Being a woman is hard, that is an indisputable fact and I’m sure it has never been easy regardless of which time era you focus on. Today is often considered by many a ‘post-feminist’ era, a time where feminist movements are behind us and equality is at its peak. Those who believe this are partly right, equality is at its highest peak. We have never lived in a society with as much equality as we have in today’s day and age. Whether that means we have come to the end goals of finding true equality between genders is highly questionable. Great progress has been made and I have no doubt that great progress will be made in the years to come but let us not jump the gun and throw our towels in now.
One problem that I feel that is extremely concerning for females is all these conflicting ideologies of what it means to be a woman in today’s society. Growing up as a woman is horrendously complicated, it is as if you have begun playing a board game that you have never even seen before. And then all of a sudden the 5 other players are shouting different explanations at you and have these unrealistic expectations that you will fully grasp what you are doing in under two minutes. Then if you dare slip up after that you will forever be shunned and penalized for the error of your attempts, even though it was not your fault that you never got any clarity on what is going on in the first place. Everywhere you look you will see media content adamantly defining what being female is, but they are all so utterly conflicting that you can almost guarantee that no matter which option you choose to follow you will still always be a disappointment in the eyes of many. If you wear make up and high heels, you are unfeminist? If you don’t shave your legs, you are not a real woman? If you priorities your career, you are a terrible mother? if you are a housewife, you are a traitor? these complaints are endless.
But what really riles me up is that when I witness these atrocious judgement being passed the perpetrators are 8 out of 10 times, females. We are our own worse enemies, casting our disapproval and judgement over any woman who dares live her life differently to the one we have chosen. How can anyone believes they can define the purpose of an entire gender is beyond me. Feminist or not no one has any right to belittle others and enforce their views onto someone else. It’s time for a reality check, females are the cause of our genders confusion in this post-feminist era and it is not because there are so many more options now. When you think about it, having options is exactly what feminism was always about, gaining equality was to allow women to chose roles that made them happiest. But despite having so many more choices nowadays, we still go ahead and limit each other with cruel judgement and verdicts. We box in every single woman and penalises her if she dares go beyond the definition that we deem as the best way to be female. The worst part of course is that there are at least a good 20 popular definitions of what a woman should be like, ranging from a feminist view point to a post-feminist one. So regardless of what you do as a woman you will never get it 100% right for everyone. It is this which suffocates today’s modern woman despite the increased freedom. If we could just let each individual woman find their own definition without pressuring them into fitting a mold. And if their version so happens to be a definition outside of your own then instead of casting hatred and judgement towards them perhaps an alternative could just be some good old fashioned respect or maybe even an attempt at understanding.
Ultimately if we want to reach equality in the future then we have to start letting woman choose to be anything they so please, whether that falls under feminism or post-feminism is irrelevant. Each woman should be allowed the freedom to make their own personal definition of what being female means to them. When we allow this then we will be one step closer to reaching equality, because a united female gender that doesn’t tear each other down but promotes and celebrates individuality and differences will be be far stronger.