Social Constraints Placed Upon Women Essay

1117 words - 4 pages

Think about the men and women in everyday life and compare their actual successes to their aptitudes, drives, and intelligences that would theoretically enable them to achieve success. Excluding factors such as differing social backgrounds and upbringings, it does not seem that an ‘aptly prepared’, ‘decently intelligent’, or ‘hard-working’ sort of woman will always achieve in the real world. No, many females are deterred from scholastic and professional achievement by social expectations, many of which are outdated because they are ‘standards’ that have been set too low.
When asked about what they wanted to be when they grew up, many of my female classmates responded that they would like to be stay-home-at-home moms. I was puzzled. I believe that women and men are fundamentally the same and that it is just the social constraints that put limits on what women “can” and “cannot” do. Really and truly, they can do anything and everything, but it is just a question of whether it is socially acceptable or not. This scenario is really no different from when a mathematically gifted person asserts all the reasons why he or she could not be simultaneously adept at both math and literature, and vice versa. Some exceptional human beings, like the polymath Leonardo DaVinci, decided to pay these social expectations no heed. If these limits were removed by disregarding what society expects, then real progress could be made since there would be infinite possibilities of favorable outcomes. Sure, it is true that generally speaking, there are a few psychological differences between men and women, but those differences are slight and insignificant. It is generally true that men speak to help people or to fix problems while women speak to form social bonds; it is generally true that men judge themselves by what they have achieved while women judge themselves by the quality of the relationships they are in; it is generally true that men are more assertive while women are more compromising; it is generally true that men engage in more aggressive forms of play in childhood to prepare themselves for the real world while women engage in gentler, more nurturing forms of play associated with making social connections. However, these differences are complementary and many people discover that as they grow older and more mature, they adopt traits commonly attributed to their opposite sex. This evidence further leads me to conclude that gender-typing is irrelevant in a modern-day world.
Today, young women are setting their own expectations too low---they think they only need to be a good wife, mother, and housekeeper, but that is not the case. That thinking is similar to Daisy Buchanan’s when she thought that her daughter could only be a “beautiful little fool”(Fitzgerald 21), but Daisy cannot be blamed since she had lived decades back in the 1920s when much social change had yet to happen. Since I am an Asian girl, my parents don’t set extremely high scholastic...

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