Feminine Sensibilities

In Women on January 5, 2009 at 9:31 pm

From the time I was a little girl, I was told women could do anything. There was no one who ever said -not parents, not teachers, not TV-that a girl couldn’t be anything she wanted to be. I grew up with so many aspirations. When I was really small I wanted to a Doctor till I my mom told me about bedpans. Which by the way mom, nurses change not Drs. Then I wanted to be an actress, a figure skater, a film director and always I was encouraged. When In high school I told my parents I wanted to be a lawyer they kind of laughed at me. Not because women can’t be lawyers, but rather because I was such a dismal student and they couldn’t imagine me working that hard. Thing is I happen to have done exceptionally well in college and suddenly my parents had new found respect that I could be a lawyer.

I on the other hand had become caught up in more glamorous career pursuits. I saw myself in marketing or advertising, not a lawyer wearing stodgy suits buried in legal briefs. I tried PR only to realize that in order to make it you must be both cutthroat and a backstabber, two things I just wasn’t capable of. I realized at that point that law school was the way to go. Thing is there was always this weird doubt in the back of my mind.

There was this part of me that loved to cook and make my own accessories. Who sometimes thought it might be fun to be a stay at home wife albeit one who ran a business from her home but a woman’s woman; engaged in womanly pursuits and feminine sensibilities. I was shocked when I thought these things. All my life I had been told I could do anything, that I was smart and competent as any man. I started to wonder is it ok to not want an intellectual career? Is it okay in my community to not want to make a $100,000+ a year? I mean are making money and a fulfilling job not possible? Better yet does being a woman today mean that one must have a career that is deemed challenging and stimulating?

So many women fought for the right to work; the right to be free of their husband’s domination. These women fought to be more than a secretary or somebody’s mother. So it’s not surprising that I feel guilty for wanting to be the next Martha Stewart or Susie Fischbein. The question I ask myself, is it ok to crave domesticity instead of the boardroom? Or am I setting women back by wanting to have the choice of having a high powered career or the opportunity to work from home at my own pace? Have we as women come to a place where it’s ok to be women? Or are we still struggling to keep up in a man’s world……

  1. This is an important piece for many people to think about, men and women a like. Thank you for writing it.

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