The Moral Dilemma Of The Modern Woman

The Moral Dilemma Of The Modern Woman

Balancing ideals of a career, family, and personal fulfillment is becoming a battle that needs to be talked about.

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Being a young woman in college feels like such an in-between stage of exploration and realization, where I'm trying my best to finagle my own identity and perception of the world. As a graduating senior, I am forced to face, what I call, the moral dilemma of the modern woman, of trying to balance relationships/familial values all while pursuing a career. To clarify, a modern woman does necessarily mean a woman who has children and is working, but someone who is pursuing their personal fulfillment on their own timeline. And although society has made incredible strides in women's rights and roles in society, there seems to be an internal pressure for women that is not quite talked about. So I'm here to start a conversation, as young women who are on the brink of entering the "grown-up" world and is, quite frankly, a tad terrified.

I've been lucky enough to be around enough supportive people to never question or compromise my potential. I've studied abroad, transferred schools, been in a long distance relationship, and have been at least 12 hours from home these past four years. I feel like a pretty strong and independent woman. For graduate school, I plan to pursue a clinical doctorate and Ph.D. in occupational therapy at The Ohio State University, which will take me around 5 years to complete. I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity, yet I feel as if I have to put other parts of my life on "hold" for my education.

Being from Connecticut and attending school in Mississippi, the idea of getting married right after college is still a bit taboo to me. Yet, as I am graduating it seems that so many people around me are getting engaged during their junior and senior year. Sure, getting married young sounds appealing to me (with a boyfriend of almost six years), but it is not realistic for us financially or educationally to start a family any time soon. By the time I even start my career I will be around 27, which really pushes everything else back. I don't feel guilty for pursuing higher education, in fact, I am so grateful for the opportunity and will absolutely make the most of it. But deep down, it is a bit unsettling that my "timelines" (educational, biological, relational) don't really match up. And I'm sure motherhood will be a whole new set of struggles with balancing a career and family life when that time comes. I feel like I have so much to give to my future family, but also so much to give to society in a career I am passionate about. Where's the balance on that scale?

Again, I don't have the answers, just some questions to start the conversation.

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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The Problem With Men

The damage of toxic masculinity.

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Toxic masculinity is deeply rooted in stereotypes held for the male population. It's characteristics are a constant outward appearance of being strong mentally and physically, a suppression of emotion, and a violent behavior to assume a presence of power. The problem with men isn't men themselves, but societies reinforcement of these qualities defined as toxic masculinity. Nevertheless, men are still responsible for their actions and should hold themselves accountable.

Toxic masculinity causes problems for everyone, but it is particularly harmful to women. It is a contributing cause to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. The United States has begun to recognize these issues and people have come together to fight them. What becomes overlooked, is the damage toxic masculinity has on men. The constant need to be strong and conceal emotion is extremely harmful to mental health. We cannot all be strong all the time, but that is the societal standard for men. This can be a contributing factor of increased suicide rates and decreased mental health in the male population. The need to prove power through violence could also be a reason for the overwhelming amount of men to women in the prison population. Some examples of the lesser effects of toxic masculinity are the assumptions that boys cannot play with dolls or like princesses, that men cannot wear dresses or skirts, and that men cannot be interested in makeup or clothing. This greatly limits individuality and outer expression for men. Girls have gained the acceptance to play with trucks or like superheroes, women can wear pants, and can be interested in cars or tools. There is still a long way to go for women, but for men, the battle for these simple things has not even been won.

Toxic masculinity stems from the fact that men are still held as superior to women. To show emotion, or to be 'weak', or to do anything that makes them akin to women will undermine their societal superiority. Inequality of the sexes has led to the issue of toxic masculinity and it all comes from prejudice and discrimination against women. To fix toxic masculinity we have to address the issue of perceived inferiority of women. Men cannot get completely better until the problem that births all the rest, is solved.

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