The notion of a nuclear family [VIDEO] is instilled in us from an early age with children playing families right from nursery. These games tend to have a mummy who looks after the children and a daddy who goes to work and then returns home to do nothing. It's an early and preconceived notion of success. This is obviously fine if it is indeed what you want for yourself in the future, however, the problem arises when we use phrases such as "when you become a mother" or "when you grow up and get married" meaning that this is the life which all women will inevitably live and the only one which they should aspire to.

This becomes toxic as a result, toxic femininity.

Settling down

Recently, we have become increasingly better at inspiring young women to chase their dreams. Of course, we're not there yet but we are changing slowly but surely. The problem is, however, that we expect young women to do well in their career, have a social life and manage a whole load of other societal expectations but only for a while, usually their 20s, before they are expected to "settle down". While this is an ambiguous phrase as it means different things to different people and their lifestyles, it is usually to do with finding a partner, buying a home together and beginning a family.

Lose-lose situation

Unbelievably, however, not all women want to do this.

Some prefer academia, some travel and others are doing things with a commitment they may not be able to if they have a family, especially children. Some might just not like children so why would they have their own? As per usual, women are caught in a lose-lose situation whereby if they choose to focus on themselves they are often labelled "selfish" and told to compare themselves with women who aren't able to have children and would like to or told in some shockingly sexist cases that this is a women's role.

Meanwhile, if they do choose to lead a more conventional lifestyle, they are often chastised for not breaking the status quo.

Women's right to choose

It all boils down to women's right to choose. To choose whether they want to get married or even be in a relationship. To choose whether they want children or not. To choose whether they want to put their career first.

We need to get over this societal expectation that women are ultimately going to "settle down" or the world is never going to realise the full potential and influence of numerous young women by assigning them to traditional roles with as little as our choice of phrases that they may not necessarily associate with.