I Am An Amazon. And You Are Too.
In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a civilization of warrior women; remarkable women, who eliminated every ‘need’ for men—other than for procreation.
As warriors, they excelled in physical strength, testing even the most fearsome of male fighters. As mothers, they raised their girls by themselves, but left their boys to the wilderness.
As women, they led their lives with discipline and vigor, well-trained in agriculture and hunting.
They used men from a neighboring tribe to procreate, but no men were allowed within the Amazonian territory. And while I think this treatment of men is obviously outdated, I think something can be said for the Amazons’ basic principle that men are simply not necessary. Even I have fallen into the trap of thinking that a man would fill some sort of void in my life. In the few times that I’ve had the luxury to be incredibly satisfied with my life, I often wondered how I would be so much happier with a man in my life. But I know now that is not true. Having coasted from fling to fling in the past year, I realized that those few times when I truly felt happy only occurred when I had no man in my life at all. And that’s not to say that I couldn’t be happy with a man—I’m certain that’s possible. But the default mentality that I had and that I’ve seen many young women have, that men are in some way necessary in our lives seems so wrong in retrospect. The issue is not just how men seem to be necessary for our happiness, but how they seem to be necessary to how we see ourselves and our self-worth.
I recently noticed a pattern in the way I perceived myself after a relationship ended, no matter how silly or trivial it was. It didn’t matter how much my friends insisted that these men were wrong and immature; I always asked myself if there was something inherently wrong with me that made these relationships end. There had to be—all these men seemed to disappear into thin air without a word. What made me sad wasn’t the end of these so-called relationships. It was the imagined attack on what I held most dear: the pride I had in the person I was. If someone else, a person I actually liked, found fault in me as a person, then I must have qualities that make me undesirable. And while I think sometimes asking oneself these kinds of questions can be productive for personal growth, there comes a point when it is more detrimental.
And this is where I think the Amazons got it right.
It doesn’t matter what we do as women, as long as we’re doing what we need to do to survive independently of the beliefs about ourselves that men impress upon us. So maybe it’s time we all embraced our inner, modern Amazon.