What does the shelf mean to you?
For us it is the thing that has us in its grip from an early age as women. There is an unspoken contract that says that by a certain age we need to be partnered up and having babies.
It is so embedded in our societies that when we choose not to abide by these rules we are required to explain ourselves.
So who made the shelf and what keeps it on the wall?
There have been times in our history when survival has been the forerunner and therefore breeding has been a priority in order to keep the line alive; ‘the heir and a spare’. This is no longer the case. We could actually say that the opposite is true. And yet we still collude in and feed this belief that there is a certain point in a woman’s life when if she has not found her partner and had children it is too late and she has missed the boat, missed her purpose for being a woman…
We don’t have to be at the mercy of these social dictates; we can walk with our choices as it were and disassemble the belief systems that do not serve us anymore.
We have many friends who have actively chosen to be single and not have children and it is with great inspiration that we observe them engaging fully and joyfully in life. There is no whiff of something missed or their being any less for not having abided by the ‘rules’ that women have been expected to follow. So the deconstruction is happening, paving the way for others to make true choices for themselves, unhampered by imposition and belief, free to embrace life’s opportunities true to themselves.
Inspired we are by what this will look like in the future. The more we break away from, and therefore have a chance to review the belief systems that seep into our lives from our social environments, the freer we are to stay in relationship with ourselves, our true purpose and our path alongside others.
So… the shelf has been around for a while and it has maintained its place in the eyes and expectations of society. However, with fresh eyes we can see that it does not make any sense (holding ourselves to ransom in any way never has) and armed with a screwdriver we are up for taking it down ☺
By Judy Joy and Matilda Bathurst
For further inspiration..
Are we Judy and Matilda discuss..
Is there more to us as women than the roles we think we need to play?
Do we retire, or.. what if we enjoyed work differently?