Every month, Women’s Republic will write a letter to its female readers, aiming to empower women by having honest conversations about how we subconsciously put men on a pedestal. The series will help women to de-center themselves from the men in their lives, unlock their ‘shakti’ (power) and re-focus their energies on enhancing their own mental and physical wellbeing. Please reach out to us if you want something covered or have a question you’d like us to answer.
We’ve reached the sixth letter! I sincerely hope that six letters equal six months of proving that we can survive without men – AND thrive whilst doing it. We’ve talked about the ways in which men can impair our judgment, how to not ‘love in excess,’ and the importance of being independent.
The final thought I want you to contemplate is both bold and daring: committing to yourself.
What’s wrong with loving yourself?
Back in 2015, Justin Bieber released the single ‘Love Yourself.’ It is a song written from a man’s point of view, about a woman whose obsession with herself overrides their entire relationship.
Going through the lyrics, the song could easily have been about a man. But it’s not. It’s about a woman, and it feeds into the narrative of how women of a certain type are undeserving of love. Because women shouldn’t ‘rain on somebody’s parade’ or ‘like the way they look too much.’ Only men can do that.
I’m sure there’s plenty of songs that say the same thing – which needs to be picked apart for their disguised misogyny. But that’s a story for another day.
My point is that you should do exactly what Bieber sings about. Go and love yourself.
Saying “yes” to you!
I’m sure you’ve heard stories about people marrying themselves – and you’ve probably scoffed at the idea of it. Crazy, right? They’re either lonely or narcissistic. But is the idea of marrying yourself as crazy as it sounds? In practice, yes. In theory…maybe not.
Love is a choice. But the way heterosexual women are taught to depend on men makes love seem like a compulsory measure rather than something they choose.
Women are taught to forgo the need to celebrate themselves. A girl who starts menstruating is not celebrated the same way a boy is when he hits puberty. Where his independence starts – her dependence is supposed to begin.
Whilst she is encouraged to study, get a job, or even pursue a career – the pressure to get married or have a lasting relationship doesn’t fade away. Reclaiming typically patriarchal rituals like marriage will help weaken these metaphorical chains.
I take this ring…
Don’t worry. I’m not telling you to let go of your dream of walking down the aisle to the man of your dreams! I’m just telling you to take self-love to the extreme …because why shouldn’t we?
When you make a commitment to someone or something – there should be a way to prove it. The world wants actions and not just words. And this should be just as important when it comes to ourselves. Let’s look at some of the rituals you can reclaim to commit to yourself.
- Put a ring on it – it’s called a ring finger for a reason. It doesn’t need to remain empty until you get a proposal. Find a ring that speaks to you – it could be your birthstone, a favorite color, or just be your dream ring. Every time you see this ring, you’ll remember to honor your commitment to you! And when the right man does get down on one knee, just put it on the right hand instead!
- It’s a date! – take yourself on a date. Put a date in your calendar and see it through every month! Take yourself out for a meal, to the cinema or on a shopping trip. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s a regular day. This is a date with yourself, and make sure you dress to impress.
- Celebrate your anniversary – couples (annoyingly) celebrate everything. But they don’t have to be the only ones. The more you celebrate yourself, the more you learn to value yourself.
DISCLAIMER: There is a thin line between abuse and the obnoxious behavior that men are prone to. Be aware of this. Practicing detachment from male relationships/interactions will allow you to prioritize your physical and mental well being without wearing yourself out by ‘loving in excess.’
Go and love yourself!
I’m going to leave a quote here by poet Rupi Kaur, for you to ponder over.
“How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you”Milk and Honey
You are your Shakti.
So you should go and love yourselves ladies.
Until next time,