The Constricting Norms of Society and Mental Health of Women

Afsheen Khan
Published in
5 min readNov 28, 2021


The social pressure and the label of perfectionism have been surging mental health concerns for women. Globally, Mental health day is celebrated on October 10. Without acknowledging the fact that one gender goes through a lot.

In the world, the USA represents the most open-minded and advanced society. Even in the USA the gender biases and mental health take a great toll on women.

Every 1 in 5 women in the United States experienced a mental health condition in the past year, such as depression or anxiety.

The Constricting Gender Norms

It seems women’s lives have been the focal point of society’s concern. No matter what, for them, the problem and the solution both lie in women only.

Without giving a second thought, all the blame is put on her. In my society, if the couple is not blessed with kids, infertility is easily put on a woman. Can’t a man be infertile? The only answer is to replace her with another as if she is an object.

Pathetically, she is the heart of every gossip. Society expects women to talk, walk, wear and even think in a particular way- and that way is described and prescribed by our ‘society’s judgemental-brigades.’

She has a lot on her plate. Taking care of kids, home, career building, and professional life is not enough. She is also supposed to pamper her grown-up kid-like husband, and of course, what society thinks- all of this single-handedly.

To do her job with delicate perfectionism is what society seeks in her.

The social pressure and expectation, not forgetting the social media depression that portrays the standard of ‘how a woman should look,’ is another story depicting her feminine body, leading to an inferior complex.

Juggling with motherhood, bearing domestic violence, and serving a yo-man service are other long stories to write.

According to research done by PEW, 71% say women face a lot of pressure to be physically attractive, and just 27% say the same as men.

From the platform of fujn, we would like to raise practical concerns and traumas that emotionally deteriorate her mental health. Undoubtedly, the judgemental and nagging society has problems for both genders, but women go through exceptionally differently in every society.

The flaunting social media life of others, the depiction of the flawless body, the stories, and advice for being a perfect mother, with women being an impeccable outlook and professionalism, affects women’s mental health.

With so much societal expectation and perfectionism, with gender disparity and economic dependence, a woman may become a victim of imposter syndrome. You start doubting your intelligence, a sense of intellectual fraudulence-a clear sign of distressing mental health.

Ironically, every society has something wrapped up for women in some shape or other.

In England, around one in five women has a common mental health problem such as anxiety, depression, or self-harm.

The statistics are released thick and fast, but without pondering the reasons and the efforts to change the course. As mentioned above, more women are prone to mental health problems than men.

Can we get the solution in Centuries even?

We brought to light the women-related issues at a glance. There is an unending list that damages the mental health and sanity of women. Ironically, it’s another woman that becomes part of that nagging society and endorses the toxic culture. The solution, the answer we want, cannot be achieved in a jiffy. It may take decades and a century, or even the world may end to bring complete happiness for women and set them free from the shackles of noxious societal and cultural norms.

To pave a smooth and toxic-free environment for our upcoming generation, we need to voice our concerns now.

It’s time to speak

Nevertheless, raising awareness and making the other women think is the solution. Being an individual, specifically a woman, use all your means to speak against the ill practices, virulent thoughts and raise awareness. If you are in charge of raising your voice and making people hear, be vocal about it, raise your voice against gender stereotypes.

Responsibility on the shoulders of Mothers

However, this may sound an irrelevant point for me as a mother, and it plays a significant role and is a game-changer.

Make your kids learn to respect their choices, personal space and shoulder the burden. I believe more responsibility is on the shoulders of the mothers of male children. For centuries, we have been taking stern actions in bringing up our girls; the change would only come if the other half of the genders learned the basic rules.

Sow the seeds of education

Education itself is the awareness, but without awareness, the learning from the education will be lost.

Education, awareness, and being brought up go hand in hand to bear the best fruits. Providing the individual with education plays a significant role in changing the mindset of society.

Challenge the anomaly

You cannot stop the wagging tongues. But can you stop responding to the normal and set standards of society? Seeking the sanity of your mind is the ultimate solution. Just forget who thinks what. Stop running after the measures of perfectionism. Be content in what you are and what you do. However, do seek your mental peace. Perhaps, self-growth and personal development to achieve inner happiness are not harmful. You can challenge the typical norms by giving a shut-up call to the other person making sexist jokes and comments for the other women.

Be less harsh on yourself

The only person who can be the best for you is ‘YOU.’

Stop fantasizing about the other’s life and stressing out yourself to achieve what society astonishes, be it the perfect thin yet curvy feminine body and look. Be the ideal and successful married life, even if you’re going through a rough patch of your life. Before anyone else would speak up for you and make you aware of right and wrong. It is you who needs to be less harsh with you.

The Bottomline

There is no standard of being perfect, and there is no gender who can be perfect in the eyes of society, and there can be no man who can be the best in the eyes of every human. So do not lose your mental health and of others to fulfill society’s expectations; instead, the perfect and successful woman is one who is happy and not stressed. So don’t take this perfection syndrome and pressure toll on your life.

‘The real perfectionism lies in how you tackle your imperfection and deal with it perfectly.’

Fujn is a platform that promotes women’s learning, success, intelligence, happiness, and emotional wellbeing. Join Fujn to learn, grow, get jobs, and make money. Launching in 2022.

Authored by Afsheen Khan for Fujn