hey guys! welcome back to maggie’s doodles 🧡 today i’ve got a collab i did with vanessa! she’s an epic blog friend of mine who has an inspirational, fun blog, which i really enjoy reading!
we are talking about what’s expected of girls in society! vanessa lives in nigeria, so she’ll be writing from her standpoint and what she sees in her culture. my perspective is that of the united states and what i’ve noticed in ours.
as a disclaimer, i certainly cannot speak for all girls in the US, from this time in history or at any point previously. i’ll simply share what i’ve picked up on in recent times from various subcultures! i feel the need to mention that because the US in my eyes really can’t be thrown into one group. we have so many different cultures, backgrounds, and history here that it wouldn’t be accurate of me to choose my upbringing (or the largest group in the country) to define us by. so i’m gonna touch on beliefs and actions from various cultures i’ve noticed to the best of my ability!
let’s get started 🙂
a girl’s expectations
ft. vanessa’s questions,
and my answers
In your society, are girls rigidly expected to conform to societal norms, or can they choose their own way of life without being castigated and looked down on?
there’s a strange conflict at this point in history that sees societal norms and freedom of choice collide.
on the one hand, many are saying “be yourself,” “live your life for you,” “make your own destiny,” etc, but then they come down upon those who do.
i don’t get it at all.
there’s an overall air of do-what-you-want-to-do and do-what-you’re-supposed-to-do.
finish school, go to college, get a high-paying job, marry/date someone, start a family, buy a house, invest wisely, retire.
but also do what you want to along the way?
if a girl veers from that mold that people aren’t really saying but judging people by, and she’s living her best life and enjoying it to the fullest, what’s going on here?
what’s with the judgmental looks, smart remarks, looking down your nose at, and the general air of disapproval? you’re upset for a moment but you don’t really care at all. because when you really support someone, you’ll share advice, not judgement.
the people in girls’ lives who actually care will share advice that comes from looking for your best interest, not just making sure you’re doing what you’re “supposed” to do.
How much freedom does a girl have from childhood, to teenage, up to adulthood?
not much at all. the only freedom i’ve seen to exist is in rare circumstances, and the ‘freedom’ that’s found within the realm of societal approval.
by that i mean, you’re free to live your life if you’re following what you’re supposed to do.
that’s not freedom.
it’s open societal bondage with the guise of being free to be your own person.
when you’re a kid, you do school well and respect your parents. when you’re a teenager, same thing but with more pressure to perform well in high school so you’ll get into college. when you’re an adult, even MORE pressure because you’re expected to do all the right things automatically without being taught, and potentially without good role models in your life.
it’s a setup for failure, unless you play all the right cards.
who dealt these cards?
Are girls expected to be spiritual, belonging to a religion, in order to be balanced and successful as growing women?
yes, most definitely. depending on your background, where your parents came from, and whether or not your upbringing supports or rejects your family’s religious past, i think religion plays a role in every culture i’ve seen in the US. i’d go so far as to say no religion, or rejection of religion as a whole, is a form of religion. because we all have our views on death, the meaning of life, and the role we play on this earth.
when it comes to our success and balance in life, the people we spend time with can either have a hands-on or hands-off approach to religious influence. they can suggest, model, force, lead to, or push you away from religion. they can be hypocritical. they can be confusing. you can ask them religious questions, which is usually unacceptable because they often don’t even know the answers themselves. ignoring your honest questions helps them stay comfortable in their own lack of knowledge.
but i think being curious is good, as it will help you find what you believe in and what you’ll lead your life by.
From your point of view, what do you think society should really expect from girls? What part of society’s default expectations do you think should change?
i think there are only two things we should expect from girls: to treat people kindly, and do the best you can! and even with those expectations, to be kind to girls and do the best we can.
i’ve seen people require those things of girls and then not live by those virtues themselves.
you cannot bash someone and command respect while disrespecting them.
you can’t preach doing the best they can, then turn around and run your life into shambles.
we need role models.
we need women who are treating people kindly.
we need women doing the best they can.
How best do you think girls should work to meet their own right expectations? What advice do you have for girls in your society, and in other societies around the world about meeting expectations?
surrounding yourself with good people, defining what’s important to you in life, and doing the best you can where you are!
as a teenager and young adult, it’s challenging when there are people in your life who are forcing you to do things you don’t want to do. that could be getting a job you don’t like or don’t feel prepared to do, going to family get-togethers that make you uncomfortable, or going places with your siblings you don’t get along with.
sometimes we don’t have a choice. sometimes the choices are made for us. i don’t think it’s right when we have no say at all.
there’s very little pushing and shoving that comes from a place of doing the best for you.
so i think when we get to the age where we’re legally old enough to make our own decisions, we need to be wise. acting out to make up for lost time of deciding for ourselves will not get us far, if anywhere worthwhile at all. it can feel good for a moment to show the adults in your life they have no power over you anymore, but that will not help you heal and grow. you’ll break ties and wreak havoc when there’s a better way.
now there are certainly situations where ties must be broken, you must get away, and you must make hard decisions. there is a time and a place for that. but it can not be our default setting that leads all of our grown-up decisions, as it will cause more pain and heartache than it’s worth.
i truly hope that we will all have adults, men and women, in our lives who are helping us become beautiful women. these role models can be teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, our friends’ parents, counselors, and leaders at work.
we need as may people in our lives as possible showing us the beautiful way to live.
thanks so much for reading! i really loved sharing this post, and being part of this collab! this was an awesome topic idea, vanessa 😍