Monday, February 9, 2015

Standards

Hmmm, where to start on this topic? Let's go here first:

I'm a feminist. I will advocate for women's equality until the day I die. Equal pay. Equal rights. Removal of sexism from all aspects of life. There is no wrath like the wrath of a woman scorned, and media and society do a lot--both intentionally and unintentionally--to "put women in their places."

One thing that absolutely boils my blood is the societal idea that women are too high-maintenance and have standards that are both too high and unrealistic.

Society could not be more wrong.

Women have high standards because they know what they want, and they know what they deserve. We are clear thinkers. We may change our minds a lot, but we have coherent goals, dreams, and plans. I'd even venture to say that we're even better off for being mind-changers because that implies malleability and resilience and flexibility and adeptness and pure, effervescent wit.

Beyond that, we are absolutely entitled to have the standards we have--for people, for relationships, for jobs, for parenting, for gender equality, for healthcare, for women's rights, for life--and we should be lauded for having such a firm grip on our wants and needs.

A lot of times, "standards" and "goals" are interchangeable words. Why should one gender be allowed to set clear goals and the other held in constant contempt for it?

Sorry, men, but women keep the world running. We bring a hell of a lot to the table. I dare you to try to do it without us!

Anyway, off my soapbox. Kind of.

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I'd like to advocate for women never to be afraid of having high standards and never to settle on something below those standards if it is within your power. It could lead to getting lost in a total mess, whether that's a bad relationship, a job that's a waste of your time, doing things for people who don't appreciate you, a whopping pile of debt, etc.

Set your standards high and hold your ground. Your life will be so much more amazing because you'll be living it on your terms. Circumstance and person will not affect your outlook and ambitions.

I've got a lot of standards for my future, and I refuse to find myself in a situation within my choosing that's too far away from those ideals. I'm specifically talking about future relationship, financial, and professional/educational goals for myself.

If I enter into another relationship in the future, it must be with an honest man. Honesty makes everything else tolerable, or at least overcome-able. He must be honest and worthy of my trust, time, and attention. Beyond that, he must be worthy of the time he will take away from Kimmy and Mommy 1:1. He must love my child as much as me and/or as much as his own if a blended family is in my future. He must be someone I can be comfortable praying with/around.

My financial standards include being debt-free with the exceptions of car and home loans in my future. I will save for emergencies, for Kimmy's college education, for retirement, and to help others. On these standards, I will not bend, unless forced circumstance would make it so.

I will receive a graduate degree, come hail or high water. [I think the generally accepted phraseology is "come hell or high water," but "hail" makes so much more sense to me. Natural disaster + natural disaster versus death + natural disaster. I've changed it to "hail" for myself. Why? Because I can.] I'm willing it to happen. I will not break this goal. I will work during my working years and my retirement years. I will help others all I can. Lord willing, I will spend my retirement providing free childcare for a future single momma around my age now, so she can work and save and not have to worry about the most worrisome time of life. But I can figure all that out when the time arrives. It's my plan, at least!

Why should I be made to feel "less than" for having such high standards for myself, my daughter, and my/our future?

Sorry, boyz. I'm standing strong. Row your boat to my island, or row right on by and leave me be.

Cheers,
-Kelsey