specific roles, usually as comic relief, or the “frustrated housewife” or similar). Yes, I know there are exceptions, but that’s what they are – exceptions, and far far fewer than the men of equal age.
Basically, a woman my age should be married / in a relationship, or into sex without emotional attachment, or a sad case. Since I am neither, the people I meet are at a loss.
All my life, I’ve been used to being the weird one in the way I approach the whole subject of love. It’s hard for people to understand how I can love someone and not necessarily want a relationship, but this is just part of what I do: I adore people, I get starry-eyed about them, and I love them. In the case of a gorgeous man, this may include sex and last anything from a few nights or weeks to years. The entire construct of a “relationship” often just gets in the way of true intimacy and connection (though not always; it does fit me at times). It’s a wild-woman thing.
I’ve ALWAYS had problems explaining this approach to people, but the way people don’t know how to react to me at all, has got a lot more pronounced over the last five years or so.
Again, this isn’t a “problem” as such, it amuses me more than anything else, although it can get a little tiring. I’ve been fortunate to always know a few people who were above such idiotic ideas, and if the world has a problem with me, then that’s the world’s problem – I’m far too busy being happy! It’s just puzzling to me, and fascinating, how little has really changed in perceptions.
I own my age, my body, my intense-as-ever emotions (highly sensitive…), and my sexuality. Dear world: Get over it already.
Written in May 2016