Others introduce me as..
… “my daughter”
… “my friend”
… “my student”
quickly followed by..
… “she is doing her PhD”
To the world, my career defines my identity!
Nay.. I’d feel just as “professional” if I had chosen to work at Google or Microsoft or a start-up. Even if I had chosen not to have a career at all, I’d feel just as much self-worth.
My educational qualifications?
Nay.. I’d feel just as confident if I had done & stopped at a B.A. in Psychology.
My “geographical” or linguistic background?
I’d feel the same even if were from Mars & did not have the concept of language!
My religion or the lack of it?
Do I really care about “religion”? No. . I don’t.
Bah.. how can something that’s ever changing “define” my identity?
I would not let an X vs Y chromosome random accident to define me.
My being single, free of “baggage”, free of “responsibility towards a relationship/home/family”?
Of course not. . if & when all these change, these would become part of my lovely experience identity and accommodate the new incoming “current” parts.
My people – parents, friends – and the relationships I enjoy with them?
Admittedly dark, but logical argument : I am not going to lose myself if I lose one of them. So, No.
So.. none of the above define my identity. But ALL of them do.
It is the collective being stronger & more meaningful than the individual.
So, why am I being told so often that I do not really know life & my “true” identity yet?
That my “true” identity is in being someone’s spouse? That I would “naturally” grow to equate my entire identity to a marital relationship?
That only motherhood lends “completion” to my identity? That it would be my sole & strong identity?
Are men ever told similar things? Not to my knowledge.
Do men believe similar things for themselves? Not to my knowledge.
Then why are women being told this?
More painfully, why do women believe this?
When would women get off this leaky boat and think of themselves as a person .. . a person whose identity and self-worth is sum of all the parts past, present and yet to come?
- Patriarchy & social conditioning
- Being raised on fairy tale romances & “perfect wife”+”perfect mother”+”self-effacing woman”=”perfect woman” stories
- Low self-esteem & self-respect
- Being on the confusing brink of the transition from the state of the above three and the state of the opposites of the above three!
No.. don’t call that a Conjecture. . That’s the whole truth.
Wish the transition happens faster..
Just imagine a world where the weights attached to the “spouse” & “motherhood” parts are reasonable & not 49.9% & 49.9%…
So much more peace to this world & many lives..