You see her in the grocery store (this is an all natural foods store, she is very nutritionally minded of course) picking out some produce. She has twins in the shopping cart and is on her blackberry. She doesn’t look like she has ever had twins, in fact, she is a registered aerobics/zumba/kickboxing teacher and she can make you cry like a little baby only 15 minutes into her workout. But don’t get your hopes up; you notice this fitness guru’s gym bag has a well worn copy of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary stashed inside. She has a perfect French twist and is rocking a well tailored suit with black heels.
You overhear a bit of her conversation and realize she is going between two conversations, one about her daughter’s school project and the PTA bake sale; the other is about some legal documents that need to be faxed over in time to make a deadline. She is obviously in charge in both conversations.
According to cultural norms in the United States and most other westernized countries, this woman is an ideal image of the woman who “has it all.” She has attained a good education, good job, functioning family, good level of fitness, and material ease. So the question of the day is, does she really exist? And if she doesn’t, why does this ideal resonate so easily? Why can we picture her and label her the ideal without much mental strain?
I read an article this past week in Utah Valley BusinessQ that gave me pause to consider the subconscious and conscious dialogue taking place among women. It is a bit confusing and full of contradictions. Tell me what you can glean about how these women in business view themselves and what broader implications this has for women in general:
The article begins on pg. 34, “Roundtable: Women in Business.”