By Danyelle Roquemore
The role of a woman is often defined in black and white terms: She is either a timid, subservient, anti-feminist housewife or a bra-burning, man-hating radical feminist.
With these two extremes, it’s hard to be comfortable and confident as a woman, because it is difficult to decipher exactly what society expects of us.
The funny thing is, I don’t personally know any women who fit into just one of those two molds; they’re all somewhere in the middle, overcoming obstacles in both fields.
A good friend of mine is very liberal in her views on gender roles, but she is also a stay-at-home mom.
She made the decision to stay home, and not because her husband forced her to. She chose to watch her daughters grow up and be more involved in their lives than she would have been if she had a full-time job.
Conversely, my mother is moderately conservative, believing in more traditional gender roles, but she has been a single mom most of my life. She worked two jobs because she didn’t feel like she had to have a man to help her raise my sister and me.
Since I have seen women flourish in the middle of the spectrum, I believe both radical feminists and anti-feminists do women a disservice because both groups put women in a box.
They make it seem like we have to be on one side or the other for fear of not fitting a certain mold.
When one woman attacks another, they’re minimizing all the efforts women before us have made. We have to stop tearing each other down just because someone else has a different family dynamic or belief about gender roles.
We have to lift our fellow women up and support them in whatever role they decide to take on.
Women can do anything they want to because we are versatile; our roles are ever-changing.
We can be wives, mothers, or breadwinners. Or all three. And we can be happy fulfilling all of those roles. I believe women can be business executives, good wives, and loving mothers all at the same time, if that’s what they choose to spend their lives doing.
Our minds and bodies are strong, and that’s something that isn’t often celebrated in our culture.
But it should be.
Women aren’t weaklings who need protection and to be locked away in a house; we are social creatures with problem-solving skills that can be utilized in the workplace as well as in the home.
In the corporation I work for, many of the successful women are also mothers who have learned how to solve problems from years of experience with their children.
I plan on being a mother, a wife and a business professional because, as a woman, I am entitled to make that decision and I have the power to do so.