Women and their Social masks-why wear them?

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Women and their 'Social Masks'-Why Wear Them? Women and their ‘Social Masks’: Why Wear Them? Women, even in the 21st century with all the noise and clamor for women emancipation, are still forced and conditioned to wear ‘social masks’, donning roles that contemporary society expects of them just because they wear skirts and blouses. Reality becomes a daily masquerade ball to which there never seems to be any respite. Today, we see women actively working in the corporate world, media, politics and other disciplines and we tell and convince ourselves that all is well and good, not quite oblivious to the lady behind the office desk who makes precise, well-timed, pre-programmed nods and smiles or to the mother who after a dozen or so of diaper change and hours of breastfeeding, mutes her complaints, wiping trickles of tears and exhaustion in a hurry. Society continues to place its burden of expectations on what a woman should or should not be. Any deviation from these norms and standards raises an eyebrow or two, merits a haughty smirk or a downright disapproval. Women then are left with the option of wearing ‘social masks’, not quite realizing that what is sacrificed, squashed and compromised as they continue to put on ‘social masks’-consciously or not-is their true identity and true selves. In Amy Cunningham’s essay, “Why Women Smile”, she talks about the act of smiling as a cover-up, a means used by women to camouflage their inner desires and feelings or a tool in achieving ulterior motives. Smiling then, more often than not, has become a cloak of pretension, another ‘social mask’ so conveniently wearable in a culture which encourages it so women constantly smile, almost permanently and so misplaced, like a mannequin with plastered smile in a store window display. “We

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