Panel discusses role of women

Brittany Forrester

Recent trends are making some people wonder whether women today are setting back the progress for women’s rights that previous generations of women fought so hard for.Fewer college age women today show great interest in entering the work force. While there are certainly very admirable and intelligent women who make the decision to stay at home or at least modify their work schedules when their children are young, are women today leaning toward this decision for the wrong reasons? The expressionless, Botox-ed and Xanax-ed faces and demeanors of Wisteria Lane are becoming the “ideals” for some young women. Jessica Simpson, who enjoyed little success in the music industry before her preacher-turned-manager father decided to market her as a “newlywed,” has essentially built a career, and a successful one at that, upon being stupid, pampered and married. Given the fact that such figures are enjoying success and popularity, it is no wonder that women are questioning their decisions, doubting whether or not choosing to pursue a career is a desirable option.Megan Evans, a current Villanova junior, and a strong force for bringing to campus the “Villanova Women in Business Society Panel & Reception: Breaking through the Glass Ceiling” is still optimistic about the future of women in business.The panel, which met on Oct. 26 in the Connelly Center, featured prominent business women as speakers. The panel acknowledged that women still face the struggle to break the “glass ceiling” in most work environments, and then have the added burden, in many cases, of trying to juggle a family life as well.”Their advice was to make yourself indispensable, so even if you have kids the company will work around your schedule,” Evans explained. “The one woman said that she worked because of her kids, and they are her motivation. She also said that firms are really striving to create a work/life balance for women and men. Three of the four women on the panel had children and were incredibly successful.”However, statistics indicate that this determination may not exist to the same extent within our generation of women.Women of our generation seem to have other interests and priorities, as evidenced by the fact that the best-selling magazine on college campuses today is Cosmopolitan. Many of the featured articles in Cosmo provide sex and dating tips for women, but little in the way of substantive stories.At a time in our lives when we are supposed to be looking to the future and determining what we wish to do with the rest of our lives, young women are reading sex tips and taking quizzes about dating, catering to a crowd of women desperate to land a man so they can feel secure about themselves and confident in their futures.This publication, which women are so eagerly devouring, directs women in one article to “place a glazed doughnut around your man’s member, then gently nibble the pastry and lick the icing.”Another gem suggests that women lick their mate’s armpit. Judging by the statistics, many of the very women on this campus are purchasing these magazines to read up on these pointers. You men who have had your armpits licked may be able to identify who these women are.The fact that our generation of women is actively seeking such advice shows that we are different from those women who came before us.A recent article published in the New York Times by Louise Story titled, “Many Women at Elite Colleges Set Career Path to Motherhood,” says that many women currently enrolled in Ivy League Colleges have expressed a disinterest in entering the work force right away, if at all. These young women are daunted by the notion of striking the delicate and difficult balance between work and family life and feel that they must choose one over the other, many choosing the latter.One frequently overhears women on this campus complaining about their work load or how stressed they are. There are jokes thrown out about how work is so tedious and pointless, considering that they are aspiring to become a “trophy wife” anyway, and hence will not use the education that they are currently finding so taxing. But to what extent are we joking and to what extent has this truly become the mindset of the majority of women of our generation?Trophy wives and gold-diggers were common costumes at the slew of Villanova Halloween festivities this year. Do we even need to get dressed up anymore to sport this costume and portray this image? It seems it has already become a part of our everyday wardrobe and mindset.