Are there ideal women? If so, what should be the ideal Ukrainian? Fashion for the perfect female image comes and disappears, and the woman remains. Is it possible today to be yourself and not to surrender to stereotypes imposed by society? Let’s try to answer.
The ideal of a Ukrainian woman at different times was not identical. By 1917 the ideal woman considered corresponded mother, housewife, honest Christian. Ukrainian woman in those days gave birth from four – to six children, and got high respect and reputation of them. Respect and love for the mother was like something sacred, “bullet will pass, but the mother’s word will not pass,” – said the proverb. Children groomed mother to old age otherwise it was considered a disgrace and a sin.
In the Soviet period Ukrainian woman had to meet the ideal of “workers and mothers.” The woman was needed by society as the worker. Housewives were considered lazy and of “blue blood”. Those days Ukrainian women gave birth to fewer children as three children in the family were already too much. The Soviet Union took a course on gender equality, as in the works of Marx and Engels was a lot said about women’s rights and community brigades.
Protest against sexual inequality was not fulfilled to something worth in the Soviet Union. Women began to work harder and just after birth almost immediately went to work. There was no vacation after child birth or cash payment for maternity. Though, milkmaid could become a deputy, but formally only. By executive positions women were not allowed.
In the post-Soviet period the idea of “natural purpose of women” as a mother and wife was again dominated. In independent Ukraine the ideal woman had to be homemaker. The crisis of the 90s forced the Ukrainians to become a “migrant workers” in Western Europe and in the rest of the world. Highly skilled workers, specialists, scientists widely traveled abroad to feed their children. There “homemakers” were subjected to brutal labor, psychological, sexual exploitation, but were in no hurry to return home. Many women remained in foreign countries for permanent residence. The birth rate in Ukraine has fallen sharply, and the number of terminations of pregnancies has increased. The ideal Ukrainian woman then works hard to save her family from poverty and hunger.
Modern ideal Ukrainian woman must play all previous roles: to be tender lover, gentle mother, thoughtful professional or responsible leader, a courageous defender of her home, zealous Christian, etc. Recently, the media and popular literature, offered another image of the ideal Ukrainian woman, who is sexually liberated predator that hunts for a rich husband. There were plenty of glossy magazines that give “hints” as for surrendering men women tempt to pretend less intelligent than they actually are.
Unfortunately, Ukrainian women willingly accepted this way and now almost all Ukrainian women want to be “sexy.” Wives of football players undress because they want to be “sexy.” TV presenters, singers, writers or actress also want to be “sexy.” Little girls, teenagers, young mothers understand that they must be “sexy” to compete for the hearts of men. The whole world expects Ukrainian women should be “sexy.” The woman who gets compliments once in seven years, purely beliefs that when she becomes “sexy” everything would change for better dramatically.