What madness from Barbara Blake Hannah

September 26, 2017
Serena Williams
Blake Hannah

Traditionally, women are expected to fulfil maternal and nurturing roles, and many modern women still do. However, in addition to these roles, women still manage to be masters of industry, tech innovators, sports stars, among other things. Even with all of what she achieves outside the home, a woman is still judged on her performance as a mother, wife and caregiver.

Some of us acknowledge that a woman's career success comes with much sacrifice family life, personal goals, etc - and she sometimes feels guilty about her success because of what she gives up to be the best. In addition to the pressure that women put on themselves, society still perpetuates that a woman's most important job is taking care of her family and being a mother.

Barbara Blake Hannah last week took to Twitter and issued some unsolicited advice to new mom, tennis superstar Serena Williams. Blake Hannah, a former senator, said that Serena should hang up her tennis racket and be a full-time mother.

Her sentiment was basically that Serena has already achieved fortune and fame playing tennis and it's time for her to focus on her new role motherhood had. Naturally, there were quite a few people who disagreed with her comments and they did express as much. In reading the comments, I noticed an element of judgement and expectation that once a woman becomes a mother, she can't be anything else.

Several of the comments spoke about the fact that women coming out of the home are responsible for the social demise of society.

This line of reasoning always concerns me, because there is never a conversation about whether a man should give up his career when he becomes a father. It's expected that men can climb as far up the corporate ladder as he can, without any guilt that women in the same position feels.




Further, a father, who is also successful, as long as he's financially supporting his family, is accepted as fulfilling his responsibilities because his role as a provider is considered the most important.

At the end of the day, we live in a society where boys and girls have access to education and the traditional roles once occupied by our foreparents are evolving. Men and women will have to adjust in this new world and figure out the best way to be their best selves and still be there for their family.

Women are no longer waiting for men to come save them and take care of them financially. This is a game changer because not only is the role of the modern man also evolving, he may have to occupy the supportive role usually reserved for women.

When you decide to choose a partner, recognise that communication is important and so is teamwork. Sometimes it will be necessary to make adjustments in order to support a team member's rise to the top of his/her career. At the end of the day, everyone benefits.

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