The many discussions I’ve had with with my patients have given me opportunity to reflect on the position held by women in society espescially in recent weeks, with news of violence against women (sexual mass crimes in Germany and in Sweden, first defamed to be later relabelled as incidents, domestic violence...).
First, the beautiful Natalia, 42, smiling and contented. She came to greet me
in July, before her departure abroad with her husband Edward and their 3 sons.
He had accepted a very good position. Questioning her about her future
activities (professional or else), Natalia squawked: "I never had the need
to work, Edward has always made good living." I have nothing
against stay-at-home women, or even against stay-at-home men. But at this very
moment, her phrase stunned me.
Are we only made to fill the gaps of Men? Do we, always and again take the
shape of the container in which we are placed?
Then, Ariane, 38, just as fresh and happy, who told me with pride: "I am
unemployed, I take care of my children" and indeed here she is on her
Facebook profile with multiple pictures surrounded by her children, skiing, at
a wedding ... A real promotion campaign for family (but from which era?)
Is the education of children by housewives necessarily of better quality?
Both personally and professionally, I never felt worried as a woman. In Med
school, I experienced a privileged environment with undeniable diversity and
parity, at my Parisian Faculty, as well as at the hospital. Same professions,
same wages (miserable) as much as for nursing auxiliaries than for Professors.
Without being either a vociferous or a pretty top-less graffitied feminist,
(too quickly) covered in bruises, I never imagined that one day I would care
for the way people gaze at women. I know that despite everything I am very
lucky to be able to question myself about the role of women, as by definition this
means that they do have one.
Even before looking at the progress society has made in regards to the
submission of women in the East and the Far East, are we nowadays witnessing in
our so-called industrialized countries a stagnation, a decline on the issue of
Women's Rights (consideration, security, social life ...)?
Women suffer from many dominions, and sail in troubled waters, sometimes even
in opposing currents in a world that sometimes gives pride to hollow and
mediocre female models, either reality TV stars, or former prostitutes whose
fame comes from
beautiful topless but they are in a short time futureless.
They suffer from genre domination because unfortunately male supremacy still
seems well-rooted in everyone’s unconscious. Society, even in industrialized
countries, repeats stereotypes, and keeps women at a different rank. The
education given to a boy or a girl is similar but never identical.
It all starts in Elementary school where we are more forgiving to a boy: a
dirty book and unkempt, or later the first time he comes home drunk... Another
stereotype: the alleged passivity of women (except in their role as mothers) in
multiple domains (including sexual).
In addition, they have to endure class warfare. And to wrap things up, they
inflict rivalry between each other amid their absolute quest for perfection.
Consequently feelings of guilt are not a surprise with all these pressures.
Working sometimes puts them in uncomfortable positions, because they have less
time to spend with their children, but being a housewife can also result in
discomfort, as they face the gaze of others, sometimes contemptuous, so they
title themselves as "self-employed" on their Facebook profile to
avoid having to leave their work status blank. I have nothing against such a
decision from a family, especially if this choice is made in total harmony.
However I would be quite embarrassed, not by my future in the case of a
separation, but by a lack of autonomy similar to that of childhood or
adolescence, hence a pseudo regression. I would feel no longer as a contributor
to society’s equality and parity structural advancement.
Women are too torn; they become their own enemy. Some colleagues of our current
French Minister of Health, when she was being heckled by both medical and
paramedical professionals, then judged her as being attacked because she was a
women, even though as Françoise Giroud once said:
Women will truly be the equals of Men the day when, holding an important
position, we will we able to define them as incompetent.
They hinder their own parity in certain circumstances. Just as recently after
Cologne, when female politicians or feminists expressed themselves uttering the
greatest nonsense. Or the undermining of the right to abortion in France, the
feminist advancement of all, by a young woman, during the campaign for French
Regionals, whose political party is supposed to embody a Renewal.
Ascent women, this is a cry of alarm. Let’s educate our sons, talk to our
Let´s think of it quickly and make sure that being born a woman can never be
experienced as a tragedy.