Have you ever wondered why story princesses wait to be rescued by a Prince Charming? How their fate was tied to his arrival? Why their families abandoned them at times for fear of bad fortune? I have!
I've come to find more and more over decades of living that women and girls are consciously and subconsciously taught to wait for the rescue (acceptance) of a man. Just like in our favorite fairy tales Snow White, Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast and others, some of us have lived desperately in wait of our Prince Charming. We've been locked in bell towers spiritually and mentally with the ideals that when he comes and sweeps us away that our fate will be changed (for the better). I cannot be estranged to the idea because I've romanticized this vary notion so how can we find that place within our selves that believed the stories in the first place.
When recounting the experiences I've had in my life where I wanted to be "rescued", I had to go back to the source of this confusion - the instinctual desire to be loved and accepted by my father. My childhood was filled with cartoons, movies, and books that influenced my impressionable mind to believe that my destiny or "fate" was tied to what someone else would do for me. Or rather the attempt of the story teller to teach me how to bargain my fate. I can recall the movies especially that chronicled a young woman's promise and tragedy all tied up in the timing of a man. She had to wait or else she'd die. How is that premise one of celebration for her life lived, her skills and talents used, or hope she had for a prosperous future? It wasn't and we got the stories all wrong.
Beyond our thoughts on hyper-masculinity and male chauvinism, I believe that unmasking such fallacies can only bridge the gap from our thoughts on what women and girls need to what they already have to live holistic lives. No blame is necessary, but rather let us all use this as an opportunity to learn the parts we've played in encouraging our girls to play the "damsel in distress". Perhaps as a society we'll always long to be rescued, but now we have the chance to change the narrative. The roles men play will always be an important one. It doesn't however need to include making a fulfilling life possible for a woman or girl in waiting.
It's more than possible for every woman and girl in the world to live a life filled with what she desires to accomplish. Not what works for everyone around her, but what makes sense to her purpose. While every person we come across impacts our lives, it's quite unfair to allow them to direct it. We are certainly strong and capable enough to rescue ourselves.