I have a secret confession. I love Katy Perry. I’m not really sorry (or even ashamed) that I find her interesting or palpable. Something about her is still very real – unlike other pop icons like Lady Gaga (ie. egg costume, alter egos, constant social commentary, etc.) that I just find weird. I have yet to see Katy’s movie, but don’t worry it’s on my “must see” list that I don’t actually keep tabs on, just simply shuffle away in the back of my mind for “sometime down the road.”
I mainly just needed to get all of this Katy stuff off my chest. As much as this post is inspired by Katy, it doesn’t have as much to do with her as it does about a woman’s ability to lead with her heart – with her gut – and with her emotions. Men have oft overlooked women’s opinions and “wisdom” because of a lack of “logic” or “reason”…but what exactly and how exactly ought we define either of those terms?
We know that in general, men are more practical beings in that they are able to see point’A’ and point ‘B’ and deduct the easiest way to get from one of those points to the other. But is what is easy (or most obvious) always what is reasonable? Further, is what is considered practical really the best solution? “Best” should be defined as (a) what is best for all parties involved, (b) something that takes into consideration history or precedent, (c) the solution that takes into consideration the present needs and future needs equally and accordingly.
For years now I have unconsciously witnessed women (my mother, sister, role models, and friends) beat themselves up and second-guess themselves because their emotional gut has always been under the microscope of men. This happens in the context of businesses, families, schools, homes, peers, and any other type of situation you can imagine. Women – for ages – have been undermined because of their emotional gut.
The stigma of emotions is overwhelmingly negative. The emotions that our society does embrace (and chase after) are love and happiness. If you’re feeling anything besides those two things, please please keep it on the DL. Ya know? I would be willing to bet that any given person (male OR female) only experiences love or happiness (satisfaction) about 20% of the time (if that). So for the remaining 80% of the time, we are all looking for something to be happy about. Or just being miserable. I digress…
The point here is that we need to stop putting reason and logic into this box in which emotion cannot work or stir. Ruling emotions out (or simply suspending them when making all big decisions) cannot and should not ever be the goal. In fact, I think that emotions are a reflection of something greater and deeper that logic can never really account for.
How does Katy play into this? Well, two of her most recent hits (Part of Me, and Wide Awake) are alarmingly emotional but quite unshakable. They are two of her strongest and most powerful songs in my opinion. They show true, raw emotion. She says…
This short refrain is but a taste of the overarching emotion of the song. These lyrics are a reflection of the betrayal, the lies, and the deception that she fell victim to. She is unashamed to say how hurt she was (and quite possibly still is) because of this person.
Interestingly enough, the first two lines here paint a unique idea of what it is to really know something. This lyrics suggest that “logically” this relationship (we can only conclude) made sense but that it was only until her emotions were compromised and hurt that she was able to come to any real conclusion about it. Part of “knowing” about this relationship (or deciding anything about it) for Katy was the emotional insight that she could only have gained through the relationship and through that emotional experience. It’s a bittersweet thing, really.
All of this goes to say that I hope women and their emotions (and MEN and their emotions) begin to command more respect not only by others but also by those that feel them. By their beholders. Emotions (even the ugly ones) need to be more realized, more cared about, and more honored than they have been in the past. Allow yourself to feel deeply, feel often, and to share those feelings. Let those be your powerhouse for a while. And when someone cares to share withyou some of their deeper thoughts…learn to listen.