Wednesday, 8 February 2012

What is the Modern Woman?

What comes to mind when you think of the modern woman? Is she the opposite of the traditional one? What makes her modern?
I was thinking about this the other day while reading a magazine using this expression.  Never ending tips and advice on keeping up to speed with the latest and greatest for women are a plenty out there.  Everything from your look to your viewpoint and lifestyle are subject to change and trends.   I suppose some of it depends on how you feel about the idea of modern.  It conjures up the idea of up-to-date, new and perhaps therefor; good or better.

The modern woman has made a step up in the world which means she is supposed to be in a better situation than before. What on earth does that mean?
Who is the modern woman?  Is she the one with a successful career? Marriage? Is she the woman who has it all, marriage, family and career?  Is she the woman who does whatever she wants?

Truth be told I would be hard put to find an exact definition because it is a constantly changing one.
The more I thought about it the more I came to the conclusion that it's a pretty silly concept altogether!
I like the idea of modern in the way it implies intelligence and strength but then part of me feels modern moves ahead so quickly it can't help but drop things along the way.  By things I mean tradition and old fashioned values.  The expression 'old-fashioned' has a slightly negative tone about it.  Even when it comes to style we use words like retro, vintage and classic but not old-fashioned, no, no, no, old is bad, new is good!

'The modern woman' may at first sound empowering and ahead of the game, or at least keeping up with it but does that necessarily make her better? Or the old-fashioned one inferior? I don't think so.  I have tremendous admiration for the likes of my mom and grandmother who posses skills and experience I can only dream of acquiring! Abilities now considered trivial but goodness knows we pay other people do them because we can't!

In a way we progress to gain something but have to sacrifice something else in return and what we perceive as essential changes constantly.
Today's modern woman is not the same as she was even 4 years ago. Back when the economy was good we couldn't get enough of expressions like 'domestic godess' and 'yummy mummy'. We don't see those expressions anymore.  Now when I tell people I'm a stay-at-home-mom it usually brings about a change of conversation.  It's not really the rigueur to be a housewife at the moment. As if it means my days are filled with leisure and pleasure. As if I have shelved that part of my brain the requires challenge and achievement.

On the other hand the career woman doesn't have it easy either.  Must she put work ahead of all else?  Is she foolish for wanting marriage and children? Must she always prove herself?  Is she successful?
What defines successful?

Today's modern woman is accomplished and to be accomplished at the moment means having a career.  What if I told you my family is my career? Would that make me modern?  Accomplished really means having skill, social grace and being effective in realising your goals.  Surely that can be done on both sides of the field? 

Perhaps the concept of the modern woman is just that, a concept.  She cannot be entirely defined because she doesn't really exist.  The modern woman has it all but in reality we know that while it may be possible to have it all, all is not equally cared for and something is bound to be neglected.  Would it not be better for the modern woman to be about intelligence, strength, respect and goodness in qualities, virtues, skills and values in whatever situation she finds herself in?

  The silly thing is that I think women are the hardest on themselves and other women.  While we strive to better ourselves, we may forget that better doesn't means just one thing. Forget the modern woman, I can't keep up and quite frankly I'm not sure I want to keep up!

What say  you?

Brought to you by someone like you, just trying to better herself. -Vievie Xx

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