Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Women’s Stories Matter

How quick we are to judge other women and their stories.

An essay by Sarah Scott on Elle Décor, "I Made a Huge Sacrifice to Buy My Dream Home," has caused a stir with many commentators tearing apart the writer for what they see as her selfishness and privilege.

Scott’s personal essay details how she and her husband are able to afford their dream home by sacrificing having a third child. The writer concludes that the sacrifice of not having the third child hurts, but that it is a decision she and her husband made consciously.

With that said, the sacrifice has been made. Because we live in this dream home, we can only afford to have two children. It's our quiet sacrifice but it's also our beautiful life, well-earned and fully-lived.

The comments overall take issue with what is described as her self-pitying tone and her “poor little me” story.

“Not sure there is a point, it's a 'poor little me' story that smacks of utter selfishness. Spare a thought for the women who can't have children instead of bleating on about your uterus aching for a third child. Difficult choice huh....your dream house versus a third child. Unbelievable!!!”

It is understandable that when we see someone complaining about something that we don’t have the luxury to even consider, that we will feel upset. When I see photos from some of those “Rich Kids of Instagram” photos I admit I get riled up by the utter obliviousness and decadence, but these photos seem to be all about rubbing in what the photographers have on purpose.

Cat taking a pic of all the people that can’t sit with us #Balmainarmy @catmcneil @Iblamejordan @harry_brant by petermbrant
Scott’s essay though seems to be a genuine story that she is sharing about her life and her choices. It does not feel like she is looking for pity, but rather that she is explaining her experience of what is sacrifice for her and what that looks like in her life.

There will always be someone who has more than us, but when we try to rip down a woman for expressing her experience, we are really only displaying our own jealousies, pent-up anger and our own self-pitying ways.

Shouldn’t every voice be heard? Shouldn’t every woman’s story matter and be respected?

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