What is it with this tired and silly objection to feminism as something that makes women be “everything to everyone”? I keep encountering this truly meaningless statement repeated like a mantra on a variety of blogs, including ones that claim to be feminist.
See a few examples:
– Today’s modern woman is expected to be everything to everyone – loving mother, sexy spouse, affectionate companion, capable career woman, faithful daughter, supportive friend, all while looking amazing doing it.
– The media icon of the “superwoman” who “had it all” and was everything to everyone: devoted wife, sensuous lover, caring mom, competent professional, fit recreational athlete, while looking and feeling great.
I could post dozens more of links to these statements that all sound completely identical and make absolutely no sense. If you are “everything to everybody”, that would make it kind of hard to be “a devoted wife.” The media probably do not promote adultery in this very patriarchal society, so the “superwoman” in question is probably a devoted wife and a sensuous lover to the same person.
The creators of these weird lists strive so hard to make it seem like liberated feminist women do, indeed, have way too many roles they need to undertake that they simply put a bunch of synonyms together, hoping the readers would be duped into feeling sorry for women who have to be “affectionate companions” and “supportive friends” at the same time. As if it weren’t the same thing.
Since this still doesn’t seem like a long enough list, outlandish verbal contortions like “faithful daughter” appear. What does it even mean? Does a faithful daughter have to struggle to avoid cheating on her parents with other parents? Yes, a harsh struggle, indeed.
As for being a fit athlete in order to be accepted by contemporary society as a liberated woman, this isn’t even funny. If there is a place on earth where athleticism is neither expected nor encouraged in adults, it’s the US. Pretending that non-athletic adult women are somehow stigmatized by the media is just silly.
And what about the six-inch stilettos that the feminist revolution supposedly pushed all of us into? I can only think of a couple of jobs where you can pursue your profession wearing them. For the majority of jobs, however, this kind of footwear is not only not required. It simply isn’t allowed.
So what are we left with when we look closely at these claims that feminism expects women to be “everything to everybody”? Nothing but what we expect from men on a daily basis without seeing it as a huge burden: having both a personal and a professional life. Existing both in the private and the public arena without falling apart is something that, in the warped worldview of these quasi-feminists, can easily be accomplished by a man but is too much for the feeble powers of a fragile little lady.
And now my husband will drive me to work where I’m not going to be “everything to everyone” but simply a professor to some and a colleague to others. And believe me, it isn’t that great of a burden at all. It’s actually lots of fun. And nobody forces me into stiletto heels at the entrance.