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These illustrations perfectly capture the difficulties of being a woman

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Sometimes it can tough to know the “right” way to act. Particularly if you’re a woman.

Just ask Hillary Clinton, who this week was forced to publicly apologise for being too “aloof”. Or Julia Gillard, who during her time as Prime Minister, was criticised for being too emotional one week and not emotional enough the next.

This is hardly a new problem. Since the ‘80s researchers have theorised that female leaders have to operate within a “narrow band of acceptable behaviour”. In other words, we can be assertive but not assertive, ambitious but too ambitious, while men on the other hand are given much more leeway.

But this week British artist Daisy Bernard captured the age-old issue perfectly with a series of illustrations.

She wrote on The Tab that “We’re constantly set conflicting expectations on how to look (wear makeup but look natural) or how to behave at work (act like a lady, think like a boss) or in relationships (don’t be a slut but don’t be frigid).

“Men are told to ‘power dress’, yet women get sent home for not wearing heels. Powerful women are spoken about in words you’d never use for men – bossy, naggy, difficult or a bitch,” she added.

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