Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sit Still, Look Pretty

As I've gotten older (lol) I've become more and more empowered and proud of who I am. It's not like I've felt particularly worthless or un-special in the past, but I never grasped how incredible somethings were about who I am and the life I live. I have been obsessed with Sit Still, Look Pretty by Daya (who I just bought tickets to see in February!) and every time I listen to it I am even more inspired by the things I do every day. As a black woman at an elite university sometimes I overlook the fact that there are not many people that can do what I do. I have to keep reminding myself that being a well-educated, incredibly talented woman has not always been the norm. My hopes of going to graduate school and earning the highest academic degrees in my field put me even further beyond what would be expected of me as a woman, as the child of immigrants, and as a person of color. Every day I'm surrounded by amazingly intelligent women who are above and beyond what any average person could hope to become and it's inspiring. As Daya points out in Sit Still, Look Pretty the idea that men have this lustful dream of having great, powerful jobs while being married to loving and amazing women who stay at home and dedicate their lives to being a trophy wife is a little unsettling. I've never thrown out the possibility of being a stay-at-home mom or ever hated the idea of women who choose not to work when married. However, the more I see Ph.D. and MD clad women, the more I feel uncomfortable with the idea that a housewife (oh how I hate the words trophy wife) is the only desirable partner for well-off, hard-working men.

I can't imagine being expected to not work despite the years of education and training I will undoubtedly have put in by the time I am married. I can't fathom being married to someone who believes I shouldn't use any of the education I'd have spent so much time, effort, and money acquiring. There are many different types of wives and even more types of women in the world, all of which do amazing and incredible things in their own right. But sometimes there is a need for me to sit back, put Daya's album on repeat, feel empowered, and realize that I am a commodity. Not necessarily someone who is fighting gender norms or trying to show the world that I can be just as great as men. Simply, I am a highly valued asset to the world and every now and then I need Daya to make me feel good about that.