Leah’s Life Lessons: Don’t be a basket case

Leah Power, Staff Writer

While these are all phrases that seem completely harmless, for most people in relationships I seriously doubt that they would agree with the general idea that these phrases are safe. You see, while it’s become a bit of a running joke among women and these words are even listed among the “five deadly phrases,” these words carry with them an ideology that I believe is holding women back in the fight for equal rights.

Let me explain Feminists push for equal pay, combat positions and equal treatment. Yes, we admit that we are treated better than men in some instances and argue that those perks should be put to an end; however, are we absolutely sure that we’re doing everything in our power to equalize the playing field? We’re all too happy to point the finger at others for treating us differently. But what about when that same finger gets pointed back at us? See, within those phrases I listed above, I can’t help but feel that we as women are unknowingly proving every male chauvinist right.

I believe that these phrases we keep neatly tucked away for those moments where we want to test our significant others or simply end an argument are actually holding us back from complete equality.

Instead of proving that we’re rational and able to communicate, we say the exact opposite of what we mean and expect others to “read between the lines” all the while demanding that they treat us as rational human beings.

Then, instead of dealing with the issues at hand, we let our anger simmer under a layer of falseness that breeds from those phrases. Eventually that anger leaks out, normally in the form of a verbal fight, and this time over something usually insignificant. That one decision to throw our hands up with a dishonest phrase leads to us proving the stereotype correct. You know, the one that says that women are too emotional and complicated to reason with. I can only speak for myself, but while I can be emotional at times, I wouldn’t identify myself as the hyper-emotional weakling that misogynists have labeled females as.

However, if we examine our choice of words and their repercussions, it becomes obvious how others can interpret that we’re unreasonable. If I were to tell someone I was find when I wasn’t, whatever was bothering me would continue to build up until I eventually overreacted and proved those stereotypes correct.

Now to be clear, that isn’t a “female” trait. I believe that both genders would react in that way when forced to bottle their emotions up, but as women, we are the ones who are judged for letting our emotions get the best of us. But what would happen if we stopped saying we were “fine,” and started saying what was wrong when it happened? Yes, we would run the risk of being called a “bitch” or “annoying” but I would gladly choose those titles that prove my ability to act rationally than to fall under the misconstrued stereotype of a hysterical basket case.