A Woman’s Identity
Women lose their identity as soon as they get married and begin a family.
Every little girl dreams of getting married and raising a family, because this
is what women are taught to seek at an early age. When a woman achieves this
goal, she loses her identity due to the many roles that she is now forced to
play. Once married, a woman is expected to be a mother, nurturer, housekeeper,
teacher, doctor, cook, chauffeur, and more increasingly, a career woman. Women
are forced to carry out these roles because of society’s traditional view of the
role women should play, and young women are pressured to follow in their
mother’s footsteps. Because a woman’s life revolves around her children and
husband, her responsibilities are never far from thought. Consequently, women
lose their identity because they are so caught up in being a wife and mother
that they no longer have time to pursue their own desires and goals.
Women are increasingly becoming career women, while raising a family at
the same time. Despite the fact that women have the job of raising their family,
many women also have full time careers because the extra income is often needed
in the family. Some men criticize women for trying to act too much like men, but
women are being forced by society to move between the traditional definitions of
male and female roles, because of the many different tasks they have to carry
out from day to day. For example, in order for women to enter the “male” world
of work, they have to obtain “masculine” traits and leave their “feminine”
traits at home.
Bearing children is expected in today’s society, because nurturing and
child care are viewed as feminine traits. Women are conditioned at a young age
to believe that once they are adults they will become mothers. If a middle aged,
married woman doesn’t have any children, people often assume that there is a
biological reason for her lack of children. Motherhood is expected by society,
but contrary to popular belief, many psychologists believe that it is not
instinct, but a learned desire. In Betty Rollin’s essay, “Motherhood: Who Needs
It,” one psychiatrist explains that, “women don’t need to be mothers any more
than they need spaghetti.” Once a woman has children her life becomes an
extension of her children’s life. She has to provide for and take care of her
children and she can no longer put herself first, because she is expected to
always have her family’s best interests in mind.
Most women, if posed with the question, “Are you happy?” will say that
they are, but after some soul searching it is evident that on the surface they
appear to be, while on the inside they are unhappy and often feel suffocated.
It isn’t until things in life are going poorly, that women let themselves
realize that they have feelings. Women have lost touch with who they are and
are many times running away from their feelings, because they have been busy
masking themselves in order to maintain their family.
Women are imprisoned by the many roles they have to play, but it is
essentially self-imposed. Although, this imprisonment wouldn’t be self-imposed,
if it weren’t for society’s pressure on women to fit into the traditional female
mold. Due to these expectations that are placed on women, eventually a woman
who is married and has children, will become only a empty and hollow image of a
mother and wife, instead of a living and breathing person with feelings and a
mind of her own.