Aside from free choice constituting the ability of individuals to pursue their goals and present themselves through any manner they wish to choose, I would like to propose that free choice should also include the freedom from judgment that adversely affects an individual. Women in society are often forced into limiting dichotomies; is she a slut or a prude? Is she domesticated and maternal or career-driven and emotionless? For instance, many women feel they have to choose between raising a family and pursuing a career. Even in family structures where a male partner shares a good deal of the housework, “women… know that the world is watching and judging. If the toddler’s clothes don’t match…, if the house is a shambles, it is seen as her fault,” despite two parents having authority in the household (Belkin 6). Double standards are still widely enforced in society. Fredrik Friberg, who works part-time to help take care of his daughter, noticed that he “gets complimented on how much I help at home,” while his wife “gets no such gratitude” (Bennhold 7).
Women are often perceived in a very one-dimensional manner and furthermore, they are often criticized regardless of which end of the binary they fall into, as seen by the aforementioned working mothers. An essential part of feminism for me is the ability to exercise free choice without dealing with the subsequent criticism of others. I hope that we can work towards our society where true free choice and freedom from judgment is a reality for all individuals.
Belkin, Lisa. “When Mom and Dad Share It All.” 2008.
Bennhold, Katrin. “In Sweden, Men Can Have It All.” 09 June 2010. Web.