Common misconceptions about strong and independent women

These days stereotypes are generally thrown out the window. This could be in part because Generation Y is known to be much more racially and ethnically diverse than the generations preceding them. People of color represent about 40% of our population. Although Millennials are known for celebrating diversity, there are still a number of misconceptions about what strong independent women are really like. A number of these fallacies are just that - misunderstood ideas about who the strong women are that make up our communities. Let’s set the record straight, shall we?

 

1. Women are bossy and controlling

 

The notion that women are bossy and/or controlling is a bit of a double standard. For as much progress as we’ve made, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a woman who knows what she wants be described simply as “bossy.” Women in the workplace are in a hard bind. If they behave the way women are expected to behave, it is thought that they lack a sort of confidence. On the other hand, if they speak in a manner of authority, they come across as “bossy,” “aggressive,” and some might go so far as to say “controlling.” Why is that? By 2017, double standards should be a thing of the past.

 

2. Independent women only care about their careers

Flashing back to the 1950’s, are we? During that time just 20-30% of mothers with children under 18 years old also worked outside of the home. These days, however, there is a notion lately that women pursuing a career are focused on just that - their careers and nothing else. However, women have been juggling work and family lives since the late ‘60s, a time when an extensive amount of women were entering the workforce. By the late ‘80s, 70% of American mothers had either full- or part-time jobs outside the home. Most recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that among 3 out of 4 households both parents work.

 

3. Independent women are selfish

When men possess strong and independent qualities, this is viewed as a good thing. But when women possess the same qualities, often times, they are thought of as selfish. There is also a cultural association that comes with the thought of womanhood. Nurturing traits are most often depicted as being feminine qualities. So when a woman possesses qualities such as strength, independence, confidence and self-awareness, she is thought of as selfish because these traits were often viewed as masculine qualities. Feminist scholar Carol Gilligan presented the thought that, rather than defining men and women as more or less selfish than the other, that they are just different. Gilligan claims that women place the caring for people’s needs at a higher moral level than they would place the importance of observing notions of justice.

 

4. Women aim to be attractive

This thought gives women a very superficial state of being. Furthermore, women supposedly only care about how attractive they are in the hopes of finding male approval. Some go so far as to submit to obscene objectification to attract a boyfriend. Many women actually take on much deeper endeavors than that. Strong, independent women want more out of life than merely a skin-deep relationship with another person. They set a positive example for young women. Strong women try to challenge themselves, knowing that there is always room for improvement. They seek to better themselves by getting an education, making a point of learning a new skill and by trying to be a kind person.  Strong, independent women strive to make their own corner of the universe a better place. These are the kinds of women we look up to.