Decades for equality and for the liberation of women have been taking shape in Western countries for many decades.
Thanks to them, women are less and less obliged to stay at home and to sacrifice themselves for a family life in which, years ago, they were supposed to invest all their strength. However, full equality has yet to materialize and gender roles continue to require women to take on a dual responsibility: working for money and taking care of the home and family. This is how the so-called female exhaustion syndrome.
What is female exhaustion syndrome?
The first thing to keep in mind when understanding this concept is that it is not a disease. As you can read in this article on the difference between syndrome, disorder and disease, the first is simply a collection of symptoms and signs that often occur together. This means that in female exhaustion syndrome there is no need for a biological cause to cause a person’s whole body to malfunction.
In fact, it is very likely that this syndrome is not caused by something going on in a woman’s body, but quite the opposite: what’s around. Specifically, a cultural model that causes many women to exhaust themselves from having to devote their time outside of work to most household chores.
In other words, what generates the female exhaustion syndrome is the way in which the woman and her environment are related (including in this the people who live there).
The causes of female exhaustion syndrome
One of the factors that makes female exhaustion syndrome such a persistent thing is that its causes have been culturally normalized. This means that because of the way we think of simply belonging to a culture that for centuries has strongly advocated segregation of gender roles, many of the customs that we feel are normal and “expected” to us. seem to produce female exhaustion syndrome.
A clear example of this is found in family dinners where, at the end of the day, the women automatically get up to pick up their plates and cutlery, wash the dishes and clean the table while the men are resting or sitting on the table.
Another classic example is cleaning the house. These types of activities are still mainly performed by women, which is important considering that a single floor has many parts that can be cleaned. Doing this activity is not just about washing the stick: you also need to vacuum, put the washing machine, hang out and iron, remove dust, etc.
A larger problem
Examples like these are just small pieces of the same reality: Household chores remain a responsibility mainly associated with women, While the professional field formerly reserved for men is now also a field of tasks that women must assume. As the labor market becomes more and more competitive, this translates into severe burnout.
In this way, the female exhaustion syndrome arises as a result of this crossing of responsibilities on the part of the woman: she is always obliged to take care of the house, and now she also has to devote several hours a day to the house. competition. in the labor market.
An economic problem and high demands
Thus, female exhaustion syndrome is partly a social and economic problem. Before, life was not that expensive, and with the paid work of one person, a house could be maintained. However, if women now also perform professional tasks, it is not only because an equality movement has been promoted: it is because now husbands and wives are forced to work for more. money. However, this equality scenario has not reached household chores, which is always something women are expected to do.
The other facet of the problem is psychological: women tend to make their self-esteem and their image of mother or wife depend on the satisfactory performance of all the tasks that are asked of her, without realizing that on many occasions she has to work harder. hours as her husband. This is why psychology must adapt to this new reality and propose solutions.