Virginia Woolf wrote masterpieces, and little did she know of their intellectual value. She wrote about her hopes for the future, about a society that didn’t distinguish individuals for their physique and role, and about women becoming active members of society. Today, especially in our society, her dreams have somehow become a reality, yet, women are still facing problems. Women these days are still going through difficulties, strangely however, it’s for different reasons.
Our society is ideally what Woolf dreamed of, seeing as it contrasts the typical patriarchal 20th century society. It is what feminism called for a century ago. In the 21st century, and although we still have patriarchal societies that dictate gender roles, women have more active roles in society in multiple scopes such as politics, culture and education. In the time of Woolf, women were attacked and criticized by men for their lack of intellect. Even though women knew they had potential and talent to express, they were continuously directed by social rules and gender roles that they had to conform to in order to survive. Women are no longer attacked for their lack of intellect because they managed to crawl their way up and free themselves from the social constraints and stereotypes that chained them to simple day-to-day tasks.
However, the ideology of women’s inferiority still exists. What is odd is the fact that despite women’s increase and diversity in social roles, they are still attacked and made to feel inferior by their counterparts: men. From one perspective it seems as though men, rather than society as a whole, are the ones that dictate social dos and don’ts to women. In the fashion industry, food industry and entertainment industry, for example, men are the masterminds. They design what they perceive as fashionable clothing that women should wear in order to be accepted socially. In the food industry, professional male chefs dominate television shows and world class restaurants, and they’re always depicted as the ones who know better, even in areas that are supposed to be mastered by women. As for entertainment, women do and are made to do things that men find entertaining.
This all clearly reflects the fact that even if women swap roles with men, the idea of male superiority will always exist. This is because feminism isn’t just a movement that secures jobs for women and earns them more rights, rather it’s a mentality that seeks to eliminate the domination of gender, and to create a balanced society in which the roles, rights and responsibilities of both men and women are respected and appreciated.