First Lady Thobeka Zuma recently said that she did not identify as a feminist as she believed that we need both men and women to achieve a successful society. My first thoughts were that she clearly does not know what feminism is because the reason that she gave as to why she isn’t one, is the exact reason why she is one.
Many people think feminism means being anti-men and I guess it is because those who identify as feminists are often fierce in their convictions. Since I started reading about feminism and identifying as a feminist myself (I was raised by women) I have been noticing women’s inequalities even more than before. One such inequality that I have encountered is in magazines (since I am an addict.)
I have found that in magazine interviews career women are often asked how they “strike a work-life balance.” In contrast, men do not get asked this question. The focus of the men’s interviews are always on their careers and their successes – never about how they balance fatherhood with their careers.
I guess it comes from the fact that the patriarchal nature of our society has always made us believe that women are home-makers and that it is impossible for them to be so able that they can balance a successful career and still staying in the prison cell of society’s expectations of women. And it is true.
Work-life balance is a myth. Success is a result of a lot of hard work and women should not feel pressured into believing that should they not be able to balance their family life and a career, they are unsuccessful. Magazines need to stop asking women how they strike a work-life balance because it is a myth and because it is sexist.