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Abstract

Has "fear of success" been overcome by our focus on individual achievement, or is today's working woman caught in an ever more exhausting circle of high expectations and guilt? The author of this article notes that professional accomplishment and femininity were once viewed as mutually exclusive, creating a double bind for women who wanted both, driving some to avoid too much success. But today, the economic interdependence of men and women is a reality, requiring that we move beyond the debate of the proper role of women and look at the real issues: burden sharing, support systems, and stresses on women and their families. The conclusion of this examination of why many working women feel both overextended and undervalued is that women will succeed and society benefit only if we all join in helping to find ways to resolve these pressures.

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