Rise of the Superwoman : Can We Have it All?

As a child, I had plastic cookery sets complete with miniature frying pans, spatulas, sausages, eggs and the like. I enjoyed playing ‘masak-masak’ or cookery either by myself or with my female peers. In kindergarten I was known to have the best Polly Pocket sets. For those of you who didn’t grow up in the nineties, these were hand sized clam shell like homes that housed even tinier humans and pets about the size of a fingernail. I couldn’t quite fathom how they fit into pockets and came to the conclusion that perhaps American or European pockets were bigger than Asian ones. I favoured the colour pink and was told that it was Cinderella’s favourite colour. Till today Ariel from The Little Mermaid remains my favourite Disney Princess.

Polly-Pocket

Polly Pocket

I used to be a little bit of a tomboy in primary school, dashing straight from the drop off point to play basketball with the boys despite being dressed in the school uniform of a blouse and a pinafore. Then I attended a girls’ school in secondary school and had to navigate through the pitfalls of catty cliques to find a few lasting and enduring friendships that carry on till today. I ended up studying Communication and International Studies, and then Occupational Therapy, both rather female centric courses. I’ve worked in Paediatric Disability Care as a support worker and most of my colleagues were female.

There was a time when I wasn’t interested in cooking or baking, thinking that I would get married, have a career and hire a helper to take care of the domestic work, especially the cleaning. I rejected the notion that a woman’s main role in life was to be a wife and a mother. That’s sexist, I used to think. It’s the 21st Century, women should be treated as equals right up there with men. It was all about Feminism.

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Stepford wife

Fast forward some years later and I enjoy cooking and baking. I love the ability to create a dish or a dessert from scratch. I like the deep seated satisfaction that comes with seeing someone enjoy the meal that I have prepared. I don’t quite enjoy cleaning, but have accepted that having a clean home means having to put in effort to maintaining it. I love children and look forward to having my own someday. I might take some time off to care for them but will most probably continue working part time till they are in school. Does it make me less of a feminist for wanting to get married, have children, cook for my husband and care for my children? Will it make me feel like a failure if I choose to continue working instead of concentrating all my effort on raising my children? I don’t know. Quite frankly, I don’t care. Society will always try to impose its judgements on what women should be like. Yet there is no cookie cutter one size fits all solution to being a woman in this day and age. We do what we think is in our best interest and that of our family’s. Here’s to the modern day woman who is an everyday hero: Daughter, sister, wife, mother, career woman, friend, all-around SUPERWOMAN!

Till next time!

Jacinta Kee