The Burden of Being a (Modern-Day) Woman

If I had a choice when coming into this world, I would have told the Creator to make me a man. I am burdened by the implications of my sex in this modern-day society. And I’m fed up.

I’ve read the history books: I know women have struggled in various regions of the world in various eras. This tells me that our collective suffering may not end soon. I care more about awareness and validation, as opposed to an end to something. I know that change is often something that is slow in coming where as awareness can be sparked by making a ripple in a small pond.

The Modern-Day Woman, at least in the Western world, is expected to do more than the women that came before her. Women, as far as I know, have often suffered silently in regards to what has been expected of us and what happens when we fail to rise to those expectations.  

Women are now expected to maintain a household and balance a career. Often times, women are put in a position to choose. And any choice leads to judgement. I do not often see men struggle with this, the judgement, unless they made a choice to be a stay-at-home parent. When a man chooses career over his family, this choice is not questioned nor critiqued. It’s often expected even. However, when women are faced with the choice of a career over a family, or family over a career, or even trying to juggle both, she is often watched with scrutinizing eyes and awe in some cases.

I am at an age where I can begin to have a family if I wanted. However, I am not ready financially, emotionally, nor physically for such an event and commitment. I say that while sitting on the floor typing this. I am exhausted, slightly dehydrated, and feel like shit (I am sick). I look around and there’s laundry that needs to be done, a room that needs to be cleaned (even though it is maintained on a daily basis, and work to be done to earn income.

I think about my upbringing. Although my family didn’t visit my home much, when they did, I took notice as to how men were served and even favored. The women would spend the day cooking, the men would arrive (or if they already arrived before the food was done, they’d be watching TV). When the food was done, the older women (meaning if you were 16+) would serve or help to serve the children and men. Often times the women, especially the one who did most of the cooking, would be the last to be served and seated. 

I never questioned why this was. All I knew was that I didn’t like it. The sense of obligation and having to follow suit to avoid embarrassment from a possible argument that you couldn’t win.

I think about what my mother would think if she would visit where I am living. Would she judge me because I didn’t take the trash out the night before? Would I be judged because I had a “lazy” day the day before and didn’t organize my desk to be presentable? Would I be judged for not taking care of the dishes because I didn’t feel well?

Some may read this and say, “But don’t you have a partner?”

And I’d respond, “Exactly.”

Donte BrownComment