A Guide To Modern Womanhood - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

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A Guide To Modern Womanhood

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It’s assumed that if you’re a woman, you must be good at cooking, cleaning, and making men happy. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t blessed with these domestic gifts. If it weren’t for Hamburger Helper, Panera Bread, and smoothies, I’d probably be dead.

Society encourages young girls to turn on their Easy-Bake Ovens and dress up their American Girl dolls, all in preparation for a life of housekeeping and child-rearing. I may’ve gone down that path myself, if not for the time I burnt my hand trying to make a brownie.

So maybe I’m not the best cook, and maybe I don’t always clean my dishes right away. I’m not a badass tomboy or anything – but how does any of this actually define me as a woman?

A Guide To Modern Womanhood

I don’t need a Hillary Clinton victory in 2016 to prove that women are making strides to beat the stereotype.

As time has progressed, thoughts have progressed about the roles of women in society. Bursting out of their kitchens, women broke into the business world and turned perspectives upside down. Breaking barriers once deemed impossible for women to do, men had no choice but to begin to look at women as equals in the workplace, and soon, the home.

As women began to be taken more seriously, the myths about women came to realization as well. Gone were the ideas that all women wanted to get married and have children as more and more women these days are satisfied with putting their careers first. As the social norms broke for women, so did the stereotypes of what women should be.

A Guide To Modern Womanhood

Myth: All women are good cooks.

Truth: It’s not so much that women are good cooks as it is they tend to prioritize preparing meals more than men. A survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that on an average day, 83 percent of women do some sort of housework, compared to 65 percent of men. With respect to food preparation and clean-up specifically, only 40 percent of men, compared to 66 percent of women, take responsibility for it. It’s not that we’re more cut out for cooking, but just that the task more frequently falls to us.

A Guide To Modern Womanhood

Myth: All women are good at cleaning.

Truth: We all know the gender roles when it comes to cleanliness for boys and girls: boys are expected to be filthy while girls are expected to be prim. Now we just need to do some research as to why a vacuum cleaner is now in the portrait of a standard housewife. One article said cleaning is a form of meditation. Another article said that women just have higher standards of cleanliness. They go on to say that if a house is a mess, the woman living there is the one who’ll be judged, not the man.

Myth: All women are all feminists.

Truth: Maybe to a degree, but the definition of feminism is ever-evolving. It comes down to the fact that women are equal to men and deserve every opportunity to prove it, not that I think men are scum. Feminists aren’t a different breed of person, they just demand the acknowledgement that anything he can do, I can do. I want a man to hold a door open for me, but I also want to get promotions for my hard work, not based on how I look in a skirt. Empowering organizations such as Lean In aren’t trying to make women kick all men to the curb, but instead give them the tools to realize they can and should stand on their own two feet without feeling inferior to men in and outside of the workplace. I want a six-figure income at some point – and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t get it.

Myth: Women don’t enjoy sex as much as guys.

Truth: Just because I’m not running around trying to sleep with everyone that looks good doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy sex. Women are just a bit more reserved about it, or at least they tend to be. Plus, we don’t have sex just to make the other person feel good; it’s about us, too, and don’t you forget it.

A Guide To Modern Womanhood

Myth: All women love to shop.

Truth: Women shop because they’re held to higher standards than men regarding appearance. I don’t need scientific facts to back that up. It’s hard to be taken seriously when you’re a young woman getting started in the business world, especially if you aren’t well dressed. When it comes to beauty, women are expected to be on top of their game at all times, while men are expected to simply slide by when it comes to appearance. In regard to clothing, the fashion industry is aimed mostly at women and their appearance far more than men. With a majority of the business aimed at women, naturally it’s linked to a desire of women to shop.

The Bottom Line

I don’t feel any shame about being bad at “women’s work,” and in 2013 I’m not convinced there’s any reason I should be.

Sometimes it comes down to what women are willing to talk about and what aspects of their lives they want to take responsibility for. Women have a lot more opportunities these days, but that’s not to say you’re any less of a woman if you do fit this “traditional” mold.

The fact of the matter is, women have other things to do in life besides cooking, cleaning and giving birth. These days, women are able to juggle all of that and more while still being happy. As times have changed, so has what’s expected of women. Some are stuck in the past, but progressive women all over the world are changing what women can do and refuse to be held to certain standards. Those are the women who aren’t tied to their cleaning supplies and want to be held in the same regard as men.

6 Comments

  1. Really inspiring article! Well, we have to admit… change is the only permanent thing in the world! Modern women can do A LOT MORE than what traditional women can. Old-fashioned expectations of women should really be changed and I think that the only way to do that is for modern women to show the world what we've got! Get out of the shell and show the world our innovative ideas 🙂

  2. Jen Spillane

    I like how this article shows how there are distinctions between what a woman wants to do and what she simply prioritizes. It's not that we love cooking or cleaning (surely a myth thought up by a male, haha); it's just that we're more likely to do these things, and I'm sure there's a ton of different reasons why that is the case depending on the woman.

  3. Hannah Mayers

    Yes, womanhood is NOT just about cooking, cleaning and SHOPPING! All the ladies out there, we can DO MORE! We can think and be productive in other things. It’s the modern day age, it’s time for us to move on and change the “stereotype image” of a woman!

  4. Jen Garcia

    The article is written for me! I represent all the myths identified and enumerated here.

    I’m married, I’m a wife and I have a child, BUT I make sure not to be “the traditional wife” that needs to stop working and progressing in career, be locked up in the house cleaning, cooking, taking care of the kids, waiting for my husband and giving him a massage.

    Don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that I don’t do all these things, I clean, I cook, I take care of my child, I wait for my husband and give him a massage BUT I make sure he helps me in performing these responsibilities. And I would have to admit that he’s a “better cook” than me.

    But I have nothing against those women who chose and opted to be a “full time housewife and mom” and dedicate their whole time and life to their family. It’s just that PERSONALLY, I don’t want this to happen in my married life. I mean I studied, graduated and got my college degree and of course, I would like to use that degree and progress in my career. Not just to earn financially but it’s for myself, to be confident and better. I believe if I feel better of myself, then I can be a better mom and wife.

    I really appreciate and commend how the author put a conclusion:

    “The fact of the matter is, women have other things to do in life besides cooking, cleaning and giving birth. These days, women are able to juggle all of that and more while still being happy. As times have changed, so has what’s expected of women. Some are stuck in the past, but progressive women all over the world are changing what women can do and refuse to be held to certain standards. “

  5. I hope my husband doesn't expect me to be the traditional wife. Yes I will cook, clean but I will also have my own life. I'll work socialize with friends and occasionally go out. I hope he's ready. Because this relationship will be 50/50

  6. Great article! I read once that, in a couple where both are working about equally, the woman still ends up doing most of the housework. There's no reason why that should be the case–these leftover double standards and outdated expectations for women need to be removed from our society!

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