Posted by: ccbartholomew | October 10, 2016

Women’s Accomplishments

A couple wees ago I was scrolling through Facebook and came across this article that I shared. It’s titled”Getting Married Is Not and Accomplishment”. At first I didn’t know if I was going to like this or not, thinking it may just be written by someone who was all about the single life, and frowned at anyone who may want to be in a monogamous relationship. It actually talks about something I think is very relevant to this class, that women are still getting more praise for finding a husband and getting married, rather than accomplishments such as getting a great promotion or finishing their doctorate.

The author talks about how excited she was to get engaged and post her wedding plans on social media, but then comes to the question, why are women so focused on this? Why does it make women who are not married, engaged, or in a relationship feel terrible about themselves when they may have a wonderful job, working towards an excellent promotion, or just received their MD or PhD? The author discusses that this may be what was an accomplishment for women in the 1950s, but not anymore. And I think she makes a great point, why is their so much emphasis not only from social media, friends, and even family for a women to find someone, settle down, and have children.

Do women get more likes for getting engaged on Facebook compared to announcing that they just received a promotion and pay raise?  Do women even post those types of things? Do they get excited about finishing their PhD or getting a residency at their first choice hospital? Maybe women should be putting more emphasis on these things not only to help themselves, but to help other women not feel like less of woman because they don’t have a man by their side, or a woman by their side to help them through everything. Women should put more focus on their careers and the great things they are doing in their lives….shouldn’t they?


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  1. I will admit that getting married and having kids are pro-social activities that are generally good for society. Without families our society will cease to be, literally there will not be any people left. However, I also believe that there is more to life than just your family. Individuals, especially women, should have outside interests and pursuits. For centuries, men have been able to pursue their careers and pastimes without opposition.
    I love seeing when my female friends use social media to share about their traveling or other life experiences besides just romantic relationships. My friend, Anna, who recently graduated Hopkins Medical School, posts about her new career on a regular basis. For example, when she finally got her first white coat, which was a major accomplishment, she shared about it on Facebook. Another young woman I know, Isabella, just did the whole Appalachian Trail by herself and documented the whole thing on Instagram. People were inspired and amazed that she hiked thousands of miles solo. The more we, as adult women, share about personal accomplishments, the more young girls can believe that they are also capable of great things. Women can do anything that men can do. We are slowly realizing that and then taking that knowledge to the action step.

  2. I don’t necessarily think that it is a bad thing for women post things such as weddings, children, rings and etc. on social media however, I do believe that these types of lifestyles are overemphasized. Recently, I have noticed more posts relating to these various topics rather than other accomplishments such as career goals, getting a new apartment, buying a new car or as you said getting a MD/PhD. I strongly believe that social media influences women and presents this “picture perfect” lifestyle that is extremely hard to obtain and if you don’t you will feel as if you are not worthy enough.
    I enjoy seeing all types of positive updates that women post however, I get more excited when I see things relating to career goals or traveling. There is more to life than pushing to get married and have kids, especially at our age. So many of my former high school friends are getting engaged or having children and then there’s me… so focused on earning my degree and obtaining higher education before settling and starting a family. I honestly think it has a lot to do with individual values, priorities, upbringing and other things.

  3. I definitely agree with everyone that women should get just as much recognition and praise on social media for promotions as they do for engagements, weddings, children, etc… Ultimately I think a big part of what causes the difference is that in many ways ambition is still seen as a negative trait in women. Many people are threatened by professionally successful women and would likely see women posting about their successes as bragging or conceited where as familial accomplishments are more universally accepted and something that will likely receive a far better response on the whole.

  4. I actually saw that article as well and wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about it! I certainly think women should garner more praise for achievements such as new educational degrees, promotions, etc. I think a primary explanation for this is the gendered expectation that the greatest achievement of a woman is a successful marriage. In contrast, gender expectations for men include being a “bread-winner” therefore their highly praised achievements are more career centered. Granted I also think there is a generational obsession with “relationship goals.” We just love the idea of love and seeing a wedding or an engagement on social media has become a more personal version of watching a cheesy romance flick. Its entertaining and makes us feel hopeful. Regardless, I do think more emphasis and praise should be placed on the badass image of a woman’s educational or career achievements.

  5. I kinda see both sides. I mean men are usually not the type to brag, you don’t walk into a room full of men and all of them immediately gush and say boy let me see that ring, compared to women who are the type to strategically hold their hand so that the new shiny ring gets noticed. I also think we are comparing apples and oranges. Getting engaged is a right of passage for both sexes and it is well known that you get excited for the next chapter of “adulting”. However, if you posted about a promotion or a pay-raise it can be seen as bragging or tooting your own horn. I think social media is cool and interesting but in all reality it is just a publicity stunt in my opinion. I say this because all the people who are important to you, as in your close inner circle, will know that you got engaged, married, promoted, etc. However, because society has started to focus on “standards” that are more superficial we feel bad until everything in our lives becomes “facebook official”

  6. This article really gets at a larger issue that I think women encounter in their everyday lives—how do we challenge the expectations and assumptions that limit women’s role in society when these expectations and assumptions are not always untrue? Of course women are excited to announce their engagement. It is an important event that should be recognized and celebrated. But how do we celebrate an engagement or relationship without belittling or failing to recognize equally if not more important personal aspirations such as promotions and graduations? I think that the question of whether or not women post these types of accomplishments is important. In attempting to create a society in which professional accomplishments are just as important in a woman’s life for personal milestones, women themselves must be the first to recognize that. If you don’t advocate your own successes, others will never see them.

  7. I saw your post on this on Facebook and was immediately intrigued by the title. It is such an interesting concept that the institution of marriage is so highly celebrated and geared towards women. I can be a bit of a traditionalist and don’t see this as necessarily a bad thing, though. The construct of marriage is actually very healthy. What I disagree with, though, is that the celebration should only be targeted at the woman and her future status change. I think that men should be celebrated just as equally. Social media plays a huge role in the lives of women, though, and therefore contributes to the “hype” and attention being placed more on the women. If it weren’t for lifestyle blogs, Pinterest, Instagram models, etc. that relished in marriage and the more traditional home life, then women would be less likely to share the same. Let’s be real, men aren’t going to be spreading ALL of their engagement photos, sharing their favorite suit ideas, their dream wedding venues, etc. that women are happy sharing (not that men can’t, it’s just that they generally choose not to). So while I don’t think that women should be raised thinking that marriage is what they’re meant for, I don’t see anything wrong with society celebrating them, their Big Day, or their new acclaimed life.

  8. After reading your post I started thinking about how I would feel about posting about a marriage in my life vs. a job promotion and while I honestly wouldn’t feel very comfortable posting much about either (because I do not enjoy sharing details of my personal life on facebook), I think I would definitely be more likely to post about an upcoming wedding in my life over a job promotion. I personally would be more likely to do this because posting about my personal accomplishments on social media feels kind of braggy and prideful. I guess I do not really view marriage as an accomplishment, but rather a happy thing to share with others (like, me getting married is not due to any great feat accomplished by me — it is merely falling in love). I would see posting something about my marriage as an invitation for others to join me in the celebration, while I would view posting about my accomplishments as a desperate attempt to receive affirmation and praise from others.
    I wonder if this is a main reason why other women are more likely to post about marriage rather than accomplishments?
    I do agree that a woman getting married is something that is often more glorified than other things that woman may do? I feel like a large part of this though is that marriage is a happy occasion while work is more serious topic. Thank you for writing this post! It is making me think more about people’s motivations behind what they share over social media.

  9. Yes, yes, yes!! I agree so much with your post! I came across a similar article several years back, and after reading it I had a major change in heart. Why do we focus so much on those around us who are getting engaged, and why are we significantly less excited for people when they move up in their careers or complete a degree. There are posts all over facebook and other social media after an engagement. It starts with the initial pictures of the event, and a long drawn out post about how she’s so thankful that her family and friends could be their for the joyous occasion, and the post usually has upwards of 400 likes, and just as many comments congratulating the happy couple. Then later the couple will post pictures from their engagement photo shoot which will get just as many likes and comments yet again. And once the actual wedding comes around, you get albums full of professional pictures, maybe a video, and the all important social media hashtag for any attendees to use on the pictures they post. Then there’s the “I got accepted to college” facebook posts. Those get maybe 100 likes, comments from your close friends and family friends, and maybe a picture of the acceptance letter. Then it’s done. You go to college and post a few more pictures in 4 years when you graduate to celebrate your accomplishments.

    We as a society put so much emphasis on finding a spouse and getting married that I would argue we lose track of making ourselves the best we can be first and then finding someone to marry. Yes, marriage is a huge commitment that people hope to make to one person forever, and yes it’s special to find that someone, but I think their needs to be less celebration when we find that person, and more emphasis when we make strides in our education or careers.

  10. I personally never saw why people got so upset over engagement posts. But I do see the point but that is more of societies problem. People do post Job promotions and get likes its just that not as many people do this. I think this might stem from the fact that people have never really been as vocal (male or female) about promotions compared to marriage. I never really thought it was about gender but just a life update that we put a lot of emphases on and a way to get the word out for the wedding. I think we classify a job as a more mundane task.
    I’ve never thought about this from this point of view and it is interesting to explore. Because as it was said men don’t do the same, but they also aren’t getting the pretty rock, maybe if they got engagement rings it would change? Stereotypically men are known to like to brag. But the main people just need to post more of this type of content just the same way they post engagement and then it would become normalized and appreciated more.

  11. I read this article and LOVED it!! I am not going to lie, but I am one of those girls who has been fantasizing about my wedding for as long as I could remember. I still love to think about my wedding, but that does not take away from the fact that a career is way more significant than a wedding for men and it should be for women too. A wedding is one night, while a career is a job that a person is passionate about and is working at for years on end. It is okay to be excited about a wedding, but as women we should think about being proud of our accomplishments such as receiving the raise or the promotion. But reading it and comparing it to our class, I worry that it could put us in a bit of a double bind. If we do not post about an event such as a promotion, we are shy or not proud, but if we post about said promotion people could look at it and be like “Well, she’s just bragging.” Overall, I think the article brings up a bit of a point where women need to show the world how proud we are of our accomplishment in life, particularly our education or career.

  12. The reason people may be more enthusiastic about getting married may be that it is a more permanent life event, that carries a lot of emotional, religious, or cultural value. While a woman may still be proud of her accomplishments, to many it might come across as bragging if she were to boast her promotions or job opportunities (this is not how I feel personally, but just a thought about where apprehensions might be rooted). The article makes a good point, we should be more willing to express excitement over our career or educational accomplishments. It is difficult to fully compare the two because they lie in different spheres. Both are equally important, but in different ways.

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