Culture of guilty women

Tiffany Varpalotai
Written by Tiffany Varpalotai

How can you fight against the guilt you might feel as a woman?

There’s an unfortunate tendency in our culture; every time when a woman tries to step out from the socially expected ‘humble little bird’ image, people will try to push her back into that role. But what’s the reason behind this?

People don’t like the idea of strong women, because it seems scary. We ladies have never fully discovered our true potential, and traditionally unknown things are scary. Change is scary. We don’t know what would happen if those millions of ladies who are struggling with low self-confidence issues, would start to love themselves.

And society doesn’t really want to know what would happen in this scenario. It is actively trying to stop women from coming out of their shells. Our society isn’t consciously acting this way but still, we are all playing our part in these tendencies.

One of the most powerful tools society uses to stop you is by asking guilt indicating questions or making comments to make you feel bad.

Have you ever heard any of the following?

‘A girl shouldn’t be so loud’

‘What does a girl like you know about…?’

‘These plans sound nice, but when will you finally get married?

‘Men won’t be interested in you, if you’re too strong’

‘How will you be able to manage everything at home, when you are that busy with your career?’

Questions or comments like these really hurt, and make us ladies feel guilty, especially if our confidence is not built on a strong base. Generally when we don’t have strong self-confidence, we are more likely to believe what other people say or suggest. And that’s how society manages our attempt to come out from our designated zones.

Here are my thoughts about the questions above:

  1. A woman should be as loud as she wants to be, so long as she stands up for herself.
  2. A woman might not know everything about a business or a job at the beginning, but we are here for each other, to give advice and support. Being able to ask for help is powerful!
  3. Your career plans can be as much of a priority in your life, as your private life goals. It’s not necessarily a this OR that question. It’s your choice how would you like to balance them. And no one else has the right to tell you ‘how to’.
  4. Honestly, do you actually want to date people who are not able to handle a strong woman? I’m wondering what these people are scared of…And just remember: being strong is not equal to being rude.
  5. Why do we mix up private and professional life? You can be good in more than one thing at the time! And again: it’s more likely their own fear or imbalance in their life that they are trying to project on to you and not actually your fault!

So, what can you do, going forward?

Start paying attention to these comments and questions from other people.

Start spotting them and consciously take a step away from them. Don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself.

You have every right to unleash your potential. You deserve to be the real you.

Main photo by Valentina Conde on Unsplash

Details about the image: 14-yr. old striker, Fola La Follette, and Rose Livingston. Glass negative from the George Grantham Bain Collection, 1913. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division. Photograph shows suffrage and labor activist Flora Dodge “Fola” La Follette (1882-1970), social reformer and missionary Rose Livingston, and a young striker during a garment strike in New York City in 1913.

Leave a Comment