It is pretty well-known here in the United States and beyond, that the traditional role as a woman was wife, mother and for lack of a better word, homemaker. When my parents were young, that was the way it was. However, in modern-day America 70+ percent are in the workforce. Many, still expected to carry on the traditional roles once their workday is done. Many like myself not only take on these dual roles, but also return to school. As the Joseph F. Healey states “Across all these changes and around the globe, women commonly face the challenge of reconciling their new work demands with their traditional family responsibilities.” Now this isn’t just U.S. women, this is women all across the globe. If this weren’t enough, many of us women across the globe are also being exploited by becoming cheap labor and victims in the sex trade and have to deal with sexual harassment. We still have to deal with the ideals attached to our gender that just because we have a uterus we were made for childbearing. Quite sarcastically I remark “Ain’t it grand to be a woman!” Postindustrial society has left many of us without a choice. We have to work. For those of us who want to work yet still want to also be mothers we face worry of repercussions from our jobs. If our children get sick, we may have to call off to care for them as daycares in most cases strongly encourage you to not bring them your sick children. We face trying to get chores done while accommodating our families needs. Many women are forgoing the choice to have children and choosing careers instead, only to be chastised for not fulfilling our duties as women. The attitude is you cannot effectively raise a family and be a career woman too. Unfortunately, many people who grew up in the times where women didn’t have to work, don’t understand that many women today just don’t have a choice. When many of us do enter the paid labor force, we are still looked at as only fit for a job that is lower in pay. I feel this is why many of us return to school so we can qualify for higher paying jobs and try to raise our earning potential. Many women are single mothers so there is a great need to make as much as possible to care for their children. I believe this only aids in keeping our gender so exploited. There are mouths to be fed so we do what we have to in order to care for ourselves and our children. A great example of this is the maquiladoras that employ cheap labor outside the U.S. This cheap labor is called “Woman.”
I do not feel this will change anytime soon. Even though we are breaking tradition, in many cases it is forced by a much larger hand that will push is into poverty than our own choices. I love being able to provide for my family, take care of my children and the opportunity for an education. However, it comes at great costs to my health in the way of lack of rest and large amounts of stress. I feel a common bond to women all around the world who make the same sacrifices. I feel this brings us together as women and makes us more sensitive to each other regardless of our race, ethnicity or age. However, it does not ease the issues that we will likely face for a very long time.