Women have come a long way in the last century. Brave women who came before us fought for equal rights and in turn, today we have options that eluded many of our ancesters. Dont get me wrong, there are many areas that can be improved upon. Many women are still experiencing the sting of hitting the glass ceiling or the frustration of male coworkers receiving more adequate compensation for their job. There is also the issue of maternity leave. Currently the U.S. is one of only a few countries that does not offer paid maternity leave. This translates to more women returning to the workforce before they or their newborn child is ready (I could talk for days about this topic so I will just end it here). That being said, we are so fortunate to live in a time in which women have so many options. Many of the stereotypes that clung to previous generations have been disspelled by education and opportunity.
We live in an exciting time for women however there is one thing about this rise of feminism that troubles me.
Feminism has been marketed as strong, educated women who pursue careers and are able to provide for themselves; women who are confident and think for themselves. Little girls are told that they can be anything they want when they grow up. This is a wonderful thing.
Except when society dictates what that “anything” might be.
Societal expectations are deeply routed in culture. It is not a one size fits all model. We all feel pressure in different ways. Part of the problem is our need to feel validated. We are more connected than ever thanks to the internet and social media. This is a wonderful advancement but it also breeds comparison. The bottom line is that we need to band together, EMPOWER each other, and rise above this pressure.
The thing is we CAN be anything we want! For some women that means climbing the corporate ladder or educating the youth of America. For others it means choosing to stay home and raise a family. Some women feel a strong desire to have children and others choose not to become a parent. In my opinion any woman who goes after the life that they desire is exemplifying feminism. And that is just plain awesome.
DISCLAIMER: This is post is not meant to take away from the accomplishments and awesomness of men. Men are cool too. However I am not a male, therefore I cannot speak on this topic for that half of the human race. This girl is not a man-hater…most days 😉