A feeling of guilt is not a good feeling, it makes us feel bad for whatever we did or failed to do in past. It makes us feel responsible for whatever bad is happening around us. This feeling is necessary many times to make us realize our mistakes and take corrective actions, but this feeling can also hurt our progress if we feel guilty for no reason, or for doing things which we were supposed to do but which were against the established social norms of that time. The feeling of guilt has been used against women for centuries to make them fulfill some stereotyped roles. Overcoming this imposed feeling of guilt is an integral part of every women's struggle to break the shackles of unreasonable stereotyped restrictions. Women are successful to overcome this feeling and achieve substantial progress to prove that they are no less capable to achieve success in every field, but even after all these years, I read posts on social media where a woman feels guilty for not doing enough for their families by prioritizing their careers, they feel or made feel guilty for not paying enough attention to their in-laws or kids at the cost of their flourishing careers, they are blamed more for neglecting their familial duties compared to their male counterparts. In contrast, I rarely see any post by men, where they regret focussing on their professional lives at the cost of not paying enough attention to their family members.
So, why career-oriented women are more targetted for not being involved enough with their families? Because many times this strategy works, many times society becomes successful in imposing that feeling of guilt in women's mind. This weapon of guilt has been used for centuries against women and it is still one of the most used weapons against them. Victim shaming also comes in the same category where the motive and behavior of the victim of sexual crime is criticized instead of a blatant act of harassment or assault by the perpetrator. It is not easy to deal with such attacks. As human beings, we are sensitive to our surroundings and have a tendency to fit in. Both women and men are targetted by outdated and rigid social norms do fill in certain types of roles and whenever they try to break those boundaries they are being targetted for not being a man or woman of their respective families. We as a society need to fight this mentality if we want each and every member of the community to contribute to the welfare of our society to the best of their capabilities. In the era where a lot of professional help and care is available, it is unreasonable to expect only a particular gender to fulfill particular responsibilities. There is nothing wrong in being a career oriented person for a man or a woman. Partners can help each other to fulfill their career aspirations and achieve professional as well as personal success. Without support from each other men and women, both will fail to achieve their aims no matter what those aims are.
Hilary Moore, a lawyer who decided to leave law to look after her family wrote in her article, "A real freedom is a freedom from condemnation, no matter what choices we make. A woman's place is where she pleases. In a truly egalitarian society, a woman's value will not be measured by her ability to reach the traditional male definition of success." Make your own choices, go through the struggles and hardships which come with it and reap the rewards. If the imposed feeling of guilt is only used to deter you from breaking stereotyped roles, just ignore it, we need to diffuse this weapon as it is being used for quite some time to frustrate efforts of brave men and women, especially women.