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When she just doesn’t get it

When She Just Doesn’t Get it

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss a controversial topic: when she just doesn’t get it.

First a quick update:

“Xtreme: on the verge”
Look for upcoming episodes of the TV series on Mun2 that follows Latin band Xtreme (Danny D and Steve Styles) as I coach them on camera helping them on their path to greater success. Famous Bachata band Xtreme are on the verge of their biggest breakthrough, but they face a huge challenge – they are always late. Celebrity Life Coach Patrick Wanis PhD is brought in to help Xtreme from destroying their career and success. On camera, on their reality TV show, Patrick Wanis PhD reveals the truth about Danny D and Steve Styles. The guys get schooled by this take-no-prisoners life coach. Can they handle the truth? From Season 1 Ep. 7 “Truth Hurts.” Watch the video

Now, let’s talk about something that will generate a lot of controversy: When she doesn’t get it – defining the woman of the 21st century and her impact on men.

First, let me open by saying that nothing I am writing here is intended nor should it be construed to be sexist, derogatory or demeaning to women or to men. Second, you can add your comments and opinions about this newsletter by visiting my blog here.

From 1998 to 2004, the smash hit TV series “Sex and the City” introduced a new role and persona for the woman of the 90s and into the 21st century. Focusing on the lives of four professional women living in NY city, the show explored the changing roles and expectations of women (albeit white middle-class women in their thirties and one in her forties.) The show defined the new woman: The independent, upwardly mobile woman who searches for love, has sexual fun along the way (with multiple partners, and sometimes without any commitment whatsoever), gossiping and confiding with her female friends and viewing shopping and materialism as the key goals, pleasures and triumphs of the new woman.

In 2005, CBS news interviewed me to discuss the new woman, “The Millennium Woman” and her impact on men. A study of 1,000 women across the US, revealed that there are two key types of women: the Nouveau woman -the “Sex and the City” type, who creates equal partnerships with men and demands “me” time and the Neotraditionalist that prefers traditional gender roles, motherhood and “we” time. The Neotraditionalist is primarily about family and friends.

Based on the findings of the study, the new woman is confident, self-indulgent, highly concerned about her health and beauty and would be happy to be on her own without a life partner.

It is true that in many ways, women have a new power today –they depend less on men as providers because they have their own job, profession, own a house and car, and pay most of their own way. They also take more vacations with the girls than ever before and even turn to other women for pleasure. Thus, the traditional male role of being the provider is now being challenged. And because women can do it on their own, many men complain about feeling confused and powerless, wondering what they have to offer to a woman if it is not money, shelter or physical security. Further, many women are choosing to raise children on their own and therefore men are again threatened. Most men fail to understand the importance of offering a woman emotional support and security, love, empathy and compassion.

Shows like “Sex and the City” have established deep foundations of acceptance and support for the “Nouveau Woman” – the independent woman seeking equal partnerships and “me” time. But “Sex and the City” has also created a false, deceptive and disempowering definition of the new woman. In the 2008, motion picture, the big screen version of “Sex and the City”, there is no real celebration of womanhood; instead we see the idolized woman’s body. In other words, the TV show and movie sell female empowerment as the natural preoccupation with appearance whereby the four women in the movie believe that to be happy, they need to be thin, “beautiful” and fashionably dressed. The major flaw here is that once again, the mass media decides and defines “beauty” and then sells the dream of attaining that “beauty” as a means to gaining personal self-confidence. The message promotes Narcissism, Manolos, materialism and shopping. Nowhere in the movie, do any of these women have a single, truly introspective moment regarding their lives or accomplishments. Instead it seems, as one blogger wrote, “all that women want is a man, big closets and shoes.”

While the TV show and movie may have been truly entertaining, engaging and superbly written, the women portrayed and idolized on the show were generally shallow, superficial, materialistic, self-absorbed and self-indulgent. I don’t feel the show ever came close to truly empowering women or promoting the celebration of womanhood, motherhood or any of the other multiple roles that a woman – even one in her thirties and forties – will experience in her life.  Does a woman’s power lie in her ability to turn the tables on men by sexually objectifying men? Is the new woman of the 21st century now the hunter? What is a woman’s role and contribution to society beyond shopping and showing off the latest fashions?

I believe a woman’s personal power comes from the place of being able to decide in each moment how she will feel about herself, regardless of what is happening outside of her, and regardless of society’s expectations of her, her body and its definition and ideal of beauty.

A woman’s power comes from being able to say “no” and to make her own decisions and choices in every moment. A woman’s sense of fulfillment, accomplishment and confidence will never come from the amount of shoes she has bought, how supple her skin looks or how many men she has had. Instead, might it come from a place of integrity, from a knowing of her purpose and how she has contributed and made a positive difference in someone’s life? And if so, then the same would apply to men, would it not?

My point here is that often, what we desire for happiness is not the same as what we truly need to be happy. One of my clients recently returned from a two-week Goddess yoga training camp and she was excited to tell me that the leader taught the same principle that I teach; asking each morning “What do I require? What do I desire? What do I deserve?” These 3 simple daily questions lead to balance and inner peace of mind. The other daily question that my friend and colleague, psychologist, Barbara Kaufman teaches is: “How can I serve today?”

In closing, I accept and admit that I have only begun the springboard for further discussion on this topic and in no way, am I saying that this newsletter represents all aspects of this subject. I also expect that many fans of “Sex and the City” will not be happy, and so, if you would like to comment on this newsletter, click here. If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

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 & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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