Conflict of Women
Woman vs. Fate
The fate of a person starts before birth. XX or XY. Female or Male. Oppressed or Oppressor. Servant or Served. A 50-50 chance determines the course of a life. This system had been in place since the minute men saw us as objects, instead of people. So therefore I, the Woman, am forced to sit, smile, and suck it up. All so I don’t poke holes in the fragile male ego. This realization has been long coming in my placated mind. Most folks float through life unaware of the impact of societies power. The oppression of the Women has been facilitated and continued by society for years on end. It is our fate to stay oppressed. Some cruel coincidence, the realization of continued oppression and my personal position in life. I never aspired to end up in a cubicle, but money is money and a job is a job. Except, I think this job is killing me. Not literally, but it’s slowly sucking the soul out of me and I don’t know how to handle it. Day-in I sit and file, sit and type, sit and stare blankly at my screen while my boss sits in his office getting paid to exist. Tis the life of a loyal office worker. The pure montantany is too much for one person to handle without going stir crazy. We all have our small ways in which we rebel against the corporation. Some people steal supplies, some people do pranks, some people burn mail, and some people dream of breaking down the stupid glass door and punching the boss in the face. I am in the latter category. O to finally put that frog faced man in his place, that’ll be a glorious day. For the time being I will sit and think of how my life could be so very different. Being a women in society is extremely hard. You have a number of predefined roles and paths you
can choose from.
Path One: The fate of a wife. This is a path that many people choose. It has the most deviations and subcategories, but at its core it is the same. It is a women bound to another person till they grow apart or die. The subcategories are as polarized as political parties. At one extreme is the little house wife, with a white picket fence and two children, forcibly content to be held under her partners will and make no move to advance in outside society. On the other side is the breadwinner. The women who has a good job with her partner and together they life in fulfilling equality. The latter is nothing but a dream for most women, because we have been taught to settle, but that’s just life I guess.
This is not my path.
Path Two: This path has the most shame associated with it according to society. Like Path One it too has many variations. These variations are determined by the individual perception of the path itself.The fate of being single. No permanent romantic strings, just family. The most popular of the variations go as follows. There is the the ‘ crazy’ single who is desperate for a meaningful relationship, there is the floating single who is jumps from short relationship to short relationship, and there is the confident single who sacrificed a relationship for a job and a good career.
This is not my path.
Path Three: This path goes hand in hand with both previous paths. It is what some men consider the only thing women were made to do. The fate of a mother. It has very strongly set subpaths that are hard to deviate from. Society will shame you for not having children and it will shame you after you have them. You’ll be called a helicopter mom, controlling, too strict, not strict enough, and selfish. The needs of your children will always take priority over your own. Moms share the common bond of children, but their methods differ.
This is not my path.
See I wish I could just hop on a predesigned path for my life but that is not what is going to happen. I thought this job was my path, but it seems to be another dead end. Every chance of advancement has been vehemently denied in favor a man working half my capacity. It’s fine really. I’m used to being belittled and shorted on promotions. That’s basically expected for a woman in the workplace. No what really gets me is the entitlement and the freedom. The knowledge that some men have that they will succeed no matter what. They have no obligation to set paths. I’m not saying men don’t have issues but in this particular struggle they lose. Realistically I can’t go and ask for an explanation for my treatment here, but I can leave. Leave and blaze my own path and watch as this company's infrastructure crumbles as the only support beam falls away. I will finally be free from my predefined constrictions, and without the fear or care about my opposers. Have fun trying to figure out all the data systems I coded for this company.
( P.S. I handed you my two weeks forever ago and you have yet to read or acknowledge it. I think you threw it away, but whatever I am out of here.)
Woman vs. Nature
Sand grit against her skin as she walked along the shore. Because of her nightly walks, Louise’s bare feet were always baby soft.
Piles of yellowish seafoam lay abandoned on the wet sand beyond the surf, waiting for another wave to come and sweep it away, along with her footprints. The water was brisk and steely when it washed over her toes, but she didn’t mind. The cold did good to combat the humidity and suffocating heat filling her lungs.
The beach was completely empty, which was rare for such a nice evening. The sun had already set and the water was glittering in the disappearing glow from the horizon. Louise enjoyed solitude, which was maybe why she chose to take her walks once most people had retired into their glassy beach-houses. She liked when it was just her, the moon, and the sea. Sometimes, she could stand in the shallows for what felt like hours, staring out over the water.
The sand glowed white in the moonlight; a stark contrast to the black waters lapping at its shore. The waves were more aggressive than usual, crashing forcefully against the sand with thunderous booms.
Louise had wandered to a part of the beach that she didn’t recognize. She was well beyond the yellow stucco condo complex that she usually walked to. In fact, there were no buildings behind her at all. It was rare to find a nearly untouched section of the beach and Louise was happy to have a private oasis. She could be sure that there were no snow-birds eyeing her shadow move across the sand; no vacationers peeking at her through their ocean-view windows. There wasn’t even an electric glow shining from behind her. She could see nearly everything around her purely by moonlight, except for the water, which absorbed the light like a black hole.
Louise waded into the surf up to her knees. Her skin tingled in the cold water to the point of numbness, but she ignored it. She was practically frozen in a meditative state as she stared out over the water. She tried to discern the horizon in the pitch black, but the water seamlessly melded into the night sky.
After a moment, however, she could see motion in the darkness. She found the horizon as it rose above her in a dark cloud. It rushed towards her, rising higher. Louise realized with horror that it was in fact a wall of water barreling towards her. Flashes of white appeared on the top of the wave feet above her head. Her breathing quickened and she finally broke from her frozen spell. She turned to run, but her feet had sunken into the sand up to her ankles.
Panicked and scrambling, she pried her feet from the sand and stumbled towards the shore. The water beneath her feet rushed towards the ocean, sucking her and the sand with it. Her strained efforts to distance herself from the approaching surge of water proved to be hopeless. Right as she spun to see how close it had gotten, Louise was doused by freezing ocean.
The force of the roaring wave pummeled her to the ground. It nearly knocked the breath out of her. She spun wildly under the surface, disoriented and unable to tell up from down in the dark. Salt and sand whirled viciously around her, burning her skin. Louise could feel the tightness in her chest growing, as if it were about to burst. She couldn’t hold her breath much longer. Half-drowned and hopeless, she let her body go limp and surrendered herself to the cruel jaws of the sea. She released the tension in muscles and prepared to take in the icy waters.
Just as her chest rose to suck in her final breath, she felt warmth on her back. She’d broken the surface, face down like a floating corpse. Louise gasped for air before breaking for the glowing white shore in front of her. She clawed at the dry sand like a life raft. Never had she been so close to death. Louise felt torn apart inside. Her back felt bruised and she was certain that the soreness in her neck may never fade. When she looked up, she saw what she had nearly fatally overlooked: two red flags flapping in the wind.
Louise made the news the next day. Her picture was on the morning talk shows and her story was printed in the town paper. She’d survived a swim in prohibited, treacherous waters. There was a sharp drop under the water she’d been standing in that caused enormous waves to crash in the shallows rather than out at sea. The ocean there was in a dangerous condition and was therefore off limits. No one had expected a young woman to go wandering out into the shorebreak in the night, let alone survive it. Doctors were astounded by her body’s ability to endure the crushing pressure of the waves and people were marvelling at her tale of willpower and persistence. She was a survivor.
Woman vs. Self
Don’t speak. Don’t breathe. Don’t move. Just listen to the beat of your blood in your veins. This is the best way to figure things out, to think. When faced with a choice, nobody can say that they didn’t have doubt, that once the door was chosen and opened they didn’t look behind over their shoulder watching the door close behind them, straining to see the view they had when they still were afforded a choice. I’m still staring at the doors before me, right at my pivotal moment before I lose the view. I have to make my choice soon, rapidly soon. So soon that maybe it’s best that I just sit outside the doors forever instead, because I don’t have enough time to think, to figure it out.
Maybe I should turn around and ignore the choices completely. If I walk back into the dark, nobody can see me and I can just watch everyone else make their choices and look over their shoulders as they continue on. Holding my breath still, not moving or speaking is tough though, living in a frozen existence.
I don’t know what to do. A million, interconnected boxes and lines web together, the pros and cons lists vs the go-with-your gut philosophy, my mind vs. me. A choice is never just a choice. A choice is a million little outcomes and changes in your life from that moment forward. A choice has no contained limit of influence, once you make a choice you have opened yourself up to a million new futures. What I call the the curse of awareness; only the oblivious are safe.
I decide that instead of retreating to the shadows, to move forward towards the split hallway, reaching out trying to feel the answer before I pick. I hope to sense a glow of reassurance against my fingertips or have some force grab my hand to lead the way. I don’t feel what I was hoping for, but oddly enough I am no longer riddled with anxiety and fear. In my mind, I realize that maybe it isn’t just the one choice you make, but the sum of your choices, the culminating outcomes. As long as you don’t look back when you open and close a new door behind you and sprint down that hallway eager for the next fork in the road- you will find yourself where you want to be.
Shifting to my right I square myself with the right-side door and step through. I can see the beginnings of my altered life. It thrills me, even though I know that I would most likely feel the same thing if I had picked the left-side door. But it brings me a duality of both peace and adrenaline. As I close the door behind me, I fight the urge to look back. Looking back means regret and I have lived to much of my life in regret and fear to ever go back now. I don’t want to know how my life could’ve been better or worse if I had chosen the left. Struggling with myself for all those years is exhausting and pointless- the biggest enemy I have ever faced and most formidable obstacle to my success and happiness will never be another person. It will be myself and that nagging feeling the back of my brain to turn around and look. It doesn’t matter the day, it doesn’t matter the reason- never turn back around.
Woman vs. Society
“No, not yet…”
Those were the first words to echo through Lilah Janes’ groggy mind as her alarm woke her from blissful sleep. Whether she had 9 hours or 40 minutes of sleep, waking up was the most difficult part of the day most days for Lilah. She hit snooze twice, and finally willed herself to get up out of bed. She stumbled to the bathroom, showered and as she stepped out of the shower gazed at her body in the mirror.
She grimaced at the soft fluff of her lower stomach and the cellulite on her thighs. I need to go to the gym. Still. And eat better. And drink more water. She thought bitterly, the same thoughts that echoed through her head every morning. She pulled on her blue scrubs, ran a brush through her hair and blow dried it. She leaned forward in the mirror and began powdering makeup onto her face hastily. I need to start a skincare regimen. I need to lose the under eye bags. I need botox around my mouth.
She hurried into the kitchen, grabbed a cup of coffee to-go and strode out the front door of her studio apartment.
The streets of New York were starting to fill up as morning commuters began their walks to work. By the time Lilah was 4 blocks away from her house, they were packed. She pushed and shoved her way through the crowds, just as aggressive as the rest of the native New Yorkers.
As she rounded the corner, Lilah heard shouts from across the street. Catcallers. She kept her head down and ignored them until one shouted a more vulgar observation of Lilah’s figure. She gave an obscene gesture, and then finally walked through the double doors of the Hospital where she worked.
Hours later, Lilah stood at the counter of the nurse’s station writing notes in the charts of one of her patients. A gray haired doctor came out of one of the patient rooms, huffing angrily about something under his breath and snapped,
Lilah continued writing in the chart, glancing at her watch and wondering if she had time to run to the cafeteria for lunch before her next O.R. time.
“Hey nurse, are you deaf? I need a basin in 204.” The gray haired doctor spat. Lilah looked up from her charts, incredulous. She looked to the nurse next to her to see who the doctor was being so rude to. Tony, a 20 something O.R. nurse, and a good one at that. She waited for him to reply to the doctor but he said nothing, staring at her uncomfortably. She turned her head and found the doctor glaring at her.
“Can I help you?” She asked, confusion in her voice. The doctor rolled his eyes.
“I don’t have time for incompetent nurses,” He said and turned to Tony.
“I am a surgeon,” She replied angrily. “And I would never to speak to a nurse like that. Excuse me, I have an appendectomy I need to get to.” She said and turned away. The man stuttered as she left.
“I-I’m sorry, I, I just assumed-”
She tuned him out as she walked. It wasn’t the first time something like that had happened. Most men looked at her and saw a younger, attractive woman, and just assumed she wasn’t a doctor. Couldn’t be a doctor.
Lilah shoved down her undying rage against the patriarchy, put on a happy face, and went to go save someone’s life.