A young woman named Cameron Schaeffer recently wrote a post for HuffPo’s blog titled: “The 3-Letter Word That Cuts Women Down Every Day“. While you might be expecting the word to be something crude or “sexist”, it is not; the word she’s talking about is too. Yes, you read that right, the word too.
Ms. Schaeffer writes of her self-described “epiphany”:
There is no proper way for a woman to cut her hair, let alone do anything right in this world. There seems to be an unobtainable one-millimeter-wide mark of perfection, and none of us can reach it. Everything is too this or too that. We see it every day in the tabloids. For example, one day a female celebrity is too revealing and the next day she is too matronly.
In my experience, I rarely hear too thrown around about men. You hear someone say, “He’s short,” but you seldom hear “too short.” I hear women and men alike each day describing women as too something. But what does it really mean when you call a woman too? I asked myself, “too what?” I have determined that too means you’re calling a woman too far away from your idyllic vision of what a woman should be.
Something as small as calling a woman’s dress too long or her muscles too built has a much larger social construct. With all the varying tastes and cultures in this world, it is impossible for a woman — or anyone, for that matter — to fulfill everyone’s criteria. And why is it our responsibility to satisfy them, anyway?
Merriam-Webster gives these three uses for the word too:
a : to an excessive degree : excessively <too large a house for us>b : to such a degree as to be regrettable <this time he has gone too far>c : very <didn’t seem too interested>
What makes me furious is the constant strain on females to find their unreachable perfect self. This realization really struck me when I figured out that I’ve never been satisfied with myself. My internal opinion is always that I’m too this or too that. I, like most women, have been deprived of self-satisfaction and appreciation because of this word and this attitude.
Women are still objects to a disturbingly large number of people. If society continues on in this way, women will always be unfairly judged. But there are small and achievable steps we can take. We should call on both genders to cut the word too from their vocabulary when discussing women. If we ever want an end to the way females are put in boxes, this is the beginning of an important and tumultuous journey ahead.