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
www.patrickwanis.com

Facebook Comments
6 replies
  1. Avatar
    Sierra Bender says:

    Hello Patrick,
    My name is Sierra Bender, I am the creator of the week retreat for women called Boot Camp for Goddesses which redefines fitness, beauty and power for the 21st century woman. We share a mutual client and friend Elena Pezzo. I am very happy to see a man speak his truth about this subject. I work with thousands of woman who do not know what it means to be a woman they have lost their feminine essence and have become the imitation man not so much purposely but unconsciously. In many cases throughout history women have had to cut off their feminine essence in order to survive. Yet today we have proven our point we can do it all but we still hold this belief. Our culture as a whole has destroyed the feminine essence of Spirit and Mother Earth which is a reflection of the suffering in women today. Of course we can do it all but what does that prove we only have taken on more responsibilities to prove what? We have become ill from stress, our relationships are failing in most cases, our children are suffering and we are addicted to a false sense of beauty, power and being fit. It is a mouse on a wheel, the beauty, fitness and medical industries have created an illusion and false buzz. Many women all ages, types and sizes must understand their worth is their feminine essence, to accomplish this we must reclaim and restore our feminine essence within so we can rejoice in being a woman and the 21st Century Goddess. When we are able to do this we are then able to tap into our core power which is our true beauty and might I add awfully sexy.

    I can talk about this subject all day long I have a book coming out Goddess to the Core in January 2010 by LLwellyn publishers. I would love to hear more on this subject. Let me end with this:The many powerful men in my life have helped me discover how to be a more loving, graceful and powerful woman.

    Thank you for your awareness and truth to help women.

    Blessings & Thanks
    Sierra Bender

  2. Avatar
    Pamela says:

    I am currently 61 and have been single for 22 years. In that time, I have been able to learn a lot about myself and what I want out of life. For that reason, I am ready to once again embrace marriage because I feel I have something of value to offer a mate….my matured concept of self. Recently I have begun to fully understand the wisdom of “investing in myself.” That is not for the purpose of being self-absorbed but being increasingly equipped to be able to serve others on a higher level as a woman. Even the Bible says the same thing…. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is a balance that requires maintainance within ourselves and between ourselves and others that many today are missing.

    I have only seen brief previews of “Sex and the City”, could see how truly insipid it was and had no desire to see it. It is just more of the media trying to push their insignificant values on all of us women like they have tried to do for so many years. To me, it is another form of devaluation of the feminine heart. The choice between having a closet full of fancy shoes as a “signal” of my personal significance or being able to help finance build a home for the elderly in India…..well, in my mind there is no comparison.

    Men and women were created to function in complementary roles in relation to one another. When we get outside those roles, imbalance and problems occur. That is not to say I would choose to return to days of the 1950’s limited homemaker roles. Life is far richer than that. However, decisions of balance must be made in our current society that takes in the needs of our own as well and the needs of those around us. The media would lie to us and tell us otherwise. I HOPE we are too smart to swallow that insidious hype.

  3. Avatar
    Pamela says:

    I am currently 61 and have been single for 22 years. In that time, I have been able to learn a lot about myself and what I want out of life. For that reason, I am ready to once again embrace marriage because I feel I have something of value to offer a mate….my matured concept of self. Recently I have begun to fully understand the wisdom of “investing in myself.” That is not for the purpose of being self-absorbed but being increasingly equipped to be able to serve others on a higher level as a woman. Even the Bible says the same thing…. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is a balance that requires maintainance within ourselves and between ourselves and others that many today are missing.

    I have only seen brief previews of “Sex and the City”, could see how truly insipid it was and had no desire to see it. It is just more of the media trying to push their insignificant values on all of us women like they have tried to do for so many years. To me, it is another form of devaluation of the feminine heart. The choice between having a closet full of fancy shoes as a “signal” of my personal significance or being able to help finance build a home for the elderly in India…..well, in my mind there is no comparison.

    Men and women were created to function in complementary roles in relation to one another. When we get outside those roles, imbalance and problems occur. That is not to say I would choose to return to days of the 1950’s limited homemaker roles. Life is far richer than that. However, decisions of balance must be made in our current society that takes in the needs of our own as well and the needs of those around us. The media would lie to us and tell us otherwise. I HOPE we are too smart to swallow that insidious hype.

  4. Avatar
    Alli says:

    I find myself nodding my head in agreement with many of points in this article as well, but I also think the show has helped
    bolster the image of what it is to be an independent single woman and it does so without apology! Yay!
    Don’t get me wrong, I hardly ever watched the show and found it to be a pure waste of time, LOL, but I think it to be an important icon in our culture for the following reason…that it’s MORE than OK to be in your 30s/40s and be SINGLE and be ALL ABOUT YOURSELF. Many times women in our society (and men too of course) feel the tug from their relatives, peers, and married friends (they can be a miserable and envious subtype of friends when you’re the single one, so watch out! LOL) that they need to go out and look for a spouse. Why? Because they’re single, of course, so that’s what they need to be looking to do. I think being single, while it doesn’t have to be a permanent status in one’s life, doesn’t have to be about I’m single because I haven’t met the one yet. IT’S a very respectable status of life to be in, in and of itself. I’m single because I’m single.

    I think the idea of being single and being able to invest in yourself to learn more and ENJOY yourself more NEEDS to be adopted into our culture one day. Frankly, I think people marry too young or have kids too young in our culture and never really finish their own self growth and exploration. They quickly BECOME ABOUT SOMEONE ELSE before they ever BECAME THEMSELVES. (I’m sure I also picked this up from Patrick Wanis’s tapes or blog entries LOL) It’s something that follows people their whole lives and I think they realize it and then become resentful because of the commitments they’ve already attached themselves to, so they have to wait until they’re old and retired to take up what they needed to do or wanted to do when they were younger and single. A person I know, got married when he was 30 (to the wrong person, in my personal opinion) but their life quickly got swallowed up by the wife and the subsequent kids. He works most of the time to raise his kids and that makes him “happy” but then he starts talking wistfully about retirement decades away. LOL. Boundaries that should’ve been developed in singlehood never were and so he has no real sense of self or self worth. He got hypnotized (by his wife firstly, then the culture) that it’s NOT OK to take out time for yourself, get a hobby for yourself, buy a treat for yourself, buy a new suit without consulting the wife, as long as it’s not exorbitantly priced. Why? Because he’s married. He should be ALL ABOUT HIS WIFE and HIS KIDS.

    I’m not saying that being married with a spouse and children is a horrible thing in your 30s/40s, but I think people just need to make sure that they have invested in themselves enough and are sufficiently happy with themselves that they’re ready to add another person or persons (kids) into their life.

    Having said all of this, the women on Sex & the City could’ve invested in themselves more as single people by furthering their education and emotional maturity and working on cultivating a set of values besides collecting shoes and comparing random hookup sex notes. I get a sense that the show delivered this message… that Carrie may have been going places with her career but was emotionally needy with questionable self worth. She may have felt powerful in the sense that she can be as much of a player as any guy can be, but of course it was a huge problem when she was the one who got played. So, in a sense these women were attracting the guys they were acting like. If they only learned from Patrick that “you deserve the best” and followed that !

  5. Avatar
    Cher says:

    Patrick,

    Very well said. In no way did you demean women. I think that “Sex In The City” is a horrible show but that is TV and Hollywood for ya. Most media be it film, TV, commercials and so forth rarely ever accentuate the important things in life. Like all the qualities all of us have on the inside. I think we would all benefit from separating ourselves from the media and focus on making ourselves better and happier people. So, much beautiful life is missed and lost if we let others write our own stories for us. Both men and women are missing the point. Women are becoming more like men and men are responding by being confused. Both however, are focused on the outside and nothing is based on the inside. So, there is no real glue that holds anything together. This just adds more fuel to the fire to enable people to want to live alone and resort to using one another. I think we should all be more careful with the way we are disrespecting ourselves let alone everyone else.

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