Breaking Through: Why modern women should challenge the status quo

Our mission here at Breakthrough Loading is to empower women to challenge the status quo and create their best lives.

Wow.  Does that give anyone else goosebumps?  Just me?

Yes, this is a very bold statement and an equally lofty goal.  But, speaking as a modern woman myself, an urgent one. 

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What does it mean to challenge the status quo as a modern woman?

The Latin phrase status quo roughly translates to “state in which,” and these days references “the existing state of affairs.”   Or in layman’s terms, how things are or have been done for a while.  Now say it aloud.  Status quo.  I can just picture an ancient male philosopher with a scraggly white beard and a toga coining this phrase.

Now if we want to challenge the status quo, we have to question and assess the way things are.  And as a woman, I am sure you can list at least a handful of gender stereotypes or obstacles that you struggle with on a daily basis.  

Women today are struggling

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In the 2023 State of Women report, theSkimm outlines some of the major challenges that we face everyday and highlights how the current state of women simply “isn’t working.”  The data-driven analysis dives into multiple societal factors impacting women today, from inequity at home and work to disparity in healthcare and the lack of support in politics.  A resounding 82% of those surveyed agreed, “Everyone talks about how overburdened women are, but no one is actually helping them ease the burden.” 

The results of this survey are dismal but, as most of us can attest to, not surprising.  

Where does the status quo impact our own lives?

You probably don’t even realize how much of your daily routine and interactions are influenced by societal expectations and hand-me-down beliefs.  We follow these unspoken guidelines on autopilot, then at the end of the day cannot understand why we are so exhausted and unfulfilled.  I’ll tell you why — you’re operating off multiple conflicting sets of rules and trying to smush them all together into a cohesive version of “the perfect life.”  

It’s no wonder you are so exhausted!


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Kudos to the political figures and women’s rights activists in the 1970’s and beyond that started pushing the “girls can do anything” agenda.  There is no denying how far women have come from the subservient housewives of the 1950’s to our modern-day #bosslady mentality.  

But here we are over 50 years since the beginning of the women’s rights movement, and the playing field is still uneven.  Women are still making $0.84 to every $1 a man makes.  Men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions, both at the C-suite and manager level.  

There is not one easy answer on why this is or how to remedy it, as every company and every employee and every situation is different.  There are still definite instances of women not getting the same opportunities as men due to corporate culture, but on the other side of that coin some women may limit their own capacity for career advancement due to family or other personal obligations.  Regardless of the reasons, the disparity is clear.  

Family & Home Life

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What did you imagine of your future family and home life when you were a girl?  A good-looking spouse, a beautiful (and always clean!) home, 2.5 adorable and well-behaved children, home-cooked dinner on the table every night — any of that sound remotely familiar?

Fast forward 15 years or more, it is pretty much guaranteed that your hectic daily routine does not resemble the picture-perfect scenario you had dreamed of.  

Unfortunately, too many women are fighting to just keep up with their family and home responsibilities today.  Coordinating school drop-offs and pick-ups, homework, chores, PTA meetings, and keeping up with the Joneses is a full-time (and too-often thankless) job for any woman.  Recent studies show that even those women with a full-time career in a two-parent household are performing more than their fair share of the family workload, regardless of their professional workload.  

Why?  Because it’s what we were taught we should do and we’re not asking for the help we need.

The heavy burden women bear at home doesn’t just impact the family; we see the trickle effects in our relationships with our partner, our contributions at work, our ability to exercise and prioritize our physical health, and our overall mental well-being.  How can we expect to take care of ourselves if we take care of everyone else first?

Romantic Relationships

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Do you remember people telling you how hard marriage or a long-term relationship is when you were younger?  I do.  And I also remember rolling my eyes and shrugging it off, thinking that would never apply to me.

Do you believe them now?

Even the strongest relationships are bound to hit a bump in the road from time to time; it’s inevitable.  The problem is, if both partners are not constantly working to get back on the road to Romantic Bliss City, that unintentional path will take you farther off course.  And the longer you don’t work to re-route together, the more likely you are to end up at completely different destinations.

Incorporating the factors of family, home and career responsibilities into a modern relationship makes it so much more important to prioritize your bond as a couple and to grow together instead of apart.  To appreciate your partner for not only their best characteristics but also for all their quirks and flaws — and to expect the same in return.  

Relationships are hard work and it feels as though all the distractions of modern society are only making it easier to lose sight of that.


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“We want a lady in the streets but a freak in the bed”.  Thank you to Usher and Ludacris for outlining the modern woman’s sexual conundrum in one epic lyric.

With so much conflicting advice from our parents, our friends, the media and society in general, it is challenging to be confident in your own sexual values as a woman today.  Even if you had “the talk” or took sex ed when you were younger, the focus was always on reproduction, STD awareness and the occasional mention of male pleasure (scientifically referenced as ejaculation, of course).  Female pleasure was never even addressed, always swept under the rug or left unmentioned altogether.  Even today the signals are mixed, and we find ourselves lost somewhere between the hush-hush values of our childhood and the sexually explicit pro-female-pleasure pop culture movement.

As a woman who learned all the “good stuff” about sex from Cosmopolitan magazine as a teenager, I can definitely speak to the blatant lack of understanding and confusion regarding our own sexuality amongst so many women today.  And it’s a damn shame.  

Health, Wellness and Beauty Standards

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The entire Health/Wellness/Beauty industry is one big hodge-podge of contradictions.  Women are constantly bombarded by media messaging about how we should look, feel and the latest craze we have to try in order to be healthy.

As of 2023, the beauty industry has grown to a $532 billion business, with approximately 20% of those dollars attributed to the United States alone.  As society has become more and more obsessed with celebrity trends and the number of social media influencers on the rise, it’s no surprise so many are trying to keep up with the Kardashians in our physical standards.  

And while we are seeing a positive shift in recent years from the diet culture of the 1990’s-2000’s, even the latest trend of body appreciation and size inclusivity has been a controversial topic in healthcare.  The mixed signals in the news, from doctors, and even amongst our own social groups have left many women struggling to figure out what health and wellness means to them.

Who will challenge the status quo?

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So what is a modern woman to do?  

TheSkimm study mentions several references to women waiting for someone to help make the situation better; in politics, at home, at work, and everywhere in between.  

But let’s ask ourselves —who are we waiting for?  Who do we expect to fix this mess and save us?

The answer is simple.

It starts with us.  It starts with you.

Only you have the ability to impact your daily routine and what you will or will not allow to influence your life.

Only you can ask for help at home or reorganize your family responsibilities in a way that works for you.

Only you can choose to prioritize your partner and enhance your romantic relationship.  

Only you have the insight into your own mind and body in order to advocate for your health and well-being.

Only you can put in the effort and make the connections to be successful in your career and smash that glass ceiling.  

Only you can find joy and purpose in your life that will make all the struggles worthwhile.

It starts with you

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Perhaps the old saying “One person can change the world” is a little far-fetched; the world is way too big.  Even the most famous politician or champion can truly only impact a portion of the population.  But still, it’s an impact.  

We have to start somewhere and influence change in whatever small way we can.  Perhaps you as one person cannot change the world, but you can change your world.  And even starting small, you will see progress if you keep going and keep adapting.  You set the example for other women and for our daughters and granddaughters to follow.

Your breakthrough starts with you.

How have you let societal or personal status quo influence your life? How have you challenged it?  We’d love you to share in the comments!

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