I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman. ~ Anais Nin
Incredibly powerful words from a woman who, though some have labeled as very troubled, was without doubt very much her own person, knew exactly who she was, and had no qualms about expressing the depths of her being to those who were interested enough to listen.
This quote is a clear articulation of how Anais Nin saw her worth as a woman and how she sought a man who recognized these strengths in her character. It takes a strong woman to delve into her inner self to seek an understanding of who she is. It takes an even stronger woman to then take the good and bad parts of this self-awareness and bare it for others to see, evaluate, judge, accept or reject. It then takes a solidly secure woman to expect nothing less from a man than to entirely accept every part of who she is as a human being.
Nin did not choose her words carelessly. She was clearly aware that the men of her time were largely non-accepting of women who displayed enormous strength of character. She was born in 1903 and lived her adult years in a time where women were generally perceived as the weaker gender. It is obvious that she was affected by this perception and chose to reject this notion by deferring to her “inner instinct”. She sought a partner who was an anomaly in her time, someone who had the courage to think outside of the social norms and accept her strength.
Through Nin’s works, she is seen by many as a pioneer in expressionism for women and a role model for those who identify with her. ~Gia