Women are not superwomen

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/12/19 19:03:39

A recent opinion piece in your newspaper titled "Face it, feminists, many women would rather lie down, not lean in" discussed the current trend that an increasing number of women are more willing to enjoy relaxation rather than compete vigorously with men in the workplaces.

In ancient times, women were heavily influenced by the Three Obediences and Four Virtues, stressing that women should be family-oriented and subordinate to men. But the progress of democracy has invoked the awareness of women's rights and the emergence of feminism. With emotional and inspiring slogans emphasizing their important role, many women try their best to make remarkable achievements in both their family and workplace.

However, some women find they struggle with these roles and have less time to enjoy life. In the workplace, women are encouraged to compete with men in various fields and certify that their ability is as strong as that of men. After finishing one day's work, they have to take care of the children and do housework while many men just kick off their shoes and lie on the sofa, complaining about the working burden they have to shoulder.

I have seen too many similar episodes in my life. With a baby in one hand, my cousin had to wash dishes and then cleaned the floor, all after having worked an eight-hour day. She never got any time for herself until 9 pm. Nevertheless, her husband often did nothing at home except watch TV or play games.

So now there is a new trend that some women choose to focus on one of the dual roles of working or being a stay-at-home mom.

My friend is an example. With a master's degree from a famous university in Beijing, she found a well-paid job. Nevertheless, she decided to become a housewife after she and her husband had a baby. Some of her friends thought she should not quit her job as her good education would be wasted.

She did not think so though. She once said to me, "I have tried to balance work and family, but the combination of the two is too great a burden to bear." With much deliberation, she decided to focus on her family which can inspire more of her interest.

"Compared with work, nurturing the next generation and maintaining a harmonious family are even greater undertakings," she said.

Feminism stresses the equal status of women and men, and encourages women to make achievements in fields dominated by men. But this does not mean that a woman has to be outstanding in all fields, which is not realistic and goes beyond one's capability.

When pursuing feminism, women don't need to take on more roles than men as it is also a kind of inequality. It is suggested that both women and men share the responsibilities of family and work or concentrate on one.

Work and family are both great projects consuming a large amount of time and energy. If a woman feels able to do both, she can take this course. However, if she discovers she can't pull double duty, she doesn't need to feel sorry. After all, feminism does not ask women to be competitive both in the workplace and in the family.

Besides, women are not superwomen.

Mu Mu, a freelance writer based in Beijing

Posted in: LETTERS

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