“You've come a long way, baby!” says a popular commercial applauding the evolution of today's woman.
And indeed we have arrived!
Once dubbed “the weaker sex”, women have sojourned from a day and age when we couldn't even cast votes, to political powerhouses to be reckoned with. (Insert snapped fingers here).
Think Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Kamala Harris, Lori Lightfoot; they' re all beautiful women with great impact and influence.
Even in the corporate arena, many of us have ascended corporate ladders to leadership roles, managing massive department budgets and subordinates that are often men.
Add to this the fact that we own our own homes, earn our own money, and have our own opinions. And in the words of singing group, Destiny's Child, “I depend on me, if I want it.”
But, here's the trade off...
Today's successful woman may be winning in business while losing in love. And here's why. Otherwise savvy sisters fail to recognize that many of the qualities that allow us to dominate the boardroom, can cause detriment in the bedroom.
According to relationship experts at YourTango.com, "Many established and successful women who are used to taking the lead in the workplace, have found themselves doing the leading in their relationships, too. What they don't realize, however, is that by doing so, they're making their men feel emasculated — stripping them of their manly status in the relationship. And when these emasculating behaviors go on for too long... poof! Without warning, their relationship suddenly crumbles, and these strong women are left wondering what happened."
Here's a case in point.
Some time ago, I sat in the kitchen of one of my gal pals, who is a mover and shaker by all accounts. “Laura” is a director at a social service agency, where she oversees daily operations and a large staff. She has to be strong and forceful to get things done and command respect; there's no doubt about it. But she forgets at the end of the day to retire her “whip” when she returns home.
While sipping herbal tea and having a conversation to catch up with her, I witnessed a situation that gave me cause for pause. In fact, I grew rather uncomfortable as I reluctantly listened to her bust her husband's chops for not taking out the trash and other neglected tasks as if he were a child. He looked so embarrassed and emasculated I wanted to crawl under my seat. In order to avoid conflict, he just kept quiet, but his face said it all. It wasn't difficult to discern who really “wears the pants” in that house.
And sadly, I've seen this scene played out many times with other friends and family members where women are in positions of authority, (though not all).
It got me to thinking...
Are we winning the battle but losing the war?
Or, in the words of Dr. Phil, “How's that workin' for ya'?"
Here are five common scenarios that illustrate how we sometimes emasculate our men without realizing it.
Perhaps you're guilty of a few. Read on and find out.
1. THE “IT'S MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY” MENTALITY
Sure, positions of authority in the work world allow us to dictate our desires to those whom we hire and pay for their services. But, personal relationships are different. They're supposed to be partnerships where both parties' needs and feelings are accommodated, not roles of parenting or rescue. Compromise is key.
2. POSSESSION OBSESSION
God bless the child that's got his own. And some of us never fail to let our mates know that our material possessions are the byproducts of our success and belong exclusively to us, particularly in the heat of an argument. My house, my car, my money. My word!
3. “I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR” SYNDROME
From having the ability to make our own money and provide for our own well being, to fertility and adoption options that can X men out of the daily equation of life, some of us are giving the message that men are dispensable in our words and actions. That was never the “divine plan.”
4. TAKING BIG STANDS ON SMALL ISSUES
Waging wars with words gives some women a feeling of power and importance, while leaving men rebellious and resistant to change.Then nobody wins.
Nothing can take a man down a few notches like comparing him to an ex-boyfriend or to a father figure. Or even comparing what he has to what you have (in situations where you out earn him). Not only is this a blow to his ego, it’s unfair and unkind. We each have strengths and weaknesses; it’s what makes us human.
As a successful, progressive woman, I'm a firm believer that strong is not always wrong.
But balance is often better! Hello?
Can successful women have it all?
Sure, but somebody's gotta' pay the tab; which requires give and take and a little of the same negotiating skills savvy sisters employ from 9 to 5 .
Image credit: Pixabay.com