How is a 21st century woman defined? I recently began asking myself that very question. Is women's lib, in fact, a positive and progressive movement? Have we evolved positively as a society in an attempt to clarify egalitarian thought? I will attempt, through my reflection of this topic, to answer these questions that are often thought about or asked about in society. I believe if guidelines and boundaries are not set on these feminist movements, they can, if not already, have disastrous effects on our society in an indirect way. These effects, in my opinion, have already occurred by means of human nature, whereby throughout history, as at hand, it seems to be a human tendency to "take the ball and run with it!" I will explain what these thoughts denote.
A progressive, business woman, who challenges herself, is self-seeking, ploughing through all obstacles that may come through her way; obstacles such as men, family, and children.
A self-seeking mentality consumes this woman. At no expense is she willing to give up what she has worked for. A vow has dropped into the depths of her heart that she will never allow anyone to control her or manipulate her again into the submissive position to a mate. This mate changed her beliefs to believe in a society that does not exist in love. She thinks, Love is dead; I will fulfill the next best thing, my needs. I want gratification and I want it now is the underlying voice of a progressive woman, who is selfish. "I am independent!" she exclaims. The beauty of this female in the eyes of teens, other woman, is often success! What a twist of success! Is it really success? Who defines this success? A wondrous sense of awe consumes the woman who does not possess these things. It is a prominent thing of the 21st century! "A woman should have her independence!" cries out a right wing feminist. Look at her! She needs no one! She can have everything herself! Aside from the touch of a man, she is able to be gratified without the need of a man. She can acquire an education, attain a high paying position, and progress to a fulfilling career, conquering all battles that stand in her way. No longer is it a man's world! "Here I am!" proclaims an intelligent, well-educated female.
Equal rights we all cry as a society. Have we taken a moment to be still and notice where in fact this has taken us? We are making headway, many say, as we become more of an equal society, a society of freedom, particularly for woman. We now have the right to vote, the right to work, the right to "succeed," as many would define it. This too can become a consuming nature of a woman. Soon a woman feels she is missing out on life as she stays home with the children, unappreciated only to be greeted by a husband who does not respect the work she does around the house and then the 21st century woman becomes the envy of these women; contrary to the fact that the modern woman deeply wishes to have a family life herself.
It seems this independence is at the expense of some relationships where we are individuals and we have resorted to becoming a disposable society, dropping one dilemma for another one, be it a new mate, a new family, a new job. It seems to be our tendency to hold everyone else accountable for our happiness, so we just move right on to the next best thing, as we may define it, expecting some sort of a self-made utopia one day. Is this the message some of these groups pass onto us? I believe this very message is passed in an indirect and systematic way that has revealed itself as it stands today. I believe we have devolved as a society as a result. Then we have the media, Hollywood, fashion magazines, and all these new psychologists coming out with books on how to be "the modern woman" or "A woman of the 90's" that add to this new liberating and independent thought.
The question that now arises is if we really have progressed with all these movements? It seems to me that not only because of this, but for several other reasons as well, it is the children and family that are suffering because women are out trying to pursue careers at the expense of their families - husband and children, leaving a home in havoc. It is no wonder Hollywood is a prime example of the divorce rates because couples are unable to spend time together, because they spend their time traveling pursuing careers and the children are left to suffer. In pursuit of their careers, it is at the expense of their marriage and children, to succeed at them. It does not surprise me we have children who are rebelling and are out-of control. Don't get me wrong! I am NOT suggesting it is wrong for a woman to work and I am by no means blaming a mother for the rebellion of the child. I am simply stating an observation that runs the same with many other things in society. It just seems that this is another tiny aspect of the BIG picture that I deem reason as to why society is turning out the way it is today, with no control, no concept of family ties. Television has replaced the parental role in some cases, as both parents are too tired to spend time with their children. I'm not going to touch on that as it is a whole other topic.
If women today take the ball and run with it, so to speak; this new found "success" would become the new image of what a woman should be, only she will be missing one component, her mate! If this would be the case, we would not have much of a society left as we would have all woman pursuing careers and not bearing children (which out of a population of 6 billion people I realize that is far fetched, but you get my point). Of course, there are many successful women today who are wonderful mothers, and successful career woman. I am suggesting that I feel it is the women's "position" to take care of that child in its initial stages, and too often other cares choke out the most important responsibilities. I have spoken to many women who have stayed at home with their children, and it just seems strange that they always say they feel 2nd best next to their friends who are single, and pursuing careers. I would like to know how this painted image has appeared in society. Perhaps it has to do with the 70's movements where women were shunned if they placed their priority on being a wife and mother.
These are only fragments of observation and I am not implying this is the sole purpose of why things exist the way they do today. I am simply explaining a piece of the pie.
I think that if people don't set boundaries somewhere (which seems a little too late in our society today) disastrous effects are going to continue to take place in our society, and that will begin with the next generation that will extend the values that we are validating today as a society.
A child needs his or her mother (and father of course). The first years are the most important years of a child's life and if both parents are busy involved in their careers with their heads in the sand, it is the child who suffers. If women and men both "play" together interdependently as they should, responsibilities of both parents will be in place, but if society continues to live as in the days of Sodom and Gomorra, society will continue living the way it is, with equal and human rights for further sin. That leads me to one more thing! If a man's inherent roles are taken away from him, and he cannot feel honored because a women can "fill" the role of the supporter, protector, then the next thing he may do in an attempt to feel honorable, is to be a good lover. So where does this leave the single man today? Being an observer, I see that if men and woman meet, the man feels there is no role to fill because the woman is self-sufficient, he attempts by nature, to fill the next role - to procreate. Unfortunately, in our times it has become not only perverted, but has caused exploitation of women as well! Perhaps these movements have not liberated women, but men! It is the men who are now left with no inherent responsibilities, and need to identify themselves in some way, so with the help of our disposable society, are able to fulfill their needs because society has justified divorce and prestige, etc. It is unfortunate that these inherent roles that women and men possess have become separated into "classes." One is deemed as better than the other, however, both are needed to have a successful family. Neither one is better. They are just different. People should realize that roles of women and men are not unequal, but just different. There has been some twist in history, and as usual, humans got a hold of it, and have perverted it to become what unequal rights stands for in our society today. That itself is another topic.
This separation of genders, however, has become perverted in other countries and religions. In an attempt in helping third world countries, and in anticipation of liberating the oppressed, we have taken principles formed to help these women, and brought them into Western civilization, and render them, like everything else, to fit our own regimen on an individual basis, and then cry out for freedom of rights when those very same principles invade our own individual perceptions of what is right. This is what I mean by the start of a disastrous affect when these lib groups put these movements in action.
I hope my thoughts are not misconstrued here because of the touchiness of this subject. In summary, I believe because of the way society has evolved, we are continuing to attempt to band-aid all situations in the name of freedom. This in turn has had many adverse effects, and a lot of it, in my opinion, includes the framework the government has outlined us to live in. I realize the implications of a family on a single income and that it is very much impossible to survive on a single income.
Upon examining this piece of the pie, I believe women in pursuit of their dreams and careers need to remember not to run off with their wildest intentions, but to remain balanced and not risk losing the family unit for something that is of temporal satisfaction and that is painted with false colors.