In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss why one should beware of women who lack character, and, whether or not women should be held to the same standard as men regarding character.
First a quick update:
“The secret to winning in life”
Dr. Jim Loehr is a world renowned performance psychologist, Co-Founder of the Human Performance Institute, and author of 16 books including his most recent, “The Only Way to Win.” Dr. Loehr, who has coached 16 athletes to victory including Monica Seles and Dan Jensen, reveals the importance of one’s character but also reveals that the secret to feeling fulfilled in life is the contribution to other people’s happiness. Watch the Emotional Mojo TV interview here.
Now, let’s talk about the reasons one should beware of women who lack good character, and, whether or not women should be held to the same standard as men regarding character.
Of course, one should avoid and beware of all people who lack good character, but, as I will explain, there is a valid reason that in this article, I am referring specifically to women who lack good character.
What is character?
Character refers to the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual i.e. the sum total of one’s morals and ethics.
Good character is connected to integrity, individuality; who we are and what we do when no one is looking or when we can’t get caught; concern for others and the way we treat people in lower social levels – people who can’t directly help or hurt us. Later in this article, I will share The Six Pillars of Character®.
“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” – Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president (1809-1865)
One of the best examples of a lack of good character is the Southern Belle, Scarlett O’Hara in the film and novel by Margaret Mitchell “Gone with the Wind.”
Of course, it is easy to admire and relate to Scarlett’s tenacity, independence, bravery and ambition. However, the movie also reveals her to be manipulative, selfish, self-absorbed, selfish, harsh, cold, callous, and narcissistic.
In one of the early scenes in the movie, Scarlett is just 16, and she is glowing as she focuses all of her energy on getting the attention of all of the men around her, behaving quite coquettish, while also manipulating them to achieve her goals. It is obvious that her only values are attention, barbeques, money and clothes.
Throughout the movie (and book), there are many examples of the ways Scarlett lacks morals and ethics. Scarlett marries Ashley’s brother to spite Ashley after he rejects her. She is never open or vulnerable.
“No, my dear, I’m not in love with you, no more than you are with me, and if I were, you would be the last person I’d ever tell. God help the man who ever really loves you. You’d break his heart, my darling, cruel, destructive little cat who is so careless and confident she doesn’t even trouble to sheathe her claws.” (Rhett Butler to Scarlet O’Hara) – Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind
Scarlett demonstrates the power and skills of her feminine charm, beauty and flirting which she uses to manipulate people – to steal men from their women and servants from her sister. She also attempts to steal Ashley (her supposed real love) from his wife, Melanie, and; bullies her sisters and the house slaves.
She only considers the consequences of her actions when they actually benefit her; she does not think of the consequences of her actions in terms of how they will hurt anyone else, unless it is her intention to hurt them.
This begs the question: “Is it wrong for women to use their feminine charm and beauty to succeed or move up in life; is it wrong to use feminine wiles (the seductive and deceptive manner of women) in order to get what they want?
From a very young age, girls are taught that their value is based on their looks, beauty and charm. Mom dresses her up and continually reinforces how pretty, cute and beautiful she is; she becomes a doll. Dad gives into his little girl as she learns quickly that the way to get what she wants is by appealing to his senses – by laughing, crying, smiling, hugging and praising; she awakens to her innate power over men.
Validation, reinforcement and praise of a child’s beauty are not inherently bad or destructive.
However, if that is all a child receives and if it is taught as significant and critical for leverage and succeeding in life, then that is all she will learn, and it destroys her happiness and the happiness of people around her; she learns bad character and she lives in fantasy.
Note that character is not something with which we are born; it is instilled, developed and cultivated.
“Children need models rather than critics.” – Joseph Joubert, French essayist (1752-1824)
Accordingly, a woman who lacks good character will care not for the way she hurts other people as long as her own needs, desires and objectives are met.
Women have extraordinary power and they can use it for good – to enhance a relationship or they can use it to hurt a man – even if it is indirect and out of complete disregard for his feelings.
Unfortunately, men who have not evolved and are simply drawn to physical beauty or feminine wiles don’t marry women with character and don’t appreciate character until it is too late and they are divorcing or ending the relationship.
The same principle applies to the example of Scarlet O’Hara: Rhett Butler marries her even though she doesn’t love him. He believes that he can conquer and also change her – soften, enlighten and transform her with his love and by offering to give her everything she wants – by spoiling her.
He fails because she lacks the foundation of good character.
“We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet (1807-1882)
Ultimately, Rhett walks out on Scarlett – his love for her has died – the result of her selfishness and callousness. And although Scarlett expresses the strong will to go on and to win Rhett back, it is obvious that she is alone and trapped in the cycle of survival, solitude, isolation, and manipulation.
And this begs the question: “Should there be a different standard for women regarding character? Can or should women be ruthless and conniving to succeed or get what they want?”
Although conceding that there are obvious differences in the sexes and clashing societal expectations for each sex/gender, I believe that good character applies to both men and women; the standard does not waiver.
The Josephson Institute is a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing the ethical quality of individual and organizational decision making. The institute teaches The Six Pillars of Character® to everyone – youth, sports and business.
Here is my summary:
Honesty, reliability, loyalty, and courage to do the right thing
Regard for other people’s feelings, beliefs, rights and traditions; tolerance, acceptance, consideration, good manners; peaceful responses to anger & insults
Self- control, self-discipline, perseverance, consideration of consequences, accountability for one’s actions, words & attitudes; fulfillment of one’s role
Equity and impartiality for all; sharing (giving and receiving); listening and being open-minded; playing by the rules; not taking advantage of others
Kindness, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness
Contribution, volunteerism, cooperation, and obedience of laws & rules
In conclusion, a woman who lacks good character offers a great danger to men because a woman has much more power than a man; she can lift him to great heights or destroy him mentally, emotionally and financially.
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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
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.