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The 21st Century Dilemma

The 21st century woman is strong.

She is independent, especially of the manipulating, chauvinistic species that is Men. The only one that she has to please, is eager to please, is herself. She exudes confidence, oozes charm, shines at work, and excels in every social situations. She prides herself in knowing that romance is overrated, merely a distraction. Focus is the key to greater achievements. The 21st century is the nearly the culmination of everything that Feminism stands for. She is the epitome of women.

To all that, I say pish posh.

Women today live in a time where freedom has never been more tangible, equality a foreseeable future. Woefully, the true significance of such liberation has been lost in translation; they have simply become the man that they mock. In a display of irony, the 21st century woman should not be fixated on the narrow descriptors and expectations so flippantly affixed to the label. Instead, she should be absolutely comfortable in whichever interpretation of her identity she adopts.  Be it the housewife with her homage to mom jeans , or the polished corporate powerhouse, she should know that the choice resides entirely with her.

Valentine’s Day, while it is the season of love, is also the time of dilemmas for the modern woman. The sweet gestures seem uncannily like handing the power back to men, to allow him to put her on tenterhooks again while she second guesses his intents.

Will penning a love confession seem too last century? (Oh the brilliant love sonnets on google, just waiting to be downloaded…)

Is accepting the date’s offer to pay for dinner a warning bell of crumbling independence? (Although it does mean that he isn’t a miser…)

Will reciprocating his praises seem as if I need the approval of a man? (But those charming eyes! They are an ocean of sincerity!)

As Eva Mendes said:

“I’m a modern woman in the sense of I take care of myself, I’m fiercely independent, and I’m really ambitious. Yet I have these old-school thoughts in my mind. ”

Love was made for everyone, 18th or 21st century. It transcends time and culture, gender or distance. Why deny herself the chance of experiencing something so marvelous? Being a modern woman does not mean outstripping the men. Neither is it being the settler over the settled for. No. It means that she knows to look for MUTUAL respect in her partner. It means understanding that while her self worth need not be validated by an external factor, chivalry can and should be appreciated. It means getting that while there is no shame in being the pursuer, there are undeniably exhilarating moments when you are the the pursued.  It means appreciating that liberation comes in trusting another with your vulnerability.

So here, be a 21st century woman in your own right, in accordance with your own definitions. Independence is not denial, and strength is not ostentatious. Know what you want and go for it, and even if you dont, well, what is the hurry? Darling, love on.

Editor: Cherie Anne Lian

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