Shouldn’t we just stop questioning each other?

I’m disappointed. Properly disappointed, not the kind where your mum says, “I’m disappointed” when actually she means, “I’m livid”, but actually disappointed.

You see, Kirstie Allsopp decided to join many other top-notch ‘celebrities’ such as Katie Hopkins and Luisa Zissman and begin questioning and suggesting, how women should be going about their lives. Except, she didn’t actually question or tell us what we should do, Kirstie only said what she would say to her daughter (if she had one). But she’s said it out loud now, and that means that it’s been spread across the internet causing uproar, because as per current society, we seem to hold these quotes made by “celebs” as quotes which mean something, when really, it’s just like me saying to you what I’d say to my kids.

If I’m being honest, this post has been brewing for a while. I have a few versions in my drafts, but I just couldn’t get the words out without sounding like a big fat rant, which I didn’t really want. I’m not sure if it’s just come into my consciousness over the last few years because it’s where I am with life right now, or whether it’s a brand new “thing” but everywhere I turn, people, or more importantly women are questioning other women as to how they live their lives. I’m all for questioning whether women are being treated fairly, of course, I’m all for questioning certain things, anything that can help us move forward, but we are in danger of forgetting that side of things and actually just questioning each other.

You see, I did pretty much what dear old Kirstie has suggested her pretend daughter does. I got married at twenty-one. To my teenage sweetheart, the man I met and knew instantly, even though I was only seventeen, that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I went through criticism, but at the time I was a thick-skinned twenty-one year old who just assumed that the people telling me I would be divorced by the time I was twenty-five, that I should be waiting until I was at least thirty to settle down as I was too young to know my own mind, were just a bit narrow minded. At the time, and even now, life isn’t about age, it’s about how you live it. It’s about making choices for yourself, rather than doing what ‘you should do’. I didn’t do uni – it wasn’t for me, and it still isn’t now.

But you know what, this is what is shocking. I don’t judge people who didn’t do it my way? I’m fairly open minded like that you see, I’m a big believer in ‘each to their own’. Some people, if they want a relationship, aren’t as lucky as I was to find the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. For some people it might take longer, and some people amazingly might just not be interested. They might be happy going down a different path.

But I digress, because what is really disappointing me right now is that I thought women were meant to stick together. Aren’t we meant to support each other and the fact that we have the right to make our own decisions, to make our own choices? Or am I totally confused about feminism?

Since when did it become ok again to tell people how to live their lives? I mean, I know it still happens, I know people still judge, but up until recently I’d kidded myself it was a generation thing. That the grandmother telling me I was selfish for going to work when I had a child didn’t know any better, that the people who questioned my jumping in to a relationship were from the “you’re not a grown up until you’re over 30” generation.

As I stand back, I know I’m guilty of being a bit judgemental sometimes, especially before I had the boys. I was young and ambitious. I had a plan and it was working, I didn’t really care what was happening with everybody else in their private lives. Well, unless it was juicy of course.

Do you get offended by the fact that I’d rather my boys didn’t go to university when they’re older – unless of course they are following a career that requires it – that I would rather them get their arses out into the real world and get some life experience instead of debt?

Or do you not really care, because after all, I’m just one little person stating my opinion, a passing comment I make that doesn’t impact you? Thought not. So why are we so outraged by these so called celebrities and their quotes? After all, as one of my fave bloggers said today on the subject – life isn’t black and white.

Who are we to say whether women should have babies or not? Last year I sat open mouthed as Lorraine had two women debating who was the most selfish. The woman who had lots of babies, or the woman that didn’t want any.

Who are we to suggest that women should wear X and Y, and if they are they’re rubbing A and B’s noses in it, but if they aren’t then that’s not right either. (Seriously, who gives a toss what other people wear on the school run – I’m too busy trying to keep my kids alive to even notice who is wearing jogging bottoms and who is wearing a face full of make up).

Who are we to say when somebody should be able to fit into their pre-pregnancy clothes? Suggesting that they’re dieting, or exercising, that they’re not spending time with their baby, that they’re letting the side down. Let’s remember that every pregnancy is different, some people pile on the pounds, some people are terrified because they’re losing them. We just don’t know.

So what if somebody decides to go back to work full time, or somebody decides never to go back and to stay at home? Who are we to use the word selfish?

I thought we were of a generation where we should be supporting each other to be how we wanted to be, and as I write this sentence I can’t help but feel sad, because all I can see is a bunch of people working against one another instead of for one another. 

 

Image credit:  Daily Telegraph

Comments

  1. Morgana @ butwhymummywhy

    Yes, yes and yes again. I am so fed up of worrying what other people will think of the choices I make, of comparing myself to other women, of wondering whether I measure up. We should be celebrating and supporting each other as women, not dragging each other down. So pleased you wrote this! xx

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  2. Honest Mum

    Couldn’t agree more that women need to start supporting and celebrating one another rather than competing and berating. So sad to read Kirsty’s views-my way or the high way.

    We all must do what is best for us and stop being so judgmental.

    My feminist mother actually gave me a badge aged 2 which read “Women together are strong” and I stand by that today.

    I am so glad that my world is full of positive women, friends and family I love and whom want the best for me as I want for them. No faux friends, no silly petty envious mates, just good eggs.

    It makes me feel strong and liberated and I feel I can be whomever I want to be.

    To be honest I don’t care what others think of me and my choices as long as I know they are right for me and my family.

    I think that inner confidence is so key in everything I do. It’s also down to ridding myself of negative people. Kids funnily enough make you hone in on what’s important and also stopped me from being judgmental myself.

    It’s so easy pre-kids to assume where life will take you or what you would do once they arrive-actually having them has opened my mind and life and provided opportunities I never thought possible. Thanks for this.

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  3. Hurrah For Gin

    I’ve read quite a few posts on this today, I can’t quite understand the uproar myself because having read what she said it is quite clear that many people took snippets of it and twisted it in many different ways.
    It was just an opinion, one that was not invalid.
    I totally agree with you though Aimee, nothing is black or white and the only right thing to do is to follow the path that makes you happy and support other people on their respective paths xx

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  4. tiddlyompompom

    EXACTLY THIS!! I will tell my girls to do what is right for them. Everyone is different & equally brilliant regardless of gender/age/academic achievement.

    And, just so the world knows, mr TOPP and I met at school aged 15/16. We have been together for 20 years, have 2 amazing children & will be getting married in August.

    Everyone’s life is different.

    It would be dull if we were all the same.

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  5. Rebecca

    I’m just reading this now but I want to say bravo for what you’ve stated here. I think this gets down to the meat of the problem of gender equality, the fact that we can’t and struggle to accept the diversities between one another and our fear of standing alone leads us to putting down and criticizing or questioning the path of so many other people. It’s also something that people, especially women, struggle to speak up about because of the criticism they so often receive back. I wonder how many women, like you, have pages saved on their computers where they began writing to this point, or speeches they practice in their mind but never say it out loud because of how hard it is to speak to these things in the “write way” so they are not misunderstood, only half-heard, or criticized. I know I have.

    Thanks for the post!

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