Posted by: kelseywilson9275 | September 29, 2012

Why Women Should Stop Trying to be Perfect

Why Women Should Stop Trying to be Perfect

I found this article and thought it tied in very well with our discussions on the idea of women opting-out and balancing work and a family. In this article, Deborah Spar makes the argument that women are trying to be perfect in all aspects of their life and this is hindering their rise into higher positions. The main point I took from her argument is that women can be leaders or in high positions but they can’t do it alone and they can’t always do it perfectly. Women need help, not only from other women, but from men as well to rise in leadership. Spar claims that women are struggling because they are trying to do it all alone and they have this idea that everything needs to be done perfectly. Women think they need to be the best employee and make all the meetings, but they also think they need to be the perfect parent and be part of the PTA and run the bake sale. Spar isn’t saying that they should stop trying to balance these different things, but that they should get help. Women makes a great point by saying that even though the women’s movement in the 60s did help advance women in the workplace, it also gave women this idea of having it all because they fought so hard to move higher up in the workplace. Women cannot fight biology and the fact that only they can go through pregnancy, so they must enlist the help of others, including men. The problem is that both men and women are hesitant to bring up gender issues. Neither gender brings up theses issues because they are afraid of seeming radical or incorrect. 

What I really got from this article was that nothing will change if we don’t help each other. Spar talks of a woman in Mumbai who has a kind of support system set up with family and friends. If one woman needs to go in earl to work or stay late, a family member or another friend will take care of the kids. There is a whole group of people willing to work together so that these women can have the flexibility they need to juggle both work and family. The final point that Spar makes is this: 

“Feminism wasn’t supposed to make us miserable. It was supposed to make us free; to give women the power to shape their fortunes and work for a more just world. Today, women have choices that their grandmothers could not have imagined. The challenge lies in recognizing that having choices carries the responsibility to make them wisely, striving not for perfection or the ephemeral all, but for lives and loves that matter.”

Women worked together for so long to achieve that freedom, but now women are only after individual goals and the idea that they need to be perfect. Women don’t need to be perfect, but they do need to work together to reach leadership goals and and life goals.

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