Are you a strong woman in every department except romance? Welcome to the club. You survived the corporate warfare and rose up while the recession was quick to sacrifice the fairer sex like sacrificial lambs on the altar – yet at home you cower, you shrink, you cave in when your partner stomps, roars, and demeans you on levels you wouldn’t accept anywhere else. What’s going on here?
It’s not like I haven’t been there myself. I graduated from a Seven Sisters college a year early, and yet one of my friends advised: “You have too much personality. You need to hide who you are, morph yourself into what a man wants, and then, six months into the relationship, start to reveal your true self.”
How come a woman is supposed to hide her achievements outside of the work place like a dirty little secret? In the tech field, women who have risen like phoenixes from the ashes have been sent death threats. The lovely and talented sports reporter Erin Andrews has made it past the hurdles of being a female into sports casting, only to have a man stalk her and videotape her undressing through the peephole of her locked hotel room. Are men so afraid of successful women that their only reaction is to find a way to degrade them and soil their accomplishments?
Women are happy when they feel needed. It’s our instinct to coddle, nurture and empathize. We want to feel like we can bring out the best in our unpolished, misunderstood gemstones, and we’re willing to do a lot to prove that we’re on to something no one else understands. What we often don’t realize is that no amount of talking is going to change a blunt instrument into a support beam.
The truth is that in urban centers the ratio of men to women has flip-flopped, increasing competition for men who only have to turn on the latest Judd Apatow film to see a nerdy, overweight, stoner male landing a smart, seductive, put-together goddess of a woman.
Drama kings can nestle in slowly, taking little nibbles at your self-esteem. Successful women are often conscious of being too masculine at work, and so they work overtime to be the opposite at home. Strong women give and give, and are aware that time is ticking. They don’t have time to go and find a new mate, because routine is so much easier than ending up solo. Statistics show that the percentage of single women over forty has risen 20% since the women’s lib movement of the 1970s. What were we liberated from? Now, in addition to raising a family, organizing a social life, getting the dog to the vet and outfitting our men, we get to add a job to all of that – and still at unequal pay levels!
Be strong and be good to yourself – you don’t need that stress. After all, stats reveal that single women are happier than married women!
What do you think – are women better off dropping the need for men altogether?