"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The Easy Difficult Woman

Now Playing: Blank Space by Taylor Swift (got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane) 

I suppose I am, by most frat boy standards, rather easy.

Perhaps it’s my unfathomable liking of stress-reducing, hormone-releasing pleasure. Or my bizarre lack of shame about my body or my sexuality, or my inability to play hard to get when I just want to play hard and go home.

And I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the look of stunned thrill on the faces of boys who can’t believe their luck, or the shocked fury of girls when I win a game by refusing to play it. Love and war is a game of give and take; we forgot to teach girls how to take, but it’s a lesson I taught myself.

I have always enjoyed company and intimacy; in spite of my social ineptitude and standard art-student brand of skeptical misanthropy, I’ve always been rather free with my affection. I consider it my last innocence; all the high school heartbreaks and dramas of my new adult life have failed to strip me of my reckless, foolish optimism; or hedonism, however you look at it. Disappointment has not made me any less greedy.

People often disparagingly say that I am easy because I refuse to play games that make me some kind of soulless heartless mindless sex toy. People then despair that I am so difficult, because I continue to refuse to pretend that I have no brain and no feelings. Easy women and difficult women, it seems, are more or less the same monster.

Easy women understand that life is a game of sticks and stones; there are no prizes, no winners, and no losers. It’s not so much conquest as diplomacy. I give in to what I want, but I always get what I want.

And that, apparently, makes me difficult.

I don’t understand how one can be an easy woman and a difficult woman at the same time, but I’ve spent enough time being both to see that it is possible to be caught in yet another of society’s many double standards for women. I’m difficult because I put my foot down, I set boundaries, I have a brain and a mouth and I’m not afraid to think or talk back.

I’ve had boys scoff behind my back that I am easy because I ‘give it all away’, and then turn around and complain that I’m difficult because I’m not giving enough to them. You’re easy for being eager to please and difficult if you expect people to return the favour. I see life as a constant give and take, but clearly men see anything to do with women as a lose-lose situation; for the woman. Any attempts to avoid that status quo and you are difficult, or easy, or a slut, or a prude. We still live in a society where women who are kind and loving and expect kindness and love in return, are idiots, or crazy, or high-maintenance and selfish. Throughout history we have derided and despised any woman who has dared to demand or dissent. Any woman with a shred of intelligence or self-respect is a woman open to criticism.

I have spent my whole life trained to smile, trained to swallow my rage, trained to spit lies through my teeth. I have never been allowed to openly acknowledge when I am upset, or angry, or humiliated; and every time I have, people gaslight me to the point where I can remember the pain but not what caused it. People think that I am easy and then complain that I am difficult, when I am really just human - a human being with wants and needs and desires independent of the whims of men or of society.

Women are not ‘easy’ for having desires. Women are not ‘difficult’ for having needs. All human relationships are difficult and the onus isn't on us to make sure every encounter you have with a woman requires no effort on your part above and beyond getting it up and buying a few drinks. The limited way we see women and the hypocritical double standards we impose on them is so embarrassingly evident in the way we treat women who know what they deserve; and, really, we all deserve so much better. I, for one, have had enough.

No comments: