Today women have more opportunities than at any prior time but still are expected to fill an almost comically large number of roles”, writes psychiatrist Anna Fels, author of the book “Necessary Dreams: ambition in women’s changing lives”.
Fels notes that:
- Women view ambition as selfishness, self-aggrandizement, egotism, or manipulation of others for one’s own ends
- Women who deplored ambition in reference to their own lives freely admitted to admiring it in men
- Today’s women of accomplishment in the public eye often repeat the same self-abnegating stance of women of earlier times • Women’s source of identity and affirmation is heavily drawn from private relationships rather than talent, skill, or hard work
- Lack of a romantic heterosexual relationship de-sexes a woman since the existence and quality of her attachments define her femininity
- Women speak less than their male counterparts in conversations, classes, business gatherings, or conferences when men are present
- Decades of studies suggest that women’s deferential behavior in regards to recognition is not “natural” but is socially conditioned.
While Fels’ does not in any way diminish the role of motherhood, given the points she makes, should we celebrate ‘Women’s Day’ to expand on our appreciation and affirmation of women for the many roles they fulfill, not only the role of mother? I’d like to hear your thoughts on the matter.