Preliminary notes: I'm posting this in the Powder Room because I am coming at this topic from a woman's perspective, and I believe the discussion would be furthered best by fellow feminine perspectives. Further reading - Author Lynn Peril. We've all heard the term "societal pressure", and we've all seen it powerfully directed toward women. It dates to the 1950s (you saw very little of it in the 20s and 30s), when the media, and in turn society, complete with an array of guidebooks, tried to condition a woman to serve her man - make him a home, give him a family, be an exciting lover as well as a perfect mother, and get involved in the community, all while looking your prettiest, etc. We all know now as women must have then that only Wonder Woman was capable of this feat, as many of the victim's of this conditioning were driven to the psychiatrist's chair and the "little yellow pill". We've come so far, we like to say, but has anything really changed? I suspect the stipulations have varied, but the Superwoman expectation is still there. Thumbing through June's Vanity Fair, I'm treated to advertisements featuring sexy women tossing their long waves alongside anti-aging serums and cancer awareness ads. Vanity Fair's own promotion section includes a slot for the shoe store Clark's, and the copy says, in part: "Delight in the details ... as Clark's takes you from the boardroom to date night in supreme style." A few pages onward, George Wayne's Q&A features Kelly Ripa smiling wide, with the accompanying introduction: "Kelly Ripa ... Can't seem to stop smiling. It's no surprise: she's helped turn Live with Regis into Live! with Kelly - all while raising a family." So the celebrated modern woman has a high-flying job that brings her into boardroom meetings, goes out on dates looking super stylish afterward in gorgeous outfits before she finds her man and gets married, then bears him children while advancing her career, looking fabulously young, and running 10K to raise money for cancer, among other things. I've heard this before... For a fleeting moment, I feel a bit inferior, a single girl with my little legal secretary job, penchant for cupcakes impeding my marathon training potential, and none of the toys or clothes I make raising any money to fight disease. Then I think, whats so terrible? I had the opportunity to have a big boardroom job, but I chose not to take it for wont of less stress. And I do so pull my weight for charity, but in smaller ways. The feeling of inferiority has now morphed into indignance. On the other hand, I would have positively burst with budding potential in the Golden Era, right down to the sewing and secretarial job. How would you have stacked up in the 50s, and how do you stack up now? Do you ever feel the pressure to stack up, even if its only for a moment? What is your future prognosis for this way of thinking? Ladies, I would love to hear your thoughts.