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Sit still, look pretty

At Clemson I have had moments where I’ve questioned why I’ve come to a university to study and have ambitions when most men want a woman who is going to sit still and look pretty, which is not me.

Men have dreams of the nine-to-five with a picket fence and a trophy wife, and women have been raised to wake up, put on makeup and play dumb. I have been told and groomed since I was young to be a woman who listens to her man and puts children and housework before a career. But not all of us want to be the puppet that a man is playing on a string, and some queens don’t need a king.

Most fairy tales women have grown up with have been about princesses waiting on their prince charming, but Snow White was the one who taught us how life can be different. 

She built herself a home, with seven men willing to lend a hand. I am not saying men should have to do everything, but it shouldn’t be expected for women to stay at home with the children.

We have evolved politically and technologically, but we have not evolved completely with equality. 

I had an experience freshman year when I was going on a date with someone. In casual conversation he asked me what my major was, and I told him enthusiastically how I had dreams of being a speech pathologist and helping special needs children. Instead of being impressed by my striving for greatness, he was disappointed. He was disappointed because he wasn’t looking for a career-driven woman who wanted to do more than live in a white house with a picket fence and take care of his children while putting supper on

the table. 

Needless to say, it was the longest and most passive aggressive date I have ever been on, and I even paid for my food to show him how I was not going to classify this as a date in my book. It’s honestly disheartening to think about how men are looking for three characteristics in a wife: domesticated, submissive and pretty.Men cannot be completely blamed for their dreams of a trophy wife because society continues to allow them to do so. 

Women get paid less than men, some jobs are still considered jobs unsuitable for women and we have allowed this to continue. Women do as well as men or better. Their work is not any more enhanced than a woman’s. 

Men are not more knowledgeable than women, so why can’t men take women seriously? A woman can be a sports editor at a newspaper just like a man can be a stay-at-home dad and take the children to soccer practice. Society doesn’t have to have gender-based careers because women can do anything men can do. We have seen this time and time again. Although Hillary Clinton is not the candidate I fully support, I am silently rooting for her deep down because maybe if we have a woman as president, men will begin to realize women can do more than they give us credit for.

So, I don’t want to sit still and look pretty. I’m not coming to Clemson to find a husband. I came to a university because I have ambitions to become more than a trophy wife.

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