You define me

Categories: Family, Relationships
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I read an interview with Shonda Rhimes (the creator) and Ellen Pompeo (the lead actress) about the show “Grey’s Anatomy” and the answer to one question in particular stood out to me. You don’t need to know anything about the show other than Meredith is the main character and her husband Derek died at the end of the last season.

5:37 PM: How will Meredith change now that she’s not partially defined by her relationship with Derek? “Meredith Grey has never been defined by her relationship with a man,” Rhimes says. Pompeo agrees, saying she doesn’t think any Shondaland woman has been defined by a man.

I think they were trying to be feminist there, but instead they come off sounding very isolationist and lonely.

I am a feminist and I am very much defined not just by my relationships with men, but by my relationships with women too. And that’s because I’m human.

It is my relationship with my dad that defines me as a daughter, with my brother that defines me as a sister, with Brett that defines me as a wife, and with Shimei that defines me as a mom. My relationships with women define me as a daughter to my mom, a sister to my sister, a mom to Iddo and Shimri, and a friend to more than I can count. My relationships define me as a teacher, student, leader, and follower. And I imagine there are some relationships that define me as an enemy and nemesis too.

To say that we are not defined by our relationships is to say that those relationships have no meaning in our lives. But they are one of the few things that truly matter in this life. We are all defined by our relationships, and particularly those of our family. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

3 shared thoughts about You define me

  1. Brett says:

    The world has gotten so weird in the last couple decades. If “women’s liberation” is a good thing, then you have to take it to the extreme of saying that women need no one other than themselves to be happy. We can see it in other areas too — abortion rights, gay rights, affirmative action, etc. Nothing short of extreme is acceptable to the PC police. You and I talked about it with relation to marriage today too. “Man and wife” is now a taboo phrase, and song lyrics like “woman draws her life from man and gives it back again” would never be accepted today, even though it expresses a deep, emotionally fulfilling view on marriage. :brett:

  2. Giggle

    I agree with you. I am not solely defined by my marriage to Blake, but it’s certainly part of who I am. If Meredith was not, at least in part, defined by her relationship with Derek, why did she need to take a year off to disappear and mourn?


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