Biting Off More Than We Can Chew Essay

Submitted By AWallace1203
Words: 1232
Pages: 5

Biting Off More Than We Can Chew

The opportunities of enrichment for women have certainly improved since the 1800’s, but the role of women in today’s society can be better described as expanded, rather than all together changed. Women in the 1800’s did all the cooking, cleaning, and childrearing. However, many of the women today still do all of those jobs and have gained the right to pursue a career, obtain a leadership position, and take on traditional male roles. As a result, women face the heavy back load of balancing original female roles and career opportunities. Women today have made graceful strides towards equal opportunities in society today, but the unchanged roles of men in society and their view of a “woman’s” role in society prevent true equality and forces more of a work load on women. Back in the “good ole days,” women were viewed as property. They were bound to their father’s beck and call until they were married and then became their husband’s property. Women were expected to cook dinner for the family, clean the house, and take care of the children. Outside of these expectations, a woman did not have any other value to society. This view meant that without the support of a father or a husband a woman was seen absolutely helpless, and in the case of “A Rose for Emily,” she became alienated from the public. After the death of Emily’s father and the unfortunate outcome of her marriage status, she no longer had any reason to leave her house and the whole town began to talk about her predicament. “So the next day we all said, ‘She will kill herself’; and we said it would be the best thing” (Faulkner 291). In that era, a woman who was not married and left to fend for herself might as well have killed herself. Fortunately, women today are not chained to their men and have accomplished the freedom to lead their lives independently without the need of financial support from a man. However, this fact does not mean that women should do everything by themselves. For instance, in American Women have it all Wrong, Debora says, “Through all this chaos I have become increasingly convinced of two interconnected points. First, that there is undeniably still a ‘women's problem’ in the United States, a problem that relates deeply and intimately to the bleak roster of numbers that tell this story” (Spar 2). Then she goes on saying, “And second, that part of this intractable problem is tied to the fact that women in this country are struggling far more than is necessary not only to have that ephemeral "all," but to do it all alone” (Spar 2).
Consequently, this is true- rather than leaping with glee at the liberation that has befallen women since the 1960s, we are laboring instead under a double whammy of impossible expectations-the old-fashioned ones- to be good mothers and wives, impeccable housekeepers and blushing brides and those formed more recently- to be athletic, strong, sexually versatile, and entirely independent. Consequently, the result is that we have become a generation desperate to be perfect wives, mothers, and professionals-A.K.A Super-Moms who prepare organic meals each evening after waltzing home from the office in our Manolo Blahnik heels. Even worse, we somehow believe that we need to do all of this at once, and without any help. Almost by definition, a woman cannot work a 60-hour-per-week job and be the same kind of parent she would have been without the 60-hour-per-week job. No man can do this; no human can do this. Yet women are repeatedly scolding themselves for failing at this kind of balancing act. But at the end of the day, women who juggle children and jobs will still face a discrete and serious set of tensions that simply do not confront either men- except in very rare cases or women who remain childless. Women cannot avoid these tensions entirely, but they can make choices-and plans, if they are lucky-they will acknowledge them more carefully. Women can choose, for instance, between jobs…