Superwoman Syndrome: A Feminist Approach

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Superwoman Syndrome, a Feminist Approach

J. Hoku Veary-Ganigan
University of Hawai 'i
Word Count: 785 Superwoman Syndrome, A Feminist Approach

THE PROBLEM
Women today face overwhelming pressure to be "perfect". The ideal woman parlays her talents into a marriage with Mr. Perfect, and together, they have the perfect family and the perfect life. The Perfects live in a luxury house, which is, of course, in an exclusive neighborhood that has the best schools and community. During the week, she leisurely commutes to her corner office on the top floor. There, she displays her impressive degree from a prestigious university and feels accomplished in knowing that her efforts have earned her a position of power and respect along with a
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The term Superwoman Syndrome refers to this rising issue among women.

THE ISSUE
We are continually warned about the dangers to our health due to stress. And the effect of Superwoman Syndrome is stress to the tenth power.
This stress manifests itself in several ways and permeates both physical and psychological aspects of women.

Alice Haddon, a psychotherapist based in London explains, "The main symptom is stress. Often felt as anxiety, low mood, anger and frustration. And physically through depleted energy, headaches, stomach problems, muscle tension, frequent colds, insomnia and loss of sexual
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She emphasizes the fact that household responsibilities are seen as a distraction in the workplace and women often hide or internalize their frustration. However, She doesn 't offer any explanation as to why Superwoman Syndrome (SWS) affects so many women.

Psychotherapist, Vaishali Patel, dedicates her practice to the subject and explains, "It’s the result of societal changes that allowed women to explore having a career, however, did not redelegate the responsibilities of managing their personal and family life.”

There are two main points in her explanation. First, women feel compelled to work hard when competing in the workplace. Secondly, Patel argues that an imbalance of gender expectations contributes to SWS.

Betty Friedan is hailed as one of the catalysts of the modern feminist movement. In 1963, she published the book, The Feminine Mystique. In it, she describes the unfulfilled desire for "more" felt by the numerous homemakers she studied and concluded that education was essential to turning it around. But when women began to enter the workforce as professionals, there were obstacles to success; a glass ceiling. Women are marginalized through socialization and oftentimes, are required to work twice as hard for the same

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