Female Aspirations and the Social Pressures Women Face

60 years ago women were the primary caregivers, the PGCs. They could go out to work, but if they had children it was a rarity to find a woman who worked rather than stay home to look after her child. In the 21st century all that has almost turned completely on its head. Men staying home to look after children while their wives become breadwinners is nothing out of the ordinary, yet we haven't quite reached a point where everything is acceptable. It seems that women are the ones who are exerting the pressure on each other to do the 'right' thing when it comes to their careers.

Any woman who has become career focused and determined to get herself to a job where she feels comfortable will probably have experienced some sort of judgment on the part of her female contemporaries. Women in their mid thirties without a partner or children can be incorrectly labeled as selfish, narcissistic and cold. There's also certainly no denying that we still have blatant gender inequality within the workplace, with women receiving a lower salary than men doing exactly the same job. In reality it's perfectly possible for a woman to do just as good a job as a man, not have a family and still be loving and kind. We all know it, yet the judgments still remain. Is it so wrong to strive for what makes us happy, rather than conforming to what dated social attitudes tell us we should be doing?

There is a problem on the complete opposite side of the argument, too. Women who feel their ideal career would be being a housewife and mother are put under pressure to pursue a career they're not interested in. The argument against them says that women have fought for years for gender equality and that we should not take our rights to freedom for granted. For any woman who does feel they want to be the primary caregiver, the nurturer and the housewife this argument simply doesn't stand because freedom is doing what you want. Still, a lot of women with aspirations of a successful out-of-home career find it hard to understand and tend to make their counterparts feel weak and demeaned.

So who is right in the great debate? I'm sure you'll agree nobody is right (as such) here. Thanks to the rise of the feminist movement we've come a very long way since the 1940s and 1950s, when a woman's place was in the home and a man very rarely even knew how to cook or iron. However, it seems that we've still got a long way to go before both men and women can be accepting of every role being filled by every gender in society. Is it our culture that's getting in the way of us fulfilling our personal desires? Perhaps if we all had a little more confidence in our own abilities or our own beliefs we wouldn't care about other people's attitudes and wouldn't be so keen to please them first.
Title: Female Aspirations and the Social Pressures Women Face
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