Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Women and the Pressures of Society

With graduation right around the corner, we will soon be in the real world embarking on our careers. During this next chapter of our lives, we will be faced with many decisions that will change us as women forever. Will we be successful career women? Mothers? Both? It is stunning to think that by 2026, this could be my future. As women, we can face harsh judgments from the decisions we make in both our personal lives and our professional ones. It seems that no matter which path we select, society is opinionated regarding our life choices. College women, including myself, are now facing perhaps the most pressure out of any of the past generations when it comes to life choices and expectations. 

Let’s break it down. Millennials have been highly encouraged to pursue a college education more so than the Baby Boomers and Generation X, resulting in more Millennials as college graduates.  Today, Millennials make up more than one-third of the American workforce, totaling 53.5 million people in 2015. Millennial women are a force to be reckoned with. We are a new breed of women, highly valuing education, determination, dedication, and ultimately, a well-versed lifestyle. This is everything that generations of feminists and women’s rights activists have dreamed of in the past — now it is a reality.

However, having a degree and a successful career is just not enough. Like the traditionalists and the Baby Boomers, you are highly encouraged to get married and start a family. When it comes to marriage you are too young to be married before 25, and getting married after 30 makes it look as though you were not wanted right away. Sort of like an “old maid” mentality. Statistics show that the median marriage age is 27 for women and 29 for men, while the median age in 1960 was 20 for women and 23 for men. Society puts a huge amount of pressure on women to have children because it is our “purpose in life.”  If you are a working woman with children, you do not spend enough time with your children. If you are a stay at home mom you probably watch television all day. It is not shocking that these judgments and biases come from the generations before us. No matter what you chose, there is always going to be someone judging. 

However, there may be good news for younger Millennials born 1994 and on. As Millennials, we are extremely progressive, open minded, and self-expressive. Many Millennials are now doing away with the traditional way of marriage and having a family. 67 percent of people ages 18 to 29 said that society is better off if people have priorities other than marriage and children. As Generation Y, we are embracing change and shifting the common beliefs and practices regarding romance and family. According to the Pew Research Center, 25 percent of Millennials will never get married.

Could it be possible that Millennials are changing romance for years to come? Possibly. This would not be the first time a generation altered marriage. It was not until the 18th century that marriage was based on love. Before this, it was based on an economic arrangement, usually with the husband and wife having no input in the pairing. Even back when the traditionalists were getting married, much of it had to do with social allure and a different set of morals and values. The traditionalists were before the sexual revolution, which normalized casual sex and a general openness regarding all things sexual.  

Even if Millennials are showing a decline in marriage and are not valuing it as high as generations in the past, will there still be judgment directed at women and their life choices? Yes, absolutely. No matter how progressive society becomes there are still going to be those people who go against it. The good news is, that since Millennials are forgoing marriage, society could be completely changed within the next decade. With Millennials being so open and progressive, the future looks bright for social changes.

The bottom line is you should not let anyone influence your life choices and decisions because it is the “socially expected” thing to do. Ultimately, what you do with your life is up to you. Whether you want to rule the corporate world, be the best stay at home mom, or finding a balance of both, your life is in your hands. 

Similar Reads👯‍♀️