Monday my friend Kelly sent me this link about “The Real 30 Things Woman/Womyn Should Have and Know Before Turning 30”. This article is from the Huffington Post and is quite an enjoyable and interesting read.
Author Caroline Rothstein was quite turned off by the re-published article in the Huffington Post which originally debuted in Glamour magazine back in 1977. In her article she states, “I find the list wildly heterosexist, classist, racist and offensive” and was compelled to create an alternative list of her own.
Below I have shared with you the first original list and below Rothstein’s version.
By 30, you should have …
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.
13. The belief that you deserve it.
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.
By 30, you should know …
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30
Caroline’s Alternative Version
By 30, you should have…
1) An awareness that not all women/womyn date men or only men, or even people who identify with one gender.
1.5) An awareness that some individuals who live their lives as and identify as women actually identify as “womyn” because of the racism that exists in many women-identified spaces and socio-political movements.
2) A piece of furniture previously owned by someone you care about because not everyone can afford new furniture by the time they are 30.
3) Something perfect to wear if someone important wants to see you in an hour — because not everyone has an employer or man of their dreams because not everyone has a traditional job and not everyone who identifies as a woman/womyn dreams about men.
4) No shame. Period.
5) A youth you’ve processed because many people were traumatized before they were 30 and therefore may have to spend more then a few decades moving beyond.
6) SAME as original list: “A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.”
7) The realization that you are going to have an old age with a support system to help enrich it — because not everyone can afford to have financial savings. Some people never have savings. Ever. Really. Especially if they’ve done things by 30 like go to college and graduate school and pay for it by themselves while accumulating massive amounts of debt whereby there isn’t any money available to save.
8) Security — in whatever way that means — because not everyone has access to or can afford Internet, a phone and a bank account.
10) SAME as original list: “One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.”
11) Some tools like screwdrivers, hammers and nails and things like that, and if you wear bras, then a bra that you really like wearing and makes you feel good. And if you don’t wear bras, then how about an item of clothing that makes you feel empowered — as I’m assuming that is what a “black lace bra” is supposed to symbolize?
12) A gift you’ve given yourself, whatever it may be, because not all ridiculously valuable gifts are valued via their cost, especially because not all women/womyn can afford anything ridiculously expensive by the time they’re 30. Or ever.
13) The belief that you deserve self-love.
14) An understanding of what you need in order to take care of yourself and feel as good as you deserve.
15) A solid start to a satisfying LIFE, satisfying RELATIONSHIPS with family of kin and/or choice, friends and romantic partners if so desired (because some people don’t want to be in a partnership), and “all those other facets of life that do get better.”
By 30, you should know …
1) SAME as original list: “How to fall in love without losing yourself.”
2) SAME as original list — with a conscious awareness that some people know because they already have kids, right?: “How you feel about having kids.”
3) How to quit a job when you have the financial means to do so, break up from a relationship in which you do not want to be no matter what their gender or non-gender and “confront a friend without ruining the friendship.”
4) SAME as original list: “When to try harder and when to walk away.”
5) SAME as original list — with the addition of knowing what to do or who to call when your communication is not honored: “How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.”
6) SAME as original list — “The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers” and then… how to fix your own damn clothes unless you can afford a tailor.
7) How to BE alone, because not everyone have the ability or choice to live alone because that’s not a viable option for every woman/womyn.
8) SAME as original list: “Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.”
9) SAME as original list: “That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.”
10) The original list says, “That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.” A lot of people’s childhoods weren’t perfect because they experienced a lot of trauma and telling them to just get over it is highly insensitive and naive. I should hope that by 30, every woman/womyn has begun processing and understanding their childhood — especially if it wasn’t “perfect” — and is in a stable place or working to be in a stable place of understanding how to contextualize their experience, thus allowing themselves to live their lives with as much freedom from those experiences as possible.
11) SAME as original list: “What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.”
12) Um… SAME as original list?: “That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs or not flossing for very long.”
13) SAME as original list: “Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.”
14) SAME as original list: “Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.”
15) That life begins when you’re born, and any moment thereafter you decide to start over… by all means, go for it.
Which list do you think is better?
I have to say that after looking at both lists, I LOVE the second one! While Rothstein leaves in some of the original items, her version certainly addresses all women and doesn’t exclude anyone.