Let me tell you about two women.
The first I met at a seminar. She was confident, fluent, and exuded this really powerful vibe that was very intimidating. When we were asked to introduce ourselves in little groups, she described herself as an all-out career woman. Her exact statement was – “If I were made to choose between my career and my family, I’d choose career without batting an eyelash.”
The second one’s my friend. She’s independent, charming, and was working as a professional nurse before she got married. Now she’s a stay-at-home mom to two extremely pretty girls. Out of curiosity, I once asked her if she’s ever considered going back to work. She said she wanted to but couldn’t because she’s gotten so used to taking care of her kids that she can’t imagine leaving them to nannies while she worked.
Two completely different women, both deserving of respect.
Why am I writing about this? Well, for the past months, I’ve been reflecting about women and the roles that society feed on them – on us. I guess that my sudden shift from being in a career to nada is taking its toll that I have gotten more sensitive to remarks on the topic from peers or acquaintances. It has become more evident to me now that indeed, it’s not only men that can be cruel to women – women can be just as insensitive.
My points –
If you’re happily married, stop forcing your single friend to go find a man she can marry. Just because you’re hitched doesn’t mean everyone else have to.
If you have kids, stop telling some other woman what she’s missing out by not having kids or what she’ll be missing out once she starts having them. I never realized how offensive this is until I got married and people started minding our reproductive abilities.
If you’re a working woman, stop assuming that women who stay at home are not doing anything worthwhile and are most probably bored to death. For all you know, they may just be having the time of their lives while you rush each day trying to beat your deadlines.
If you’re a stay-at-home, don’t think that working women who leave their kids behind for work are failing at motherhood. And please, don’t go competing with another stay-at-home as to who’s more domesticated.
When we begin treating women who stay at home as no good, we have a problem. When we begin thinking of them as people who have nothing better to do than watch soap operas and sleep, we have a problem. When we begin assuming that all these women could do is cook, bake, clean, and cater to kids – WE HAVE A PROBLEM!
In the same manner, when we think that career women are bad mothers or bad wives, we’ve allowed ourselves to be part of a community that strip women of their freedom to choose beautiful life opportunities apart from marriage and motherhood.
Women, respect your choices by respecting the choices of other women. Live your life the way you want to, but don’t force others to think that it’s worth emulating.
Featured image from cloudfront.net