Superwoman is a myth

Stabroek News
May 2, 2000

Women everywhere beware. Superwoman is a myth. She is a high-powered executive, has dutiful children, a beautiful home and is the world's best cook. She runs her office and her home with the same clock-like precision.

Superwoman is always first to arrive at board meetings and is on the ball with what is happening in the industry. She never misses a PTA meeting. She always has time for her children and husband and is the perfect hostess.

This paragon of virtue never has a hair out of place, is never frazzled, and always dresses for the occasion. She is such a superb juggler that were she to seek a career change, Barnum and Bailey and the Ringling Bros would snap her up. Turn off your imagination though and zip! she disappears.

Forget her. Superwoman is a fantasy created by men and foisted on women gullible enough to feel they can take her on and win.

In reality there are three major types -- the career woman, the working (out of the home) woman and the working (in the home) housewife. There are also variations/combinations of these types.

The true "career woman" is mostly overworked. Her children are rebellious; her husband sulky. Her career/business is taking off, but her home suffers. She rarely meets her children's teachers and has to hope that they do go to school every day.

She tries really hard and will end up one day as the high-powered executive, but probably minus the husband and trimmings. She is real.

The working woman is always on the verge of losing her job. She tries to make a good home for her children; ensures they go to school and are clothed and fed. She involves herself in her children's lives. She is constantly trying to elevate her status by attending university part time or classes elsewhere.

She is also a housewife, who is perennially late for work and who unceasingly risks her boss's wrath by requesting endless time off for exams or to deal with personal matters. She is often a single parent and also very real.

The full-time housewife is on call from dawn to dawn. She washes, cooks (several times a day), cleans and nurtures. She is on the PTA. She is a fantastic economist and financial manager. Her job is thankless and wageless, but cheerfully and willingly done. Mostly.

Many career-oriented women have opted not to have children or to have them late in life. Young women, who now outnumber men at the University of Guyana, are increasingly putting marriage and a family on the backburner; making education the priority.

There are women who hold down jobs as well as have a happy family. But these enjoy the assistance of a cooperative spouse. They have jobs and not careers, because they have already decided that when it comes to the crunch -- family comes first.