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When I Was a People Pleaser - Feminist Thoughts On Inequality And Empowerment...

When I was a young girl, I was acutely aware that I was at a disadvantage because of my sex. I knew I was going to have to work harder, be nicer, be pretty, be this, be that and I would still end up half as successful as my male counterparts. The sad thing about my sense of self is, that until recently, I was completely oblivious and spectacularly unaware of what a people-pleaser I had been brought up to be.

 

This is not a comment specifically on the way that my parents raised me, but rather a comment on any adult influence that was put upon me as a female child, and the expectations that led me and still lead me to people-please.

 

Have you ever heard of the term ‘people-pleaser’ before? And have you ever considered whether or not you are a people-pleaser?

 

I now have no idea how to disassociate myself from these thoughts.

 

As a woman, I felt proud to identify myself as ‘nice’. I mean I am embarrassed to admit that! If you were to ask me what I was like as a person, I would have said ‘genuine’ and ‘nice’ somewhere along the line, but now I find myself questioning whether I really want to describe myself like this? Are these true and individual attributes of mine? Or was I just trying to fit in with what society likes a woman to be?

 

And isn’t it sad that from such a young age (I remember feeling like this aged 5 when I began school), girls are aware of these gender dynamics? I honestly felt like the boys in my class were given a 90m head start in the 100m sprint.

 

And so what now for my continually-evolving sense of self and identity? Well one thing is true, my identity was well and truly broken down and rebuilt each time I had a child – this ironically, was a good thing. And I do feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin now that I am in my mid-thirties.

 

This was my inspiration for The Know Yourself Range, happymash’s signature range of vibrators for women by women. As part of my re-exploration of my identity after having children, I really began to embrace my sexuality and how this plays such an important role in my general wellbeing, my mental health, my relationship with my partner and my contentedness.

 

How do you identify yourself? And have you ever considered how much these attributes were influenced by societal paradigms? I am not saying change who are you – you are brilliant, please do not change but rather, let’s all be honest with ourselves and give ourselves a break! I put far too much pressure on myself to look and feel perfect and I now realise the way to look and feel confident is to just be myself and own it!

 

Do you really know yourself? What characteristics do you really have to work at to attain? Do you think you would have had the same characteristics had you been born a male?

 

The power is in your fingertips!

 

Both in commenting below and exploring ‘down below’!

 

Check out my blog post on me time.

 

Engage, comment, shop – I implore you!

 

Anna.

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2 comments

happymash happy woman

Anna Walsh / Jul 30, 2020 at 16:16

Hi Kristy! Thanks for your comment. I wonder why you grew up thinking that most other women were not as good as men? Or was this just the way you knew they were perceived in society? I too was always told I could do anything I wanted to do, which was a sobering reality to face when I finally came to understand that I couldn’t – not always any way. One of my friends told me, after reading this blog piece, that her mother deliberately did not raise her to be kind as she thought it would protect her and make her stronger in adulthood. And now she feels she has to work on being kind and ‘feminine’ in some situations. It seems that parents sometimes actively encourage their daughters to move away from traditional feminine characteristics, and be more like traditional male ideals? I myself notice I do this with my son – avoid machismo TV programs, characters and language. Time will tell to see how I subconsciously or consciously treat my daughter…

happymash happy woman

Kristy / Jul 25, 2020 at 22:31

Its an interesting topic to consider here. I grew up believing that most women were “not as good as” men in many ways, however, strangely I never once thought that I was in fact one of those women. I have always been so sure that I could achieve anything I wanted. Upon reflection, I do wonder if my father actually raised me to have the mindset of a son as our family only had daughters. Hmmm what are the long term effects of this I wonder?? :)

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