Appreciation for women and their suffering

Appreciation For Women – And Their Suffering

Appreciation for women and their suffering

Appreciation for women

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to express appreciation for women and what a woman must endure.

First a quick update:

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What Will You Regret At The End Of Your Life?
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Now, let’s talk about appreciation for women and what a woman must endure.

Recently a friend of mine was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and then because of complications with blood clotting, she was rushed to hospital, and eventually she had to experience a complete hysterectomy.

Immediately, I began to wonder about the extraordinary differences between the sexes.

I understand that for whatever the reasons, there is a claim that there are no differences in the genders and that gender is a social and cultural construct. However, no one can argue that there are harsh and clearly defined differences between the sexes.

When I thought about my friend experiencing a complete hysterectomy, I also stopped to think about the fact that men don’t face the same challenge or suffering. A man might experience prostate cancer (about 12% of the male population) and 3% of those will have their prostate removed, but that’s still not equivalent to a woman who has her entire uterus removed. And then I stopped to think about breast cancer, and about the many women who had to have their entire breasts removed to save their lives.

Both of those surgeries – hysterectomies and breast removal have extraordinary significance and psychological impact on women.

It also made me think about the fact that women will experience menopause along with its long list of psychological and physiological effects: hot flushes, night sweats, sleeplessness, vaginal dryness, irritated skin, fatigue, more frequent urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections, low mood, reduced libido and interest in sex, mood swings, anxiety and depression.

The more thought I gave to what women experience, the more I began to feel compassion and appreciation for women. Yes, I understand and concede that there are many men who claim they’ve been financially ruined or betrayed by a woman. And I understand that one out of two women has experienced sexual violence (other than rape) – by a man.

I also understand and accept that there is extraordinary pressure on both men and women by society to fulfill certain roles. I understand that men are still expected to be financially successful. However, I don’t believe that there can be any comparison between what a woman and a man will each experience biologically. For example, two-thirds of the people who have Alzheimer’s are women, and it’s not because women live longer: women are more prone to getting Alzheimer’s because of their biology.

Nearly one in 10 U.S. adults has depression, and the rate is almost twice as high for women as men according to the US CDC.

I also think about my mother who experienced breast cancer and overcame it but later got Alzheimer’s and dementia. And so, I believe that women experience a lot more suffering than men first and foremost on the biological level, and then from society’s expectations of them which seem to have only become more extreme.

Unfortunately, and painfully, society now has mental, emotional and physical expectations of women which are not only impossible for any human to meet but they create more suffering, depression, shame, guilt, self-loathing and misery for women and, in turn, relationships. Women are expected to be eternally young and beautiful, wrinkle-free with the perfect body at any and every age; they must be sexy with sexual prowess but pure; they must be successful, powerful, intelligent, witty but not show emotion other than happiness (no crying or anger) and; they must be the perfect mother or housewife.  And here I am only referring to the Western world’s expectations of women – excluding the roughly 6,000 girls around the world whom are subjected to female genital mutilation each day (30% of whom die from the effects) or the women who are forced to completely cover their faces, or the young girls who are sold into sex slavery.

I also think about the advantage that men have – they can biologically father children at almost any age, while a woman has a finite age for giving birth to a healthy child.

I do not believe that men are superior to women or vice versa. I simply am admitting that I am humbled as I recognize and acknowledge that in life women have to suffer much more than men do. And I recognize that there is probably a lot of suffering that women experience that I’ve not listed here including childbirth or even the loss of a newborn baby at birth, or the suffering from things that I will never understand. My simple point, even if it is poorly articulated here, is to express a deep appreciation, acknowledgement and compassion for women and for all that they must endure during life. And I recognize that I’m blessed that I don’t have to experience the same type of suffering.

If you need help to forgive someone in your life – man or woman – book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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