In the past few decades women have been on the move. We have advanced our position in this world and have successfully obtained more equal opportunities in the work place. Although there are still very few female leaders then there really should be, women have still managed to get their foot in the door. Unfortunately, this particular decade has brought with it great economic loss and it’s no longer as easy to become a successful American professional. In this year, 2012, Men and women alike have found themselves in a strange place. It’s not just difficult for women to find a job, now it’s also hard for men. Even highly educated men, and senior executives have the possibility for joblessness, it seems that no one is safe from this economic crisis.
As an educated middle-class, white woman I find myself in a funny position. I have nearly graduated and I am already carefully planning my future. All of my girl friends are planning their futures as well with out any expectation of starting a family or relying on a man for economic support. I feel a great push towards independent success, but it makes me wonder if it’s because women can no longer rely on a man for stability because there’s no stability to be had, or if women are truly becoming more equal. When times are hard, women make it work with out question. In the early 1940’s when millions of young American men went over seas, women picked up factory jobs to help support the war effort. Women stampeded into the work force not only because it was an expectation, but because they finally could. Could that be what’s happening now? Are we all just finding our own financial independence because we really want to, or is it because we think, “hey I have as much of a chance at finding a job, as he does”? Southern Belles who attend Ole Miss and major in MRS. must be facing their own serious crises right now.
Now, what if you’re a woman whose future doesn’t involve an executive position, or even a successful career? What if you’re the kind of woman who would gladly trade in her briefcase for a baby and a wedding ring, is there anything wrong with that? Absolutely not. Your future is your own, every woman should have a back up plan for her life. It’s never a good idea to play Rapunzel and wait around for a prince on a white horse to come save her, that’s just bad planning. No man wants to climb up your hair, I don’t care how strong and shiny it is. But, if your true goal in life is motherhood, or being a wife, well then go make yourself a family.
I used to battle with this a lot in my own mind. I love writing and I have many big dreams but I know that I will never truly feel fulfilled in this world if I don’t have children and an uplifting marriage. I used to think that it made me sound “weak” to buy into the whole idea that you, me, and baby makes three because I thought it was “un-feminist” or something. Then I realized that I was selling myself the very bullshit that I fight against everyday. Being a feminist and a strong woman means that you’re following your own voice and letting it take you, where you want to go. It’s about choice and feeling grounded in your life decisions and goals. If you were put on this earth to lead, then push your way through that glass ceiling and make it rain on the people beneath you. If you were born to being a mother then for God’s sake have babies and take pride in your ability to be a caregiver, and finally if your soul’s desire is to be in partnership with a man (or woman) then allow yourself to live your fullest life in love.
The most important part of planning for your future is asking yourself, “What will make me fulfilled?” If you don’t know, don’t panic, just keep asking. A female senator isn’t any better than a mother of four because she’s breaking ground, mothers break ground everyday. Every woman is unique and able to be wonderfully successful in her own rite. As women, we are human beings which guarantees that we are capable of making our own ways in life. Being pushed into politics, or medicine, is just as bad as being told you can’t be anything besides a homemaker, because it’s taking away our choice. Be firm, and grounded in your goals and allow yourself to invite them in with open arms.