Bachelor v Old Maid: The unspoken stereotyping of women's timeline

By Teresa Gueco - March 14, 2020

Lately, a realization keeps bugging me but I didn’t think it’ll bug me to the point of writing about it. But here it goes.

I lost count how many times I heard and encountered that word in my existence. Even as a kid I keep hearing phrases and directions about how girls are supposed to act.

 Keep your thighs together while sitting.

Make yourself presentable.

Don’t play outside too much.

Don’t go near boys all the time.

I’ll admit that I am one of those girls who followed suit without knowing why. They keep telling things like how a girl like me should act and move. If I’m being honest, there’s nothing wrong with that since they only want what they think best for me/us. What bugs me now is not knowing the answer to a question I haven’t been able to ask.

The question is why.

Why do I need to keep my thighs together while sitting when all the boys sits freely even in public transportation as if they own the vehicle? Manspreading.

Why can’t I stain my shirt when all the other boys have stains on them on a daily basis and people just disregard it because they are boys and it's normal?

Why can’t I play outside too much and why does scaring my legs feel like a heinous crime?

Why does being close to boys have different connotation?

Maybe it’s the jealous part of my brain but I would like to believe that it’s the part of my journey in seeking gender equality that brought me to this realization.

I remember this instance while I’m on my 5th grade. It was lunch time and my classmates were out playing while some sat on this wooden desk outside our room. One of our subject teacher was talking to my classmates (for you to easily understand it let me tell you that I was not really part of the group our teacher was talking to, I was just near them) and they are somehow the popular ones and does good in class. Since I sat near them I heard our teacher told/predict that he is sure that the three of them will probably not be in a relation until after they finish studying (In Filipino, sigurado sya na hindi magbo-boyfriend yung tatlo) and they laugh and agree to our teacher. And then suddenly they noticed me and say ‘How about her?’ And then to my surprise, he said ‘Ah hindi din yan… hanggang high school.’ (Oh no she wouldn’t too… until high school.) And then they laugh… and I laugh with them too.

Why does people think that women have this specific timeline? Why are they so sure that a certain type of girl will be this and that? Are we pre-destined to our path or something?

As a woman during their teen years it seems a big deal getting in a romantic relationship but even bigger to conceive. People will eye you as if you’ve done something wrong, giving birth at an early age seems like a crime. They’ll eye you differently as if you are a dirt or something.

I have so much respect with teen moms. They fought battles no one will truly understand. They surpassed caring for themselves and the baby inside of their womb for 9 months mainly with side dish of dismayed people around them but they keep fighting even though some of them single-handedly took the responsibility alone.

And then lately I realized that people who are single now gets the pressure they did not sign up for. People’s attention is suddenly directed at them asking them why they are still single, when are they going be in a relationship, when are they getting married, and a lot more.

I feel like it’s unfair since men doesn’t really get that kind of attention that a lot of women is enduring. It seems like they see women as a fruit that can only be useful best at a certain time or period and when that period is over we’re mere laugh stock.

The society keeps on dictating us when’s the perfect time to get married or conceive as if the main purpose of being a woman is to be a mother and a wife when every person’s default pupose, regardless of gender and sex, is to be a good, caring, and loving human being regardless if you can raise a child or regardless of your marital and financial status.

Why do people think so highly of single men and called them 'bachelors' as if they have this superpower but thinks differently when it comes to the female counterpart, whom most of the time called as 'old maid'.

People, stop treating women as an investment and retirement plan factory. We will be who we want to be when we want it.

Respect everyone's timeline regardless of their gender.

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