Sarah Jakes Roberts Challenges Societal Expectations for Women

Sarah Jakes Roberts Challenges Societal Expectations for Women

As Women’s History Month unfolds, Woman Evolve leader Sarah Jakes Roberts shares a thought-provoking post challenging societal expectations for women and advocating for female empowerment.

The post, shared Friday on Instagram, features a list of outdated and limiting messages aimed at controlling women’s behavior and appearance. In her message, she encourages women to challenge the societal norms that often dictate and constrain their lives.

Roberts presents a striking image of the constrictive and restrictive definition of femininity that many women still experience through a series of contradictory and limiting statements, such as “Be seen, but not heard,” “Be healthy, but not too small and don’t get too big,” and “Be intelligent and well-read, but don’t intimidate the men.”

These seemingly innocent messages uncover a complex network of social forces that define a woman’s voice, ambition, physical attractiveness, posture, and intellectual aptitude, among other things. She pushes women to fit into a preconceived stereotype that not only stifles their originality but silences their distinctive voices.

However, Roberts’ message doesn’t simply highlight these harmful societal norms. It also serves as a powerful tribute to the women who defied them. She concludes with a statement that has sparked debate: “S/O to all the women who got out of line and paved the way forward. You crawled so we could stand. It’s Women’s History Month, and we’re grateful for your surrender.”

As Women’s History Month continues, Roberts’ message serves as a timely reminder of the continuous struggle for gender equality. It invites thoughtful consideration of the messages we absorb and the social mores that keep women in subordination. We must keep working toward the day when women are freed from the constraints of outmoded social norms to be who they are.

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