I Want to Be a Sober Woman of Grace and Dignity …….

I see this posted on Facebook ALL the time …… by women. I see women giving it thumb’s up/Likes and commenting with “LOL” or “spot on.” Why is this acceptable?

Why do women accept this stereotype?

None of this is “spot on” for me. Thank GOD. And to me? It’s NOT acceptable.

Do I ever say these things? Yes. Here’s a happenstance when I might:

1. “Fine.” This is a word I choose to use when I’m being genuine – which, I hope, is all of the time. I am “fine” when there’s nothing wrong. I say “fine” after someone says, “Meet me at 2:00.” “Fine” is shorthand for “works for me” or “will do.” It’s a word I use to describe my boyfriend, too. Usually it’s said with a drawl and a smile. “He’s fiiiiine.” [wink] It’s is also the duty I must pay a parking ticket or speeding ticket, which is a noun version of the word “fine.”

2. “Nothing.” This is a word I sometimes use mistakenly. Someone may call me and ask what I’m up to. “Nothing.” Maybe the truth is that the TV is on and I’m not watching very closely. Maybe it means I’m napping and don’t want to ‘fess up that the person called me and roused me from my couch coma. It’s a word I use when someone asks me “what’s wrong” and I am unaware that something is wrong or maybe I’m just tired and tired of talking about it. I have chronic pain and chronic fatigue issues. Sometimes “nothing” means, “I don’t want to be the sum of my illness and don’t want to keep harping on it.” I never use it tersely with arms folded, steaming away at some slight. Not anymore. Thank God. And I find it embarrassing that women think this is OK and socially acceptable enough to chuckle about on Facebook. Actually? I find this whole entire list above to be embarrassing.

3. “Go Ahead.” I’m envisioning a bitter woman begrudging her significant other of going out with his friends. The “go ahead” is the “I want you to ALWAYS be here with me but I’m ashamed of this and really want to tell you to ‘go ahead’ out of courtesy.” I cringed at this one. Why wouldn’t a woman want her boyfriend/husband to enjoy himself? Likewise, if he’s NEVER home then that should be addressed — with REAL communication and not this passive-aggressive shit. Or can you envision something else with this?

4. “Whatever.” This sucks, too. Do sober people of grace and dignity stonewall people? Is this an effective means of communication? This word is loaded and conjures up lots of scenarios for me. One is the lazy person who just wants the conversation to be over and not worked out. Another is the person who doesn’t have the balls to say “you’re wrong” or “you’re way off base,” but just folds her arms and taps her foot and with an eye-roll says, “whatever.”

5. “That’s OK.” WHY is it okay to say something’s okay when it’s NOT okay? I’m not a chest-thumping feminist, but this one sentence seems to send us ladies back a couple of centuries when we had no voice and all we had to fall back on was manners.

ALL of this is NOT at all okay. I’m appalled every time I see it posted. I’m appalled by the likes. I’m appalled by the thumbs-up. Would we think this list was so cute if men were accused of doing these things (and some do!)? We want to be treated equally —- right? And I think equally cute is a good way to begin!

So how this ties into sobriety …… in A.A. they have an acronym (yet again) of the word FINE: F**kin’ Insecure, Neurotic & Emotional. And this pertains to the picture above. I don’t want to be “fine.” Do you?

All of the above has to do with passivity/stuffing emotions. None of it has anything to do with having the emotional fortitude to work things out, to hear what you don’t want to hear, to say what you’re afraid to say. It’s shameful that this is acceptable. I don’t judge people for engaging in these behaviors. We were all taught the things we do. Some of us have more solid role models growing up and some of us have weaker ones. I had to learn my life skills in A.A. I only knew two ways of dealing with conflict: put my head down and keep my mouth shut or go for the jugular. Either way lead to the end of my relationship. I would end up hating them through my silent scorn or they would hate me after hearing what dark and ugly things were in my heart. My angle here has more to do with society than with individuals. I don’t think it’s okay that masses of people see all women this way and embrace this. Perhaps I’m just remembering how I was and bristling with the embarrassment of it. Perhaps I’m really appalled by how accepting I used to be of this in ME.

I don’t generally feel these much excitability over silly things I see on facebook. Am I overreacting? Perhaps. Feel free to comment. I’d love to hear from you.


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