My stomach is in knots from years of having the same conversation, over and over again, with pretty much every man I have ever encountered in every walk of life. (Even the good ones, of which there are many. The good ones don’t do it intentionally. But they still do it.)
The main topic may vary, but the course of the exchange is always the same. And I’m sick of it. It goes a little something like this:
“This is what I want,” I say.
“No. This way is better. Because.” He replies.
“Yeah, but that’s not what I’m looking for.”
“It really needs to be done like this,” he says, confidently.
“But I…” my voice trails off.
And he does it his way. Or forces me to do it his way. Just like we both knew he would all along. This might be related to work policies, or home decor, or how to interact with others, or future plans, or car maintenance, or when to speak up or remain silent, or relationship negotiations.
And while he confidently steamrolls over my request, I listen to the various voices in my head. “Does it really matter?” “Maybe he’s right.” “Just let him do his thing.” “There’s no point in arguing.” “If you push, you’re going to look irrational.”
I’m so tired of caving in. I’m so tired of not being heard. I can’t stand it when I’m not taken seriously. I’m fed up with being discounted.
But if I insist, I’m branded as pushy. If I shout, I’m a shrew. If I let even a tiny bit of my massive, lifelong pool of frustration leak out of my eyes, then I’m hysterical.
We women are so damned emotional. We shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads about things. Why do we insist on rocking the boat all the time?
Because, guys, many of us have spent our entire lives compromising, capitulating, submitting, retreating, giving in, backing down, conforming, acquiescing, complying, knuckling under, giving up, wimping out, surrendering, conceding, holding back, giving ground, chickening out, yielding, relenting, giving quarter, cutting slack, going along, biting our tongue, overlooking, lightening up, accepting, and cooperating.
So if a woman puts her foot down about something that seems minor to you, try to understand that that minor point is resting on top of a gigantic, steaming pile of bullshit that she’s been forced to swallow her entire life.
And then maybe follow through on what she’s asked for, just so, for once, rather than adding to that pile. You don’t have to like it. Lord knows we never have.