When you read the word submission what are the connotations that come to your mind? Being weak, being less, surrender, having nothing to say, being silent, giving up, being defeated, being not enough, letting go, not bothering, could not care less, to obey, to be attached, not having power, to be dominated…?
If you are a woman in Western world you are supposed to be the opposite of all that. We were brought up to be independent, we had the chance to study, we did our thesis as our male counterparts did and we did quite well. We got jobs that seemed equal to those our sweethearts got just a bit less paid but it did not bother us. We had our chance. To wear trousers and still be sexy or to wear miniskirts if we wish to. To go on meetings and take the lead, to make presentations and to be heard, to travel abroad to conferences and being lodged in expensive hotels. To enjoy the company of male friends, colleagues without being judged (hopefully). To be asked for opinions, solutions etc…We came to believe that we have the same position. We could vote, we could develop, we could be the heads of units and divisions and entreprises…and still we were left with the feeling that it is not as it should be. How it was supposed to be then? Can we make a career and have a peaceful family life or should we “sacrifice” a certain number of years for the sake of the family? If we do so what would be the career path like later on? Will there be a career path? Do we need to make a career?
Life is not as it used to be. We do not finish our day with a sunset and farm animals being fed and the natural light being off. We continue far beyond the hours that were destined for a man to be used. We read, we watch the TV, we go out, we socialize, we do sports and we do all these activities with extreme involvement if not an obsession. We sleep less, we are tired. Not only because we do a lot but also because we want to do even more. The simple idea that we should be doing more, more effectively, more enthusiastically makes us tired. The couples are tired because each party runs his/her own marathon. Performing well in job, buying healthy food, reading the right books, following the right people, choosing the right school for kids, making the best holidays, complying with the standards – having the proper house, or the proper vehicle, or clothing…Moving and not staying at the same place for too long.
Living harmoniously in a couple where two people are equal partners who work and bring up children is a difficult task. I dare to say that without intervention of grandparents, babysitters, cleaners, institutions it is almost a mission impossible.
Let´s have a look what do women like, love and need or do not like in their lives? They like when their kids and husband/partner are happy, ok, satisfied. They are estheticians – they like buying things for household, decorating, shopping clothes for themselves and family. Some find relaxing gardening, dancing or walking. They love to chat with postmen, gardeners, plumbers, shopkeepers, pharmacists. They like to give their opinions on everything – weather it is political situation, literature, cosmetics, unfair treatment of refugees, kindergarten issues, water supply in Africa etc…They love to meet with their girlfriends on regular basis. They have their periods and they hate going to work during these days and to perform on Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and similar…They adore to make love but they need certain atmosphere, certain words, certain foreplay that begins in the morning and as it seems it never ends because they love courting. They need a good sleep, even though the society tends to present that women were made to breastfeed happily during the night, run to work in the morning, cook in the afternoon and sing lullabies in the evening. Finally they should make a bit of an effort to transform themselves in a wild sex machine for the bread-winner coming very tired from work.
What I want to say is this. Being a career woman in a world that operates still according to men´s rules is hard. We are not physically prepared to compete and to perform in the same way even though we try really hard to camouflage it. We are sensitive creatures who bear in mind all the details from the right clothing for our kids in the morning until the dinner the same day and the school trip preparation for the next day. In between there is shopping, the chores, the homework, the presentation we need to prepare, the books we wish to read and the bath we would love to take and we rarely do. Moreover there is this stuff mentioned above – the things we love to do. Do we have the chance to enjoy it if we work 8 hours a day? No. It might sound like complaining but it is not. I assume that it is a reality. We were given the opportunity to study, to think, to make our statements, to work 8 hours a day, to lead companies. Yet, we need to assume that in order to preserve our sanity we need to surrender in some way. We need to let go of some things, to give away the control of other things, not to bother so much about certain outcomes. We could show our weakness from time to time, ask for help, we should stop playing superwoman. We need to learn to say literally I cannot do this anymore…not beacuse I am not capable, but because I am a woman and for the moment I do not have enough strength to continue. We should be ok to leave the lead to the man who needs to be empowered and recognised as the bread-winner. The strength often lies in a weakness. Adopting submissive approach is not necessarily giving up and surrendering. It should be a choice. Submission could be giving in and enjoying the lightness of being. It might be like a lovemaking when surrendering is not a defeat but complete trust in the other person, where the result is a mutual pleasure, a little death that initiates the new beginning.