Mom never makes the list of Time magazine's most influential people. That is, unless she's the strong, achieving, competitive, self-described Tiger Mom, Amy Chua, who made it onto Time's list in 2011. Interestingly, in this video clip Chua admits that she, too, wanted to be just like Dad, and she seems to have succeeded.
As these societal attitudes have continued - even been strengthened - over the years, it only makes sense that the result of this type of cultural reinforcement is culminating in more young women than ever wanting to become, and becoming, more like men.
But It's Turning Men Off
The problem, of course, is that most men don't want to be in a relationship with strong, masculine women. Men have spent tens of thousands of years seeking out the feminine qualities to complement their masculinity, and yet we foolishly expect that a change in the cultural mindset of women over a mere fifty years will somehow change this prehistoric programming.
Relationships are in turmoil as women feel, more than ever, empowered to be the aggressor and to seek out the men that they want. We feel strong, emboldened to be the one to make the first move, the one to call, the one to ask him out on a date.
Men, however, haven't changed at all in that most of them still prefer to be the one who chases and wins over the woman. This transformation in the mindset of women has completely changed the dynamics of male-female relationships, and as the statistics indicate, not for the better.
The Downward Spiral
With marriage rates dropping so drastically, many more women are being left to support themselves (and often children) for much longer periods, which is forcing them to seek out high paying professions out of a sense of security. Competing successfully in a corporate culture that rewards strength requires becoming more masculine, thus continuing a cycle from which breaking free becomes difficult, if not impossible.
Women are going against their true nature in order to feel the societal validation that all humans crave. We want to feel liberated, but we're missing the fact that true liberation comes only when we are free to be our beautiful authentic selves, which includes our innate desire to reproduce, and to nurture and care for others – that is, to embrace our tender feminine qualities.
Going against our true feminine nature creates a distressing inner conflict. In order to be successful in the workplace, we're required to repress our feminine side and enhance our masculine side, but in order to be successful in marriage and family we need just the opposite.
It simply can't work, and it's clearly not working. It's not working for our men and it's not working for our families. High paying, high powered careers take a lot of our time, and that time comes at the expense of the people that need our time the most – our families.
So instead of getting what we truly want – a successful marriage and happy, thriving families - by trying to also have the high paying career the house of cards collapses on us and we're left with nothing, or at least nothing that works well. The best we can hope for is success in one realm at the expense of failure, or at best mediocrity, in the others.
We’ve been sold a bill of goods, and we're continuing to be sold. The dream of having it all, at least as our culture defines it, is just that - a dream, a fantasy.
You Can Have Anything You Want
To the 66% of women who say they want a high paying career, I say this: You can have anything you want, but don't be tricked into thinking you can have everything you want. You can certainly choose the boardroom over the family room, but do so knowing that by making that choice, you are foregoing being truly successful at the other. Be honest with yourself and focus on what you really want, which for most of us is a successful marriage and family, and put aside the rest.
Above all else, be true to yourself. Embrace your beautiful feminine nature, and allow yourself these intrinsic feminine qualities: to be caring, nurturing, affectionate and tender. It will make you more loving, attractive, and happy, and you'll be making the world a better place by building a solid foundation for your family and raising your children in a nurturing, caring environment with attentive parenting. You'll have the successful marriage and family that, as the numbers reveal, is what we all really want the most.
And that’s what our society should be celebrating.
Jane Garapick knows firsthand what it's like to have a broken heart, a broken dream and a broken you. She writes about adventures on the rocky road to finding Mr. Right at www.gettingtotruelove.com
To get started on your own personal journey to true love, download Jane's complimentary guide "Find Your True Love: 10 Simple Steps to Getting the Love You Want...and Deserve"