Through the centuries, almost every society has developed very distinct ideas of what activities are proper for women, but that hasn't stopped women from proving to be stronger and more aggressive than they were decades ago. Gloria Steinem and Virginia Woolf are two very prominent female figures that are influencing their readers to view women in a different perspective, bringing new concepts to the idea of a workingwoman, or how they are perceived in society. After reading three very powerful interpretations about women and by women - The Importance of Work, Life on the Global Assembly Line, and Professions for Women - it is important to point out the social expectations of women, how men view women, and more particularly, what women expect or aspire from themselves in a developing society.
Steinem is emphasizing society's conventional way of thinking, and she is welcoming the idea that working is a natural or basic instinct that should be available and practiced in both men and women. It should not be entirely up to the man to make the money in the household, nor should a woman have to sacrifice her own abilities to make room for a man to work. This is another issue Steinem raises. "In addition to personal satisfaction, there is also society's need for all its members" talents" (541). Not allowing women to contribute their skills to the workforce is, essentially, preventing society from growing and advancing, and Steinem is enforcing the importance that society is made up of more than just a man's abilities alone.
"Taking men's jobs away" (540) is a never-ending concern in today's society, but it is not always the case for society to rely on men to do the work that women would be better at executing. Life on the Global Assembly Line is an example of an industry that is directed strictly towards women. While the women are described as "a critical element in the global economy and a key "resource" for expanding multinational corporations" (551), the men are "too restless and impatient to do monotonous work with no career value" (552).