Following up on last week’s Feminists: Born or Raised post and being bombarded by more than my fair share of the Oscars, Natalie Portman’s pregnancy, and the Black Swan plot debate, I was pondering on the unavoidable stereotyping and labeling.
(You are wrong. This post will not be about feminism – guys, relax and read on.)
Expectations about women – pregnant women especially – are pretty much cast in stone. When someone pregnant stays on and continues her relentless pace, some people frown.
Characters like Black Swan’s Nina clearly show that the steep price of a woman’s success will be the death of her traditionally nurturing relationships; her sure stumble under the unbearable weight of her balancing act; and the final betrayal of her dreams and possibly that of her family as well.
In a 2010 study of the Center for Work-Life Policy, co-authors conclude: “It’s a classic catch-22: a woman’s personal choices, whatever they may be, brand her as not quite leadership material.”
Frankly, I am tired of such affirmations of female powerlessness.
All of us, men and women alike, are making thousands of choices on all kinds of different subjects. Men, equal to women, suffer the consequences of their ambitions, having their sons and daughters blame them for their absenteeism as some of them are growing up needing their fathers who are burning the midnight oil working hard at their jobs. While societal expectations are different for men, sometimes the burden of the preconditions ease the difficulty of the choices. Is there a point in looking back and questioning the options and the decisions we have all been making?
From the moment we leave our mom’s warm and cozy womb, slapped on our cute little behind to kick start our first independent breath to the moment we die, life’s full of sacrifices and that triple shot of compromise. There will always be second guessing, ambivalence and what ifs. But I fail to see the usefulness of looking back, assigning blame, guilt or regret – and most importantly – finding the differences, the cons, the negatives, the difficulties.
Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt when she turned back. Looking to the future and deciding on the next big (or small) thing you simply have to do gives you a better chance to your own future, your plan, your target.
Does it matter if you are a man or a woman? Why then hesitate?