I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be a confident and successful woman. Every week the latest book or article about feminism, female confidence, and wage disparity makes its way through the Twitter-verse. These articles are typically in the context of women climbing some corporate or political ladder and weighted toward the idea that true feminism and success means surpassing our male counterparts in wage and status.
But is that what it is to be confident? Is that what it means to be a successful woman?
I really don’t think so.
Men and women are different. Men can focus on one thing at a time while women can multitask without a problem. Men want to immediately fix a problem while women want to ruminate and discuss all the options. Men and women love differently. Men and women think differently. And that’s a good thing.
Some women are called to work outside the home, climb corporate ladders, and break gender stereotypes. Some women are called to be stay-at-home moms. Many women fall somewhere in between. And that’s great! It’s beautiful! Not one of these roles is any less valuable than the others. The stay-at-home mom has every reason to be as confident as the woman CEO. Because we aren’t just women, we’re human.
Different doesn’t mean less than. It means different.
In closing I will leave you will this perfectly pointed quote from Dorothy Sayers:
“In reaction against the age-old slogan, ‘woman is the weaker vessel,’ or the still more offensive, ‘woman is a divine creature,’ we have, I think, allowed ourselves to drift into asserting that ‘a woman is as good as a man,’ without always pausing to think what exactly we mean by that. What, I feel, we ought to mean is something so obvious that it is apt to escape attention altogether, …that a woman is just as much an ordinary human being as a man, with the same individual preferences, and with just as much right to the tastes and preferences of an individual. What is repugnant to every human being is to be reckoned always as a member of a class and not as an individual person.”