Love, and Putting Out

Headless-fashion-female-mannequin

The one true fact of being a girl is whenever or however you enter the world and, despite your best efforts otherwise, you are thrust into a world where you are expected to “put out.”

Not just in the defined way you can imagine. In every way.

Whatever we believe about our first world culture and equality in the Western World, Girls are Still Objects. This plays out in many ways in their lives, small or large.

In this soft and sweet piece about true love and Disney princesses from author Glennon Doyle Melton in Family Circle (on Momster) the conversation between Mom and Daughter is about love — the way love is between partners, friends, and healthy people in our world.

That Mom is doing good work. This is a beautiful piece about the truth of love. The obstacles to this kind of love are real, however for girls everywhere. Some are completely unknown to them.

The truth of love is also dark and frustrating. It’s filled with expectations and ideas about what people “should” be. It is interfered with, by our fears and anxieties that follow us from dark places of our childhoods. Not all of us have the good fortune of wealth and safety in our lives. As it turns out, the object, often, of blame, of violence, is too often, GIRLS.

It’s nice to say  “GIRLS” isn’t it? #Bring”our girls”home? That softens the blow of an unpopular, distasteful and ultimately feminist message that divides people, specifically, “women.” These GIRLS I am referring will eventually turn from sugar and spice to somehow become abhorrent once they pass into adulthood, if they ask for the equality they deserve. If they speak out. They become harpies and shrews who get in the way of providing by asking for their freedom from their imaginary repressions.

Except that we can’t ignore these continuous calls to put out: to spend their copious time and energy on the betterment of their family and their world, without compensation. The cultural expectations of women to be the automatic stay home parents (PUT OUT) and to bake cookies for the bake sale (PUT OUT) and to help the kids with the homework (PUT OUT) and to volunteer at the school and the church and in the community (PUT OUT) and to do it all with their hair in place and legs shaved and in nice clothes (PUT OUT) so they please the eyes of others.

All of this is an Western expectation of “family” and “female” that continues to devalue our girls, and perpetuate a never-ending silent war between women and to decrease the TRUE LOVE of self that makes the differentiation in women so valuable.

The next time you see a photo of “woman” in a magazine (or on TV) with her head cut off, ask yourself why. What message of value is the advertiser sending to you, to men, to girls?

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

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  1 comment for “Love, and Putting Out

  1. Karin
    May 28, 2014 at 9:45 am

    PREACH IT!

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