Nothing like this had ever happened to women before on such a grand scale.They weren't just at combat with men, they had also engaged in a battle with each other. They hadn't realized that they were all desperate for the same things — respect, love, appreciation and contentment. To just be and to know that they were enough and "worthy" was the kind of reassurance they needed.
Through the eighties and nineties, the battle intensified and soon, everyone was demanding and expecting the same equalities as men. This occurred without them realizing they were no longer gaining ground. Many women in the corporate world were turning into little replicas of men. They began to believe that if they talked louder, walked faster, glared harder and showed less compassion, they would finally get the respect they deserved.
Their mistake was failing to recognize that true power could never be demanded or enforced, and that it only comes from embracing femininity, sexuality, and intelligence with passion, acceptance, understanding, strength, grace, gentleness and kindness. Instead, many women were convinced that once men were made accountable for their "wrongdoings" that their lives would work out and they would find serenity, peace, and they would then feel beautiful. But that didn't seem to happen as women seemed to be even less happy about their looks, bodies, and sexuality. Dating: The One Piece Of Advice All Single Women Need?
What was happening? Well, we watched our mothers fight the fight (or depending on your age, you fought it yourself), yet we intrinsically felt their deep yearning to still nurture and love. They were so confused — trying to be feminists, rejecting the beauty myth and still all the while instinctively knowing that love and companionship were what mattered most. It was no one's fault, but the messages were mixed and the beliefs that most passed down to their daughters were shaky. We were told that men exploited us and that beauty wasn't important, as we continued to read the magazines, tighten the girdles, and coat our skin with the latest wrinkle cream.
They swallowed the "pill," so to speak, and then got mad that it was provided. We, then, quite literally swallowed a few more, often by the name of Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, or Effexor (the total sales world-wide of anti-depressants in 2002 was nearly 27 million prescriptions), in an attempt to numb our scattered emotions and frustrations, all the while angrily comparing ourselves to the 17 year-old model on the cover of the magazine that we'd just bought. And, yes, although we are much further ahead now than ever before, too many women were still in a frustrated, frantic state, listening to the unrelenting disparagement of their chattering minds, telling them what they should've done, while pointing out the more perfect outfit, the more perfect home, the more perfect marriage and the more perfect woman.
Like it or not, we as women have allowed ourselves to play a game we can never win: a game based on conforming and changing. On competing and comparing. On starving and denying. On hurting and hoarding. Sad, it seems that we know more about what celebrities are wearing and who they are romancing than we do about our own needs and desires. We know more about the latest fashion trends than we do about our own purpose and passion.