After multiple, heart-opening sessions in solidarity with a wonderful person who consults with us, someone who has been quite familiar with the concept and functioning of oppressive structures of mental health institutes; we became aware of a nondescript pattern in her love life and how love has entered as well as left her life that was one that most of us who are assigned female birth will notice right away.
When something becomes an ingrained part of the culture we experience, we tend to forget its glaring eyes and omnipresence. Let’s not call it something it isn’t, but give it a body to understand it better. A schema of the 21st century, especially one that has become a part of womanhood.
We often hear women talk to us about how men are ‘trash’ and how relationships are becoming superficial by the day and clouded by a haze of indecision. We don’t agree with the statement that men are trash, but neither do we shun it. People can be trashy towards each other sometimes; humans can often forget that others are human too.
This schema has been prevalent in the past 50 years or so, and more prominent with the onset of speed dating and online dating. We live lives where we work too much, especially if we happen to work in the corporate sector and we miss out on the warmth of conversations, first touches, first glances, and many other firsts.
Hence, it only made sense that the world created an online space to connect, feel, experience, talk, rant, sext, and fall in love. Humans evolve holistically, as our professional lives became more crucial to us, we decided to up the ante on our romantic lives as well.
But evolution is not always pretty, appealing, or what we expected it to be. Sometimes it can bring forth a sense of disconnection, unfamiliarity, unease, and confusion. You seem to be getting what you want, but not how you want it. You don’t know whether you are blessed or cursed, and that is okay.
Imagine writing a poem that asks for more from relational encounters, something more and authentic. Here’s what our favorite person wrote as a funny, endearing, and honest poem, an advertisement of sorts for dating apps calling about authenticity in relational encounters. Here’s an excerpt from her poem:
“If we do manage to walk together on the Silk Road I will invite you for tea in my yurt or tiny house.
Surprise, I don’t have a yurt or tiny house yet, but it is my deepest desire to live in something which has eyes so close to nature. I have given up my dream of the treehouse for they are more complicated to build, it seems.
I am an artist. I am a clown who cherishes good moments. I like to write, I like to dance, I like to do nothing at all and I like to talk. I like to walk, work in the garden, and do things excessively. I like, that’s what I meant to say. I need you to like as well, many things, including me.
I have met many travelers on my road to freedom, independent life, adventure, you name it.
I learnt that love is a deep commitment, something which goes beyond a flirt, compliments, and the charming we put up with because it’s hard to meet a person in utmost silence. In theory, it would be a nice way to meet. If this should happen, don’t spoil it. Accept it, love it and come as you are.
Accept my age. I am not as beautiful and sexy as I was at 25 but I have the beauty of my age. On top of my age, I have my experience and sometimes even patches of wisdom.
I have my pain, my suffering. When I discovered that there is the word pain in the word paint I had to laugh. Such idolatry, innocence, nuisance, all of it in a mixed bag, mixed pallet
I want you to come into my life because I am looking for companionship. Don’t think you can meet me over sex. You can meet me over a cup of tea. We shall talk first, play with words. You can start playing with my hair once you have read an entire book with me.
The book I want us to read together is 1001 nights long. You need to have patience with me.
You need to learn how to hold me tight and accept me as I am, and I will accept you as you are. I am good at it, believe me, if we manage to start off on good ground and I don’t need to tell you to lose weight cause you are fat or unfit. Don’t come into my life, never, if you are one of these people who lack self-discipline.
I want you to be accomplished.”
Her poem made us realize that this plight is actually not-so-new, it is something we yearn for any time the thought of love passes through our mind. Her poem is shaped by her certain painful experiences with men with highly patriarchal demeanors, by men who always asked for too much love just to not pour back the same love, by men who did not see her as the glorious woman she is but rather as the woman they have shaped.
Maybe it’s the ease with which men can find their next woman due to the misogynistic ideologies that advertising has left us with, or simply the fact that women are strong and enduring beings who walk on even in the blazing sun and the biting cold.
Whatever the reason may be, we see women rising up and asking for what they want and not only what they need. They are beginning to hold their heads high, and speak louder and clearer. The fear within is being nudged aside and asked to take a seat as they prepare to get what they want from life, just like any other man.
This poem is about a woman asking for what she likes, what she needs, and what she wants. This poem is about a woman without shame opening her mind to tell us that I need love, but not JUST love; I need compassion, honesty, serenity, companionship, patience, innocence, and nakedness.
The plight of the women of the 21st century is that we are gifted with so much shame to carry around before asking for what we like, and we are unlearning that shame. We are constantly unlearning that we are not beings that things happen to, but rather beings that make things happen.
We are the 21st-century women, and this is a tribute to all shameless, loud, quiet, shy, boisterous, fun, introverted, hungry, drunk, sober, angry, calm, and beautiful women.