Our Fragile Pink Bubble

March 7, 2023



Women grow up being told what to wear, how to speak and who to be. We’re expected to always color within the lines of the limits set for us from the second we are born. We go from wearing pinkish dresses and playing “girly” games to choosing “acceptable” careers and learning to dream small. What the world often fails to understand is that misogyny comes in so many different forms. It’s not just about being able to vote or drive, it’s about being able to be who we want to be without having to answer to a set of rules that are so deeply engraved in society. Why should an accomplished female doctor not be referred to as a doctor? Or why should a new mom feel guilty about going back to work early? The question remains: till when are women expected to keep a smile on their faces all while being suffocated by a perfectly carved glass ceiling?

“You should plan on becoming a divorce lawyer, it would suit you better as a woman” were the words said to me by “surprise-surprise” a male lawyer when I was about to start law school. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamt of one day becoming a lawyer, it was my own personal way of changing the world: a Lebanese-Armenian female lawyer fighting for injustice, which evidently later on translated to “divorce lawyer”. Why? Because regardless of your diplomas, your degrees or how well you know the law, it all goes back to the misconception of women being too soft. Apparently, our bodies can handle hours of excruciating labor pains that literally tear your insides, yet we don’t have what it takes to prosecute criminals, lead countries or fight wars. With all the feminist groups, collective efforts and awareness campaigns for gender equality, yet somehow in 2023 recruiting businesses still have the audacity to post for a “female secretary” and a “male software developer”.

Are we hiring based on gender or competency? If it’s the latter, then why wouldn’t a female be an exceptional developer and why wouldn’t a male excel as a secretary? Moreover, doesn’t one wonder why according to a report from the Association of American Medical Colleges females constitute only 6% of orthopedic surgeons and 65% of pediatric physicians. So not only is one’s ability to succeed linked to one’s gender, but somehow if women are given this chance, they are paid less. A 2021 report from the Rand Corporation published in Health Affairs mentions how female physicians earn approximately 2 million dollars less than males through the course of their careers. Slogans and media campaigns keep encouraging women all around the world to follow their goals and be whoever and whatever they want to be, yet once they do, they realize it’s not as fair as advertised.

“We were approximately 300 applicants at a school of aviation, out of which only 5, including myself, were females. After long months of various evaluations and an extensive screening process, I was the only female to have been shortlisted – only to be congratulated for wanting to be a hostess.” What is it going to take for these stereotypes not to reflect reality anymore? Regardless of having the same, if not better, qualifications than men, why are women still expected to put double the effort to prove themselves? One would wonder what the root of the problem is. Is it a cultural or social issue or is it the upbringing or education of children? Or is it simply an idea that we learned to live with? Whatever the reason is, the change is long overdue. Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai, Amal Clooney and so many more have gone above and beyond to break these gender barriers that follow us to this date. Isn’t it time the world gets to experience the true potential of women?

We’re taught to adjust to social norms and get comfortable in our little fragile bubble. However, that’s the beauty of a norm, once you break one, it simply becomes the new reality. Truth is that gender equality is the unfinished business of our time, and we still have a long way to go. We clearly know what the problem is, the question remains: what is the solution? We, women, are the solution. Our combined efforts and attempts to support each other and uplift each other will pave a way to a more just and equal future. As someone once said not to bite off more than we can chew, let we women, choose to choke on greatness rather than nibble on mediocracy.

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