By Victoria Mongiardo //
As a woman, I am assumed to be altruistic, empathetic, nurturing, and sweet, and while I wouldn’t say that those characteristics are completely inaccurate to who I am, it is problematic to confine women to such demure terms. By defining a proper woman as someone who should embody these docile characteristics, women are told they have to be sweet towards others in order to be feminine. While there is nothing wrong with naturally having these characteristics, those who have more brazen characteristics are often criticized for being shamelessly bold and empowered. Bold and successful women are unwelcome during times of hardship and are seen as insensitive towards those who are suffering.
The enforced stereotype that women treat others with warmth and humility leads high achieving women to hide their successes. Meanwhile, men are able to boast about their latest raise or position while being praised for their confidence and success. Brazen women, who are just as confident and successful, are consequently shamed and labeled as arrogant for sharing their victories.
In the midst of a worsening pandemic, it is especially important to be able to celebrate the little wins such as earning good grades, getting a new job or raise, or even having the opportunity to travel safely and get to know yourself. Having little wins are essential to mental health and remaining happy in a time where so many things are uncertain. Yet women are especially unable to share their happiness and success in the world without having to feel like they constantly need to be empathetic and sensitive towards others who may be suffering and having a bad year.
Honestly, it’s sickening that women are unable to share their success during bad times because other people are suffering, but yet no one is accusing billionaire men such as Elon Musk for becoming the wealthiest man in the world at a time where people are suffering, losing their jobs and lives. So why should women feel bad about their victories just because it is easier for people to criticize women they know? Almost everyone has some degree of personal issues and would greatly benefit mentally from celebrating small wins, so why tear a woman down when she is unapologetically proud of her accomplishments? People are quick to say “Oh, she can’t say she has benefitted from COVID that would be so insensitive when everyone is dying,” and yet there are no complaints that Amazon market capitalization has grown 570 billion dollars and there is no doubt that they are directly benefiting from everyone’s misery.
In the end, it shouldn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, everyone should be able to celebrate their successes whenever they happen. If people were only allowed to celebrate their successes when everyone else does well, no one would ever be celebrating. There will always be people suffering, dying, and in poverty, and for women to have to be empathetic and wait until everyone is happy and healthy is not only unrealistic but a waste of time. Celebrate your wins when they happen, while you can. Be a brazen woman.