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8 comics that perfectly capture society's ridiculous expectations for women

"We are just humans, multifaceted and fascinating, divided by judgement, discrimination, and double standards."

lainey molnar, feminism, white feminism, comic strips
@lainey.molnar/Instagram

"We are just humans, multifaceted and fascinating."

It’s one thing to talk about the unfair and unrealistic societal expectations that are still put on women. But it’s another thing to see exactly what those double standards look like in real life.

And, that, in essence, is often what artist Lainey Molnar’s work is all about.

On her popular Instagram account, Molnar has tackled all kinds of topics around womanhood and feminism—everything from the unsettling differences between men and women’s safety items that appear on a Google search to generational toxic relationships with food—using strikingly candid comic illustrations, many of which have depict cartoon versions of herself.

While Molnar told Upworthy that her work generally aims to make “complex topics simple and thought provoking,” she often wishes to delve more into nuance, like the intersection of class, race and religion in women’s issues. And that is what inspired some of her latest images.

“I wanted to create a series with all female characters about predominantly female experiences that show the double standards stemming from these issues. Because we can’t empower women without supporting social justice all the way, everything connects,” she shared.

One image shows a white woman, affluently dressed, being praised as a “single mother of three.” While a Black woman is noted for having “three baby daddies.” Another of a similar theme shows a young white girl getting commended for learning another language, while an Indian girl of the same age is chastised for “not speaking English properly.”

There’s also a white woman who is told it’s “cool” that she’s embracing her natural curls, while a Black woman sporting an afro is called “unkempt and unprofessional.”

Touching on wealth status, Molnar depicted one girl being complimented for her “vintage” outfit while another is patronized for getting hand-me-downs.

Lastly, a woman wearing a hijab is told that she’s “oppressed” and “can’t think for herself” while another woman is called “classy” for her modesty.

Take a look at all eight in the carousel below:

In her post’s caption, Molnar wrote “We are just humans, multifaceted and fascinating, divided by judgment, discrimination, and double standards. The world needs to do better.” Many of her comics tend to have a thoughtful musing attached to them.

When it comes to having meaningful conversations about important issues, it can be hard to strike a balance between oversimplification and getting buried in nuance. But art can be a valuable tool in not only helping people understand a message on an emotional and visceral level, but also be able to carry an image with them. One that helps them have better conversations moving forward.

To check out more of her work, check out Molnar’s Instagram here.

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