Since the very beginning of time women were supposed to stay in their caves, keep the fire lit and kids fed, while men, the heads of the families, were hunting. At that time, those gender roles were justified by men’s physical strength and women’s ability to give birth. But the historical epochs have given way to the following ones, and the ideas of women’s role in a family and the society have changed as well, but the vestiges of the past ideas have turned into pressure for modern women.
It is important to understand that the pressure and judgments not always come from men, but also from women who feel entitled to tell other females, what they should or should not do to become a “real women”, which they themselves may not always be.
Women are by nature more emotionally expressive than men even though both men and women feel emotions at approximately the same level. Despite that, society expects from females to be humble, content with whatever way people treat them and always smiling, thus women feel like this is what they should always be, or at least seem to be, even if inside of them there’s an ocean of tears or a volcano of anger. So, from a very young age, girls start collecting a wall of masks and train their “I’m fine” to sound natural because if they let at least one drop of the lava out, people will portray them as “overreacting, overemotional, whining, attention seeking, annoying etc” or assume that the reason for the tears is their period, which is one more part of being a female women are pressured to hide.
When it comes to bodies and appearances women are sexualised. A lot of people refer to them as an object and treat them like one. Social media makes the negative effect on women even bigger as there are too many opinions on what a woman’s body should look like, and they are often controversial, which makes females think, that the only important thing about them is their appearance and without a “perfect body” they aren’t worth much. Because of that many women and young girls overwork themselves during work out sessions and go on dangerous diets, damaging both their physical and mental health.
People don’t seem to notice all the great ideas hidden behind the belief that women are nothing but their looks. However, society listens to men’s thoughts because…well, they are men. Situations like this convince women that they have to achieve a whole lot of things so people to treat them respectfully and pay attention to whatever they have to say.
The pressure to be in a relationship, to have children, or at least want to be a momma one day, also has to be mentioned. The idea that females have to want children comes from a woman’s “original meaning”. But the only thing this pressure does to women is stresses them out even more, or make them give birth when they are not ready to take care of a baby, just like the pressure to be in a relationship leads to women getting in a relationship when it’s not the right time.
Even though women are still locked in a cave; the walls of which are now made of people’s unnecessary opinions and stereotypes, more and more space appears as there are too many strong women for the walls to restrain. And it may not be tomorrow, but the day when women and men are treated equally will certainly come.