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    idiom "at the expense of"

    Hi, have I use the above idiom correctly in my sentence below?

    "There have been significant changes in women's status of today's society. Many had broken the panes of the kitchen, competing with men in every segment of human life at the expense of children's needs fundamental to their growth."

  1. Skrej's Avatar
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    Re: idiom "at the expense of"

    You've got the context of that idiom correct, but 'panes of the kitchen' doesn't work for me. Not sure exactly what you're trying to express - breaking out of the kitchen?

    We do refer to the 'glass ceiling', which is a reference to women (or minorities) having more difficulty receiving promotions to the higher positions in a company. However, that's usually referred to as 'breaking the glass ceiling', and is a different context from what I think you're trying to express.

    If you're considering the kitchen as a metaphor for some kind of jail holding women back, then perhaps something like ' have broken the bars of the kitchen', or ' have escaped the boundaries/constraints/confines of the kitchen.'

    Neither of those is especially natural either, but they work better than 'panes of the kitchen'.

    Perhaps others can suggest some more options.
    Last edited by Skrej; 07-Aug-2015 at 17:07. Reason: typo

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    Re: idiom "at the expense of"

    Perhaps, "have cast off their shackles to escape the confines of the kitchen" might work.

    [I have stolen one of Skrej's phrases because it seems to go well with shackles].
    (BrE first language speaker.)

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