I Don't Want to Be Super Woman Anymore
We have made a lot of progress in women’s fight for equality with men, both in society and on a personal level. Nonetheless, there continue to be many inequalities between men and women. Each woman must determine for herself the type of life she would like to lead.
Many times, these inequalities are masked: we don’t even notice due to the fact that they are perfectly integrated into our culture, and others are even promoted by women, who, despite the advances we have made in many areas, still are not capable of valuing themselves according to the weight they carry in society.
Each day there are fewer gaps and women are considered, now more than ever, equal on all levels. However, there are still some pending issues. For example, many women feel that we have to give all of ourselves: we have to turn into super-woman, into semi-gods.
Our house has to be in perfect condition, we have to raise our children perfectly (perfect for us, perfect for our spouse, perfect for our mother-in-law, perfect for our social circles…), we have to stay beautiful, well-kept and in style. Of course, we have to be hard workers, any other way and we would be a kept woman. We believe if we do not work we’ll be subject to incredulity from other women who find it hard to understand why we have chosen a way of life different from theirs, without anyone forcing us into it.
Furthermore, if we do not fulfill all of our ‘obligations,’ we will soon feel the subtle pressure in the form of questions that are supposedly innocent, but hide criticism. But, “You aren’t working?” “You haven’t even published your thesis yet?” “Are you going to leave your child in daycare when he is still so small?” “You don’t dress up as much as you used to, do you?”
I do not want to be a super woman anymore
No. And I say it loudly. Perhaps it has been a while since we fell into this trap that has been set for women since the dawn of time. It could be that I feel obligated to carry the whole load, to care for the needs of others ahead of my own and to undertake or put myself in situations that did not interest me at the time, but that I agreed to anyway just to gain the approval of others.
I am no longer going to play this game. Before women, we are people, and like all human beings, whether man or woman, we have personal rights as well as limitations.
It is impossible to carry out everything we should supposedly do, and much less do it perfectly.
We all, both women and men, are fallible beings. We will do some things well or very well, and others we will do extremely badly. The key is to not let ourselves be pressured by the ideas of society or by the obligations that the world wants us to take on. And we certainly would not want to undervalue ourselves for not reaching perfection, because then we will always feel inferior.
How important is it really to the world, to life, or to the Universe that, one day, you go out without combing your hair as usual? What would happen if we stopped working or studying for a little while because we would rather spend time with our children? Or, what if we prefer working and choose the option of daycare?
Why does the world want to meddle so much in what women do?
Keys to stop being a super-woman
The first, and most important, is to closely watch our self-esteem. Women usually have a lower self-esteem than men due to the ideas that have been ingrained in us about the role we have to play in society.
Many times, this role clashes with what we women really want to do with our lives and this fills us with frustration and anxiety.
The woman has the perception that she can never quite make it, that she should be better: a better worker, better mother, better lover…As if this perception that is required of us from the outside is unreachable, we always feel like failures and this gives our self-esteem a good kick. Think about it, every time you do not feel proud of what you have done, you take some strength away from your self-esteem.
The next key is, to not do something we don’t want to do just because we feel the need for approval. We should no longer seek that acceptance since it is not real: there will always be something they will criticize us about, if not to our face than behind our back, but we will never be able to make the whole world happy.
It is true that we have obligations with everyone, but these should be chosen by us confidently, and not imposed on us by our culture.
Lastly, leave guilt behind. As women, we feel guilty for just about everything: for going back to work so soon, for staying at home, for not having dinner ready, for not spending enough time with our friends, for being more successful than the man at our side.
Enough! Guilt serves absolutely no purpose and is a product of believing that we are doing something wrong. Forget this idea because it is not true. You are giving your best and living life the way you, and only you, want to live. No one should feel guilty for taking care of themselves above the rest.
In conclusion, I can only congratulate you women, for all you have accomplished and have left to do. Further, I want to give my compliments to all those women who are no longer going to allow themselves to be carried by what the world expects of us: they will ensure our situation changes and that the women of future generations do not take on obligations that the majority of society wants to put on us.