There’s a blog I enjoy a lot reading: https://redswrap.wordpress.com/
Jan just published a post ‘One’s own fire‘ sub-headed ‘self-doubt and second-guessing’ that I’d recommend and I think you’ll need to read in order to make some sense of what I am writing here and what it tapped into for me.
(the following ponderings will meander away from the thoughts, imagery and content of the quoted piece, but I hope you’ll bear with me)
My initial response was – still is: I can totally relate to that – if the solitary approach focusses the female in the story.. way to go!
Seems to me, though, that not unraveling when in company may be the greater challenge, no matter the gender of whoever may be calling your decisions into question. Doubt may be, or at least have been, engrained more strongly into the psyche of females. I am quite positive this is or has been the case. Not even entirely without merit, just not based on gender, it should not be. Simply coming across as more decisive and being accepted as a lead to be followed (chiefly because you are male) no matter how wrong you are should well be a thing of the past.
So should be the cliché of women always wanting to discuss issues ’til the cows come home, wanting men to express their feelings verbally at any given moment and always rather opting for a slushy compromise. And this alleged thing about shoes. I don’t get it, and don’t think I know a single real-life woman who does.
I know, the author is not saying nor implying the following, but a tricky conclusion could be drawn from the story that I would wish to oppose: Women should not by default have to withdraw from the society of others to follow their own compass. There is strength in following your compass in solitude. but there is strength also in following your compass when having to guard it from critique perceived or suspected.
If mind sets were given away to children as train sets were given to boys in olden days, then the instructions should read something like – ‘stay open for critique, re-evaluate your actions if needs be, then go by your own judgment and accept the outcome.’
Both approaches – ‘solitary/lone-wolf-style’ or staying focussed and headstrong when faced with diverging points of view – could well be interpreted as ‘male’ behaviour.
But I would refuse to have my behaviour thus labelled as a gender issue. It is my behaviour. It can be criticized, argued or agreed with.
In that the behaviour of males and females should be ‘judged’ or rather evaluated using the same measure. Maybe we should try and grant our ‘Behaviour self’ to be beyond categories of male or female but a natural expression of self.