Forced Positivity

I just wanted to highlight this quote that enraged me: “The world seems determined to see nothing but a horrible, high-spirited, perpetual brightness in us” (Page unknown due to online text). This is so messed up (I would use stronger words but I feel like the f word would be frowned upon on a school blog). Forcing and expecting women to be happy, high spirited, and perpetually at your service is a concept that still plagues women today. For example, any time that anyone ever tells a girl to smile. Or when they say: “you’d be prettier if you smiled”. UGH. Nobody is ever happy absolutely all of the time! This concept really pisses me off because I see it as forbidding women to experience emotions other then positive ones. Everyone experiences all the emotions that you can name at some point in their life and everyone should be free to express those emotions in healthy ways. Forcing women to be positive and cheery all the time leads to emotions being bottled up which is damaging to a person’s mental state. Being forever happy about having to drive an ambulance full of injured, and dying men all night every night after a full day of chores and hauling those same men to a cemetery is a ridiculous expectation. It is more than understandable that all of them are going insane and are pissed off at Commandant.

2 thoughts on “Forced Positivity

  1. This also made me super angry! It really reminded me of the idea of the feminine and of women that, though they are emotional, they must always be happy which really feels artificial. Also, it makes it seem like women are too dumb to see all of the horrible things and all the issues that would make one upset, and that is why they are always told they should be happy or perceived as always happy. Almost like a dumbing down of intelligence. Also, it made me think of how when someone is upset the whole idea of “someone somewhere has it worse than you, you should be happy!” It is all toxic and sad! We are not happy 24/7 and that is okay! Women are not these super angelic constantly happy figures that just float through life leaving rose petals, rainbows, and glitter in their path.

    • Exactly. Women are too dumb to see all of the horrors at war yet they must be the ones to fix all of the men who have become physically broken from the horrors of war with a smile because that will make the men feel better. I hate that whole idea of someone having it worse then you. Although it is true the thing that you are upset about or that you view is the most horrible thing you have ever been through is not as bad as someone else its still the worst thing ever for you. It may be worse for someone else but their worst isn’t something you’ve experienced.

      I really hope that HZS confronts her mother and the people back home. I know it is unlikely but if she doesn’t I think I will forever be mad at this book.

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