In Chapter Three, Woolf talks about circumstances that prevent women from being able to access and express their artistic genius: distractions and indifference. A woman's role, by nature, is full of distractions, among them spouses, children, and homes to care for, and because society expected women to focus only on those things, there was a certain element of not being taken seriously when undertaking an artistic endeavor.
Additionally, Woolf writes in Chapter Two of the challenges facing men and women both and mentions three things that people in general need to get through this life:
"Life for both sexes—and I look at them, shouldering their way along the pavement—is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything, perhaps, creatures of illusion that we are, it calls for confidence in oneself."