From our bra-burning ancestors to the new breed of mum-trepreneurs taking the internet by storm, the role of a woman has changed dramatically over the past few decades. With increased earning potential, responsibility and the opportunity to be recognised as leaders in the field of our choosing our trailblazing ancestors would be proud.
Now women can have it all, a great job, a nice house, a family and a shoe collection to die for… or can they?
This change of role has brought with it a whole new breed of challenges:
We are no longer struggling to be heard, but to make time to prepare meals; rather than struggling to be considered for corporate positions we are rushing from home to day-care to work and back again in a frenzy of activity and misplaced bobby pins.
Instead of fighting for the right to use contraception, we are flocking to fertility specialists because our busy lives have either meant we have left it too late or we haven’t made the time to meet Mr Right. Although it’s hard to compare the trials of our foresisters to those we have today it doesn’t make any of them less or more important. As we have risen up the ranks to be considered equal to the role of men in our corporate society, we have taken on additional responsibilities without releasing any of the traditional roles of a woman. Although the new generation of men are taking more kindly to the thought of doing dishes than my father ever did, women still bear the majority of the domestic and caring duties. Now don’t take this as getting on a soap box about blokes doing dishes – on the contrary, women are designed as beautiful, majestic and caring creatures. We are naturally pre-disposed to care for our loved ones and others who need our help. Just as men have bigger hearts and lungs and are naturally stronger than women.
The craziest thing about the expectation placed on the modern woman is that we do it to ourselves! How often does a man comment that the sideboard hasn’t been dusted or that it’s obvious that the host doesn’t have herself together because her hair isn’t perfect? I don’t know many! Not only are we the harshest judge on ourselves, we are the worst critics regarding our fellow super women!
What does having it all mean? Is it really the job, house, car, pleasantville family and a shoe closet Carrie would die for? Just reading that makes me tired! Perhaps the new ‘having it all’ could have very little to do with the things we acquire, how nice our tea set is or the ability to entertain 10 guests 20 minutes after getting home from a major sales presentation. Perhaps the modern super woman is someone who follows her passions and embraces her version of perfection, whether that is knocking up the most delicious of carrot cakes while folding laundry, or heading up a board room or high powered investment bankers with poise and a pair of Christian Laboutin’s (channel Sandra Bullock). So rather than judging those who are more comfortable in a pair of track pants and comfy jumper, or someone who puts her children in childcare and has a nanny so she can pursue her career, let’s acknowledge everyone’s awesome. The most important thing is that we live for our purpose according to our values, not according to what you, me or the lady with the perfectly outlined red lips says. Go forth super woman – it’s amazing what you are able to achieve when you start living for you and the things and people you love!