Am I Athena? Always A Daughter, Never A Wife


Am I Athena? Always A Daughter, Never A Wife
Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen once described the Jungian archetype of an Athena woman, the eternal daughter

Other women in the office, he sort of seemed, fine with their output and effort levels. They didn't have the intensity that he would say was one of my best features. Somehow he didn't try to pull it out of them. Wilhelm and I talked about it. He said it was an old world thing. The women he never pushed were typical of the Quinn Fabray variety, you know, the character in the TV show Glee. They came from no culture. Or at least did not know their ancestral ties and had no interest.

Wilhelm and I talked about loyalty. We agreed that it was something old world people understood in a way that was inexplicable but not due to language. There was also another boss before Wilhelm. His name was Oliver and he was British. We had the same relationship and Oliver was also less than a decade older than I. It dawned on me that Athena the archetype was operating so strongly in me that it played out in the workplace. The only time it didn't was if my boss was female, which hasn't been the case since I was 25, or if it was a man who was of the Brody Jenner variety. Basically, the male counterpart to Quinn Fabray or Lauren Conrad.


That kind of man either was my older brother who didn't push me as much or he couldn't understand why I was wasn't a Southern Belle. While the old world men seemed very at ease with my strengths the new world version clearly was confused. Here is the metaphor: If I'm Margaret Thatcher, then Wilhelm and Oliver were Winston Churchill meets Sean Connery, while new world men are like Justin Timberlake meets Brody Jenner. It's as if the later were perplexed that I didn't bat my eyelashes at them if I wanted to leave work early on a Friday. Fact of the matter is, I didn't want to. I didn't push myself for money as a primary motivation. I push myself because it's the thrill of victory feeling I am chasing when being consumed by a project.

So then there is the inevitable question: Are you married?

No, nein, non, nada.

The response: I'm not surprised or silence (doesn't matter age or gender of the person who asked)

You see, I'm not surprised either. I'd be shocked if I was.

A friend of mine in London suggested that if Wilhelm and Oliver were single, they would still have treated me the same. Her theory was: the women they don't push are the ones they want to sleep or get with. Those women are in the wife or girlfriend category. I was in the sister, daughter, tomboy segment. Either that, or men relate to me like and equal or worse, one of the guys.

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