I met some real life people yesterday and feel a little better today. This blog connects to an earlier blog about gender issues.
I come from a country where men and women had to work side by side in a rather equal fashion in order to survive the harsh climate. At least that's how equality in our country is usually being explained. Note that Finland is among the few countries that has a female president.
I don't deny that my way of expressing myself can be perceived as strong by some people, but I am by no means a bully. I am not trying to get the upper hand, only have equal rights with everyone else. I am tender and giving but won't waste my efforts on anyone who only wants to reinforce their ego. I can't afford wasting my precious energy, as I don't have that much of it (at least for the time being). The fact that men have complained about the strong will of mine tells me that they have not been very strongwilled individuals themselves. I also wonder whether maybe I have had trouble understanding the subtle differences that seem to exist between men and women in other countries. Most Scandinavians (or rather people of the Nordic countries to be more exact) agree that there is more open or latent chauvinism with the male part of the population in other Western countries. It's a well known fact, however, that even in the North men and women are not given equal work opportunities nor always the same income. The idea that the man has to support the family is still hanging on. It also seems to me that at this point in time, men are confused and intimidated by strong women who either express themselves in independent terms or climb the career ladder with a lot of stamina. It's no news that we're living through some major reform in this sense.
The other day I was still upset about the way that my needs were being downplayed by a guy and how (in my own experience) I was rejected rather cruelly. I more or less demand from a man to be treated with equality and respect, but it seems to me that most men don't agree on the definition of "equal". I might have greater luck in my own country, but unfortunately I don't want to be in a relationship where Finnish is the main language. I'm truly a minority of a minority of a minority...
There's a whole science about "Venus and Mars" that I won't go into here since I'm not that familar with it nor am I sure that everything can be so neatly categorized. But one thing that I've noticed in my own life is that men want to be in charge of how a relationship develops. It starts with them deciding when to write or call, how to meet, and where to develop the contact. This to me is extremely stressful because for one thing I find it unacceptable and unfair, and on the other hand it wears on my over-stressed nervous system. I easily break down like I did the other day if I have to put up with a state of not knowing what the deal is. I realize that I have a big problem. I realize that no matter how much I would have to give to a guy, this little thing could wreck all my chances of ever finding anyone. I'm sorry guys, but actions speak louder than words. I simply don't trust your talk of equality anymore. Thus I am trying to come to terms with the fact that loneliness just might be my only company for the rest of my life. After all, almost half the population in Sweden are single people, I hear. I won't be here to live the times when equality is real and palpable and men have accepted to remove their blindfold.
In answer to a comment I wrote the other day, I said that I wish that men would realize how emotional women can sometimes be without it meaning half as much as they think. Secondly, I wish they would realize that their actions cause us to fret and ruminate for ages afterwards. Women spend an enormous amount of time trying to understand men, but when do they ever care to understand us? In other words; how can we ever reach true equality if one part of the population is not interested in investing any efforts into truly understanding the other part? This leads me to the core of my thinking, which is that rather than choosing sides and thinking in terms of either-or the way we are used to, we should really try and embrace both-and. So even though I'm a bit sad and nervous about the way men so easily dismiss me as "difficult" I still hope to give each individual the benefit of doubt. But my refusal to be submissive is probably going to cost me a lot of things that belong to a normal life on Earth.P.S. Actually I was being really nice on this blog. If a man comes onto a woman and she's confused about it, he still seems to hold the right to be baffled and blame her for having allured him.
Artwork: "Emotions 6/6", handmade collage on paper by author, all rights reserved 2002