• Natene Erumi

The M Word: This Year We're Decentering Men...Okay?!

Due to the patriarchal society we live in, women have been conditioned to internalise that their worth is dependent on how men see them. Patriarchy has taught us that men are the end all and be all to happiness.

If we’re not in a relationship and we’re single, how can we possibly be happy? If we’re not being desired or wanted by men then we are not fulfilled. Due to global societies centring men, women have been socialised to engage in behaviours that uphold the patriarchy. I’m here to tell you that patriarchy has sold us a dirty lie!

I believe the truth lies in divesting from the M word…'Men'!

When I say decentre men, I am not limiting this to romantic relationships. I am saying as women we need to let go of ‘designing’ our lives around men.

I see too many women worrying about how to attract and keep a man, or in other words, waiting to be ‘picked’.

We shouldn’t be waiting to be picked to fit stereotypical gender roles that only serve to systematically benefit men, it’s a massive disservice to yourself as not just a woman, but as a person.

Designing your life around men and their needs is giving them too much power; you’re letting them dictate what they think you deserve. Especially when, statistically, men benefit more from relationships than women (source below).

Your worth is more than how useful you are to a man.

Learn to become valued, prioritised and prized in your own eyes!

I hear too many women say they don’t feel complete as they haven’t found love, as if they’re missing something. Whether you enter a relationship tomorrow or next year, if you think like this you’ll still feel as though you’re ‘missing’ something when you enter a relationship.

Men are not the answer to that missing piece, - it is within you; you just need to find it.

In order to find said ‘missing’ piece take time for introspection.

This may involve asking yourself serious questions as to why you centre men, healing your inner child and even giving yourself the love you deserve. Value yourself by validating your achievements, prioritise your feelings, don’t stay in situations that don’t serve you.

See yourself as the prize...because you are.

“Okay...so how do I decentre men?”

  1. Stop making men the main characters in your life because you’re not an extra, you’re not a supporting role, you're the main character. Men are just the guest stars.

  2. Plan out what you want for yourself in life, in your career, in your finances. Think about how you would achieve your goals by following your own independent path.

  3. Think about your current hobbies and lifestyle; how much time do you spend with family and friends or with the people you feel genuinely love you? Could you invest more into your hobbies?

  4. Pour more into your friendships. Nothing is more special than a strong, reliable sisterhood! Your friends will be there before and after your relationships. They’re an essential support system for our well-being.

  5. Stop seeing romantic relationships as the goal. Relationships do not make you ‘whole’. Your existence is more than a romantic relationship.

This isn’t the perfect guide to decentering men, but these steps are a starting point! Highlighting the importance of decentering men isn’t saying don’t seek love, but rather don’t let patriarchal ideals affect how you seek said love.

Remember men are not the achievement, decentering them is!




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