What Is The Role Of Women In Society?

the help film poster

So a few days ago I had the chance to re-watch an old favourite of mine: “The Help”. When the film was released back in 2011, I had no idea it would be that good. How do I know it was good? I did not fall asleep. Seriously, if you find yourself totally fixated on the silver screen and stop eating your popcorn because you don’t want to distract yourself — then you’re watching something truly entertainingly good.

A few years ago, if I had to describe “The Help” I would say that the film is about racism. Though the film is very centred on the racism issue in the United States during the Civil Rights period, it also touches other subjects such as the role of women in society. If you look closer, “minorities” are not the only ones being discriminated, women are often viewed as second-class citizens too. Okay, the white ladies that you see in the film can vote, walk freely in streets and even catch a bus if they so desired, but does it mean they are truly “free” from discrimination? Take a look at “Skeeter” (Emma Stone), she was only in her twenties and she was already being looked down by her supposedly “friends” and mother for not being a happily married woman with kids.

I know we are talking about different times, but when society conditions women to behave in a certain way and ostracise them for not doing so — that’s discrimination. So… I asked myself: “What is the role of women in society?”

Mother (a child-bearer)

Till this day, women are expected to have children and raise them. As I see it, when a woman decides to have kids, she’s almost “forced” to make a choice: is she going to continue working or is she going to be a stay-at-home mother. So my question is: why can’t a woman have a successful career and be an awesome parent? It really baffles me why men are not faced with the same dilemma. I don’t see idiots questioning fathers that have successful careers and certainly I haven’t heard accounts of men who had to quit their full-time jobs to take care of the kids at home. They might do it… because they are temporarily unemployed, but never because they chose to do so.

Wife (a child-bearer and a caretaker)

Being married can be a blessing or a nightmare in disguise. Why? This applies most to married couples that live together and the main subject that tickles my brain when I think about co-habitation is: distribution of household chores. That’s right. Who does what? Unfortunately, from my own experience and also from other countless accounts, the onus is often put on the woman. The only scenario where I would feel comfortable with this idea, is when the man is the sole “breadwinner” of the family and the woman agrees on being a full-time housewife.

Lover (a love machine)

For some men, women are no more than objects designed to satisfy their desires and boost their ego. And to be fair, I’m sure there are some women that feel the same way about men too. Now, when women are viewed as objects of desire that gives them a lot of power, because men are willing to do things in order to be with the women they find attractive. Sometimes, I think gold-diggers got this down, they really know how the system works. They make this “fantasy-woman” thing their full-time job and get rewarded for it. Values and morals aside, I would say it’s quite brilliant what gold-diggers do.

Worker (team player, but never the team leader)

Okay, corporate diversity is a hot topic nowadays. Every company knows if they want to be “cool” they need to hire more women and they are doing so. However, how many of them are going to rise to the C-level and how many of them are already at the C-level? That’s the tricky part, in my opinion, the corporate world is still pretty much a man’s world. Female workers might receive some praise for their contributions, but are seldom considered for the parts that really matter — relevant job promotions. Don’t get me wrong, women get promotions too, but it’s more like: “junior something” to “senior something”, but rarely “head of department X”.

Now that I’ve given a piece of my mind on this matter, I would like to invite you all (men and women) to reflect upon this particular issue as well.