As a woman, we have so we have to offer the world. We provide the world a different perspective; a feminine, but powerful voice, work in diverse and driven careers, create and give the world precious little beings, and join our soul mate in holy matrimony. The sad thing is that the world only cares and emphasizes the latter two.
We women are known for such amazing things, but only we get recognized for creating babies and getting married. It happens to all women even Olympic gold medalists and world record breakers.
Proof of that happened at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games twice. The first example was when Hungarian swimmer Katinka Hosszú won gold in the 400m individual medley and just so happen so also shatter the world record. But it was her adoring husband who got the glory with commentators praising his work and naming him ‘responsible’ for that world record and gold medal. Yes, her husband Shane Tusup is responsible for that medal because he was in the pool for hours and hours for training and he certainly was in the Olympic pool not only to receive the gold medal, but shatter the world record.
The other example for these Games were when the Chicago Tribune honored Corey Cogdell-Unrein with receiving her bronze medal in trap shooting by naming the headline ‘Wife of a Bears’ lineman receives bronze medal in Rio Olympics’. Not only was her headline dedicated to the her biggest achievement which is marrying Mitch Unrein, but they also made sure to add his work schedule in her article about her bronze medal. I mean a bronze medal is nothing compared to an NFLer.
They did of course apologize, but the damage was already done and it adds to this notion that 1) in order for women to be truly successful, they must be married and have babies and 2) that their husbands accomplishments are greater than their own. The sexism is loud and clear and perfectly described in this video by Liz Plank for Vox highlighting the sexism in the Olympics including these two events under the title: “Olympics Bro Appropriating”.
I have thought about marriage and kids like everyone else, but what is sickening besides the fact that adding ‘wife’ to your title is more important that your first and most powerful title, woman, is that it’s basically a must for women like it’s a taboo for a woman to be single and childless, almost like a curse. We all have heard it before: “women should be married before 30 or we become ‘desperate’” or ‘we should have children soon before our child bearing years are over’.
Yes, scientifically speaking, it is safer for women to have children before the age of 40 due to health risks for the mother and baby such as a difficult pregnancy and it is harder for women to conceive over the age of 40, but with that being said, we, all of us including myself, have to stop ‘mommy’ or ‘single’ shaming. We have to respect people’s choices and not counter them with our own ideals, even if those ideals are highly sexist given the fact we don’t say anything to men who are well over the age of 40 are unmarried and childless.
The double standard is bad enough especially when people usually ask women who are married and working mothers; asking “how can you do it all?”
It is hard to juggle being a wife and a mother while having a career, but it emphasizes the mother of ‘working mother’. It is time for us to acknowledge wives and mothers for their accomplishments whether it being a world record holder and Olympic gold medalist or for being promoted to being manager in your job without including the title of Wife of a Bears’ lineman.