“I deserve better —such a dangerous, mad thought for a woman to entertain.”
― Meredith Duran, At Your Pleasure
I deserve better. You deserve better. We deserve better.
The phrase “I deserve better” is still a radical thought for women. We are taught at a young age to be completely selfless. This is a cultural norm for everyone, but the point is stressed further to young girls. We are taught to give constantly without much thought of receiving. This needs to change. We need to fight for selfishness and embrace the idea that we deserve better.
Sometimes it seems like I am the only 21-year-old female without a significant other. Or at least that is the impression I get when friends and family back home say “So, still single or do you have a boyfriend?”
The first thing wrong with this statement is the presumption that I need a guy in my life. I feel that I need to focus on myself right now. I deserve to be selfish and enjoy my life while I’m young and able to seek new opportunities. I deserve to go and excel in my internship this summer and find new opportunities in a potential professional career.
On the other side of the argument, there is nothing wrong with finding that significant other, but the call for selfishness remains. Nobody should settle for less than you deserve. I believe that a basis in faith is important in finding your soul mate. If your boyfriend has different morals or values, don’t compromise what you believe for someone.
Another important aspect for me is family. If a man cannot accept your family, he is not prepared to accept you. Women should demand the same level of respect for people they care about and not cower to other people’s opinions. Settling is a slippery slope that can lead to unhappiness later down the road. My job for all girls is to stand up for what you believe in and refuse to settle for any boy who is not prepared to be a man.
One battle that women constantly fight is equal treatment in the workplace. It is sad that women can still be seen as just the secretaries in business settings. I am in a major and career track that is dominated by women, Public Relations, but still I will make less than any man working the same exact job.
I feel that I need to work even harder to make up for my gender. This is completely ridiculous in modern society. Two women have announced they are running for president. If that does not show the correct way to claim some selfishness I do not know what else can. We should demand the respect we deserve and not just meekly ask for it. I am not condoning being rude or obnoxious toward people in the workplace or in life, I am only pushing women as a whole to fight for what we deserve.
Women need to be selfish for ourselves. As a culture we need to stop creating a cycle of suppression that starts at a young age when little girls take care of the baby doll while the little boys save the world as a super hero.
We owe the next generation to make ourselves into heroines that girls can look up to and say, “I want to be her when I grow up.” A little bit of selfishness can go a long way when it means that we can think for ourselves first. This may be in a potential relationship, a job offer, or an assignment or position in school. So as a whole I want everyone to ask himself or herself a simple question.
Don’t you deserve better?