Being an adult woman is, for a lack of a better word, difficult.
I'm not talking about the consistent shaving of practically every body part -- if you so choose -- or painfully nauseous periods or how annoying and otherwise inconvenient breasts can be. I'm not even talking about catcalling or sexual harassment or the ever-present fear we're practically taught, and later learn, to feel when we're alone in public.
I'm talking about the decisions we make. The effortlessly simple or dauntingly monumental life choices that come with growing up and taking personal responsibility and, you know, living.
How anyone possibly expects us to feel confident in said decisions is beyond me.
I don't understand it.
If we decide to go to college after high school, we're probably only looking for a husband. If we decide not to go to school, we don't value ourselves enough to invest an obscene amount of money in our future.
If we don't party, we're stuck up prudes and if we do party we're attention-seeking imbeciles of the probably harlot variety.
If we get married we want someone else to provide for us or we're just playing house or we've decided our dreams aren't worth pursuing. If we don't get married, it's because we aren't attractive.
If we have children we're giving up on our personal ambitions and no longer care about our bodies and have decided to only live for our offspring. If we don't have children we're selfish narcissists who will later live a life of complete and utter regret while our thirteen cats wait for us to die.
If we are stay-at-home moms we're lazy parasites, sucking the life out of our significant other's bank account while eating entire bags of Doritos in a single sitting. If we decide to return to work, well, we shouldn't have had a child in the first place.
If we're on birth control we're promiscuous whores who've been around a few blocks and are incapable of commitment. If we get knocked up we're morons who, apparently, can't take advantage of our society's medical achievements.
If we breastfeed we're drawing unnecessary attention to ourselves and if we bottle feed we're selfish women who've been duped by society into thinking our bodies are nothing if not sexualized.
If we dislike another woman we're traitors to the sisterhood and if we dislike a man we're feminist psychopaths.
If we're heavyset we're lazy homebodies with zero self-esteem, self-determination and self-worth. If we're thin we're suffering from a hidden eating disorder.
If we wear a skirt we're seeking male attention and are, therefore, open to any and all sexual advances. If we wear pants we're either a lesbian, a puritan, or a tease.
If we cry, we're emotional basket cases, at the mercy of our torrential hormones and if we don't cry, we're cold-hearted bitches incapable of feeling anything significant.
If we have children and decide to leave the house without them, we're running away from our responsibilities and don't value our families as much as we protest. If we leave the house with our children, we're a burden to those who don't have them and should learn how to control them for the sake of those around us.
If we wear makeup we care what other people think. If we don't wear makeup we're apathetic spinsters who've given up on love.
If we stick up for ourselves we're sensitive fanatics and if we remain quiet we're useless doormats.
If we partied before we became parents we'll make terrible mothers. If we didn't party we'll regret "settling down" and experience the inevitable mid-life crisis.
If we had a natural birth we're trying to prove something and if we had an epidural and/or C-section we're weak women, afraid to trust our bodies.
If we decide to have dinner by ourselves we're lonely, desperate and worthy of your sympathy. If we have dinner with our friends we're a bunch of clucking hens, silly with our conversations and our friendships and our boisterous laughs.
If we report a sexual assault we're liars or attention seekers, wracked with guilt and trying to hide our sexual desires. If we don't report sexual assault we're cowards, doing a disservice not only to ourselves but to potential victims of the future.
If we're with our children and looking at our phones, we're disconnected parents who care too much about social media or technology or all of the above. If we don't answer our phones we're annoying or out-of-touch or over-our-heads.
If we like sports we're trying to be "one of the guys" and if we don't like sports we're too feminine to be interesting.
If we write about how difficult it is to be a woman, we're whining and ungrateful and probably an annoying feminist who would make any unfortunate man unhappy. If we don't then we're so engrained in the ever-present patriarchy that surrounds us that we're incapable of realizing it even exists.
I'm telling you, the shaving and the periods and the sometimes-annoying breasts are one thing but deciding what kind of woman you'll end up criticizing me for being?
That's, for lack of a better word, difficult.