March 8 in the consumer system is another time point in relation to which gatherings and discounts are organized in shopping centers. The date between Valentine’s Day and Easter. However, March 8 is celebrated because Clara Zetkin, a feminist and communist, advocated the introduction of International Women’s Day – as a symbol of the early 20th century women’s struggle for social, economic, and political gender equality.
If March 8 is Women’s Day, what will we do with other days and what are some psychological effects of modern society on women?
What would Clara Zetkin say if she could browse women’s magazines today? She would see articles that show how to get rid of cellulite, how to reduce wrinkles, how some famous mothers managed to lose weight in three months before giving birth. She would see pictures of teenage girls advertising clothes that can be bought by employed women over the age of thirty.
And while the content of the texts varies from giving advice on how to solve the problem to giving support that the problem should not be solved, but live with them, the nonverbal part of the picture sends the message that it is important to look happy, successful, thin, well-groomed. There is an imperative of physical beauty and the material of success. As with magazines, a similar approach to today’s women exists in TV commercials and shows.
The society offers certain standards of social eligibility and does not ask what the psychological price of success in such a society is. And while the statements “woman, mother, queen”, “superwoman”, can be understood as compliments, the energy of the woman to whom they say it, shows “battery low”.
In psychotherapy, it is believed that setting goals in life should be realistic – that the goal itself should be a challenge and that the person has the capacity to meet that goal.
Public opinion sets an unrealistic goal for today’s woman, and that is to be considered successful only if she has managed to fulfill high conditions in several fields. And not only to fulfill but to maintain it continuously. That she looks physically younger than she is, that she must not be overweight, that she should have an emotional partner (because if she doesn’t, “something is wrong with her”), that when she comes home from work, she cooks lunch (because I don’t think so) that she doesn’t know how to cook something, but goes to a restaurant or eats in a bakery ”), that she is in the mood to play with children, that she must have a “mild temper” (“because it’s not nice for a woman to be angry”)… The public opinion he will not ask if she is satisfied with her life – she will assume that if the image of a person is like an image from a magazine: young, smiling, successful according to limited set criteria.
Public opinion will not ask, but psychologists will. Such messages that exist in society can be a risk to the individual if the individual accepts them as accurate and good. This goal is not good when its fulfillment arises in response to the imperative “you must be like that”, “it is the only sign of success”.
In the long run, meeting these goals is impossible without a significant psychological cost. In accepting and fulfilling imperatives, a person reduces contact with personal desires and personal values. If fulfilling the imperative of a “superwoman” is a long-term path to feelings of dissatisfaction, guilt, failure, and the potential for various psychosomatic problems, where is the solution? What is the antidote to the idea of a “superwoman”?
The idea of not being a great woman! In an environment that is not benevolent, it is necessary for a woman to allow herself not to be “perfect”.
That the experience of personal success is based on her personal desires and personal values. To recognize successes in everyday life. That there are no steps that are taken for granted. That going to the market and cooking lunch for children, even though it is not well-groomed, is a great thing. Yes, if he doesn’t want to have children, he can dress up and not feel guilty about it. That pleasure is an experience, not an image.
This means that some aunts or uncles at the wedding will be able to comment that it is strange that a woman is 30 or older and not married, that she should lose weight and be able to let her hair down because girls need to wear long hair, to shorten her nails, because how can she wash the dishes with such nails, that her peer already has two children, that someone has a higher salary than her…
The list is endless, and the message is one: that nothing is good enough.
In that case, you have two options: to follow your aunt’s values or your own.
The choice is yours.
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