The Roles we play as Women
And why we should play them our way.
We know what is expected of us, in the different roles we play throughout our lives. Whether we are the big sister or the little sister, a daughter. There is a picture in which the worlds wants us to fit, as well in our carrier choice, as a girlfriend, wife and mother. The world shaped roles for us as women, for our looks, as well as our thinking patterns and it would like to see us fulfil these roles.
The times may be changing but to act according to these roles is still deeply rooted in us and it sometimes seems that even today, there is a circle surrounding us and as long as we play inside those lines, we do not rebel against the role designed for us. When we cross them, we have to face criticism in our own way or another, we have to accept not living up to their expectations.
Unfortunately, this is something we fear deeply.
As girls and women, we are even today measured to a code of conduct. Mitigated but still, we should not talk like men and it is liked to see us behave like ladies. We are trimmed in being deferential. We are free to choose any career we like but our main career still seems to take care of the kids. During this pandemic, the fact that childcare is still the first and foremost part of our role as women became obvious. It was out of the question.
In sports, there is always some attention to how women look, if they are still pretty to watch and if that particular sport changes a feminine look. Regarding relationships, it still seems as if it is our obligation, the main part of our role as women, to find a partner. We are prone to ask our friend who is currently single: Why are you still single? Suggesting that someone has to fall in love with her because she is that awesome and of course, she has to be looking for someone. Being currently fulfilled without a relationship as a woman just does not quite fit the role.
How often have we asked our male friends that question? Men are not ripped off their right of being happy and fulfilled without a relationship. In fact, they are then viewed as focused on their careers, or their self-fulfilment and often relationships are seen as a distraction. How the world sees male and female roles may be changing, but as long as we let those roles constrict us in some way, there cannot be real change.
However, the roles we play in life change. We change from students to employees, to becoming the boss. From being a daughter to being a wife and a mother. We can choose who we are in life, whether it is the housewife or the female manager. However, those choices are viewed differently by the world and that still affects us. It puts pressure on us, whether we consciously recognize it or not, to play the role as expected from us as women. There are so many negatively charged terms to label us when we cross the lines around us and act out and this is exactly why we sometimes fear to be and do exactly what we like. Just think about the word used to describe single women who enjoy being single, going out and meeting people, whether for a night or a few weeks.
We learn this kind of labelling very early and often enough we as women judge other women. We cannot help ourselves, since we internalized those roles so early. Maybe because we secretly envy those of us who are themselves regardless of what the world calls them. We as women should give ourselves permission to play the role as women as we like. It is our life, a life that is mostly free to choose for us and we are not here to only meet the expectations of others.
Our goal should not be to be loved by everyone, first of all, we should love ourselves and every part of us, that does not fit the role completely. This is the way to show the world that the times are in fact changing. Our perspectives have to change first.
Only when we internalize this, when we stop judging other women for their life choices or their looks, when we do and say what we like, when we express ourselves, without feeling engaged to another lifestyle, then has the female role really changed.
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