“15 Empowering Ways Women Can Defy Societal Expectations”

My Husband Once Pointed Out a Bumper Sticker That Said, “Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History”. It’s true, women are often expected to behave in certain ways that are considered “appropriate” or “lady-like”. Society, and even some women themselves, have drawn up countless rules on what women should and shouldn’t do. They are expected to follow these rules without question, and failure to do so is considered “un-lady-like” or worse. As a result, many women are afraid to express themselves, to show their true colors or to let their freak flag fly. But why? Who set these rules? And why should women follow them?

I am one of those women who don’t follow the rules. I don’t clean my house every day, I don’t always match my clothing or wear matching socks, and I don’t wax my nether regions. But you know what? I’m happy, successful, and full of life. I have tight friendships, I am part of a strong community, and I am proud to be myself. I know I’m not alone in this. Many women like me are proud of their “bad girl” selves. We know that it’s okay to be ourselves, even if that means breaking some of society’s unwritten rules.

One of the hardest rules for women to break is the expectation to be “nice”. Women are often expected to always smile, be polite, and never show their true feelings. But why should women have to be “nice” all the time? Kindness is different from being nice. We should strive to be kind, but never hesitate to show our true feelings, even if that means being a little bit mean sometimes. A kind woman can do anything and still maintain her grace, dignity, humor, and courage. Being kind doesn’t mean we should be afraid to speak our minds or stand up for ourselves or others.

Another rule that women are often expected to follow is to keep up with fashion trends. Magazines constantly tell women what to wear, how to look, and what’s hot and what’s not. But do we really need to spend all our time and resources on always staying up-to-date with the latest styles? It’s much more fun and unique to find our own signature style. We can experiment, mix and match, and showcase the things we love. We don’t have to follow a rule book.

Sitting with our legs together is another rule that needs to be questioned. Why should we keep our legs tightly glued together all the time? Men spread their legs like eagle wings whenever they sit, while women are expected to keep their legs tightly shut. We should be able to take up space and lean in. We should be able to spread out and feel comfortable wherever and however we choose to sit.

Many women apologize for everything. They apologize for existing, for speaking, for taking up space. This is unnecessary. Women should stop apologizing for things they don’t need to apologize for. Unless we’ve done something wrong, we don’t need to apologize for our existence. Women should learn to embrace and stand up for themselves, rather than apologizing all the time.

Explaining ourselves is another rule that doesn’t need to be followed. Women don’t need to explain their choices to anyone except themselves. If we want to paint our house pink, smoke pot, learn Spanish or take a year off to travel the world, we don’t need to explain ourselves to anyone. It’s our choice, and we should be free to make our own decisions without seeking approval or explaining ourselves to others.

Cleanliness is next to godliness, they say. But that’s not entirely true. Women don’t need to stress too much over cleanliness. Disorder can be charming, and we should never feel guilty about the little messes in our lives. We should do what makes us happy, whether it means spending hours reading books, hiking in nature, having sex or engaging in intellectual discussions. We should embrace the chaos, the toys everywhere, and the signature of a happy childhood.

Not every woman needs to have kids. It’s not a badge of honor to have a child, nor is it to be childless. It’s a personal choice, and women should feel free to make that choice without receiving any pressure from others. Some women aren’t interested in motherhood, and that’s okay. They should find fulfillment and happiness through other means, like careers or hobbies. Neither decision is wrong, and neither decision should be questioned.

Working outside the home has been a goal for many women, but it doesn’t have to be. Some women feel fulfilled working outside the home, while others don’t. Women should not be pressured to work outside their homes, and they should not feel guilty for wanting to stay at home either. Women should follow their hearts and do what makes them happy. It’s okay to not want to work a typical 9-to-5 job.

Finally, women should never feel guilty for their choices regarding family and career. Whether they choose to stay at home with their kids or work outside the home, they should feel proud of their decision. Women should not let others judge them, nor should they shame themselves. They should file a formal complaint against the societal pressure that tries to make them conform.

To sum it up, women don’t have to follow every unwritten rule society likes to throw at them. They should be themselves, and be happy with who they are. Women can still be kind and compassionate while being true to themselves. They can find their own signature style, sit however they like, apologize less, and do whatever they want without the need to explain themselves to anyone else. They can spend their time on things that make them happy, whether that’s reading books, having sex, or anything in between. Women should embrace their imperfections, and stop feeling guilty for not conforming to society’s expectations. Women who don’t follow the rules can have tight friendships, strong communities, and a lot of fun being themselves.