Women Are Taking Over

Women Are Taking Over

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the emergence of the new matriarchy – how women are taking over – and what that signifies for men, women, relationships and families.

First a quick update:

“Spirituality versus Religion”
This week I am appearing in a taped debate for a TV special on The Catholic Channel. Watch the video.

“4 Reasons Men Fear Commitment”
There are 4 primary reasons men fear or avoid commitment. Women often comment to me that they are confused about the reasons that men they have encountered are commitment-phobic and why so many more men are refusing to commit to relationships or marriage. Click here to view.

Now, let’s talk about the emergence of the new matriarchy and how women are taking over.

In the province of Yunnan in China, the Mor Soue people who inhabit the Lugu Lake region, live within a matriarchal system. The head of the family is the mother or grandmother and she controls the family’s financial situation. Marriage does not exist. Instead, they practice “walking marriage” – a woman may invite a man into her hut to spend a “sweet night,” but by daybreak, he must be gone. If the woman becomes pregnant from this union, the child will be raised by the woman and her family, and the child will adopt the mother’s last name.

The patriarchal system is marked by the supremacy of the father, the legal dependence of wives and children, and descent and inheritance in the male line.

This is dramatically and rapidly changing with the global phenomenon of female empowerment.

The workforce

For the first time in US history, there are more women than men in the workforce; women make up 51% of managerial and professional jobs, 54% of accountants, 50% of all banking and insurance jobs, 30% of physicians, 45% of associates in law firms and 20% of the armed forces (it was 2% in 1972.) Women also dominate 13 of the 15 job categories projected to grow the most over the next decade. The single exception is that only 3% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, but in 2 – 3 decades that will likely change as more women are graduating from college than men.


Women are becoming more educated than men as women surpass men in attendance and graduation rates – for every two men who get a college degree, three women will also. This is the same pattern in the Australia and the UK. In fact, women are even outperforming men in academic results.

Buying power

In the 1950s, it was common for the husband to arrive home from work and surprise the entire family with the new car in the driveway; he rarely consulted the wife. Today, women are making the decisions. Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care (91% of new homes and 92% of vacations.) One car salesman told me that he attributes his success to a simple strategy – when a couple is hunting for a car, he always appeals to the woman.

Replacing men

Today, there are more female politicians and judges than ever before. In the US, Sara Palin has become an influential force in politics; the once macho country Australia, now has a female Prime Minister; Iceland elected a cabinet dominated by women and elected the world’s first openly lesbian head of government who vowed to end the “age of testosterone” campaigning against the male elite she blamed for destroying the nation’s banking system.

Religion and the economy

Construction is down and society is becoming progressively less industrialized which means less jobs for men. Four out of every five jobs lost in the US over the past two years were held by men. In 2010, in the era of communicating, thinking and information, the economy is no longer driven by jobs that require physical strength and stamina; instead the focus is on jobs that require social intelligence, multitasking, open communication, and the ability to focus (women win out here.)

As divorce continues to become commonplace, many men are left financially ruined – the woman often keeps the house and the kids, and the man moves into a smaller apartment and continues paying alimony. One male client expressed to me frustration and dismay over his girlfriend who doesn’t want to remarry so she can continue to receive payments from her ex-husband and maintain her independence.

More churches are opening up to allow women to lead, preach and teach as ministers, pastors and reverends. And as more people stray from religion, morality is becoming an individual choice and definition; what was once socially deplorable – unmarried mothers and women as single mothers – has now become socially acceptable. This, in turn, means more women become independent decision makers. And with more single mothers and more fatherless families, the emphasis has shifted to feminine qualities.

Men are progressively being viewed as unnecessary as more women opt to raise children without a father; “Women are realizing more and more that you don’t have to settle, they don’t have to fiddle with a man to have that child …They are realizing if it’s that time in their life and they want this part they can do it with or without that.” – Jennifer Aniston.

The media and gender roles

Morality and the portrayal of men and women have dramatically changed – some for the better, most for the worse. The epitomes of 1950s TV were “The Honeymooners” and “I Love Lucy.” In almost every episode of the Honeymooners, Ralph, who represented the working class man, would physically threaten his wife, Alice. With his fist clenched and waving and punching the air, Ralph would threaten to punch Alice and send her to the moon: “One of these days, Alice, one of these days, pow, right in the kisser.” And if Alice wasn’t obeying him, Ralph would set her straight: “I give the orders. Now go to the stove and fix me my dinner!”

Meanwhile, Lucille Ball portrayed the sweet, charming, naïve and ditzy wife who lacked showbiz ability, was careless with money, but was a devoted housewife and attentive mother. Her antics often tested her successful and intelligent husband. In the 1970s, Mary Tyler Moore’s TV character would open the door to reveal the single, independent, career woman who wasn’t seeking a man to support her. Concurrently, the number 1 TV show in the US for 5 years was “All in the family” featuring Archie Bunker, an outspoken, stubborn, ignorant bigot who often called his wife a dingbat.

But in the 21st century, the pendulum has swung to the other extreme. In commercials and TV shows (“The Simpsons”, “Everybody Loves Raymond”, “Family Guy”, etc.) men are being portrayed as buffoons, simpletons and weak, helpless idiots who cannot survive without the wife who now is smarter, more grounded and the boss. In “Everybody Loves Raymond”, Ray fears his wife, rarely answers back; Debra, his wife often calls Ray an idiot and she only fears Marie, Ray’s wife and the matriarch of the family.

In the 1990s, the TV show “Sex and the City”, helped shape the modern woman with its portrayal and idealization of the independent, free, successful, sexually open woman who seeks a purpose greater than serving a man. However, the 2010 movie “Sex and the City 2” emasculates men as it demonstrates how extreme the concept of the modern woman has evolved or devolved: Carrie is married and adored by her husband but she is bored and wants to go out to bars and clubs; Charlotte, is unsatisfied with raising children; Miranda, the successful working woman feels unappreciated at work and; Samantha, the sexpot is also unsatisfied. So what do they do? Go on a vacation and go shopping. The message is that women are selfish, never really happy, can’t be satisfied – particularly not by men.

Simultaneously, women are gaining celebrity power as the media and society glorify and reward women who now take on the previously acceptable male bad behavior; Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian became famous for their sex tapes; MTV’s Snooki for behavior a judge called “rude and self-indulgent” and “a Lindsay Lohan wannabe.”

The consequences

As women have become more confused about their role and identity, so too, have men and to a greater degree than women. The New Matriarchy means that gender roles and identities have become blurred and confused. Society is vastly feminized as competition is downplayed, feminine emotions are rewarded and masculine emotions are condemned.

Accordingly, men are confused about their value, role and contribution as women become more ambitious, more powerful, more independent and better educated; many children are being raised with emphasis on the positive feminine qualities (empathy, tenderness, nurturing) but not enough emphasis on the positive masculine qualities (discipline, strength, reason.)

As women become progressively more powerful, more successful and more independent, they are also expressing frustration at not being able to find a suitable partner, complaining that men find them threatening, intimidating and unappealing.

Men need to adapt and focus on what else they have to offer women other than being a provider i.e. offering women emotional and moral support and still retaining their masculinity (assertiveness, confidence, energy, incisiveness, determination, strength of mind and body, stamina, nobility, self sacrifice, leadership.)

Couples need to discuss, reevaluate and agree on the roles in the relationship. The key is to separate areas of dominion – choose who will take the lead in decision making in each area while still consulting and respecting each other.

Single mothers need to ensure that there is still a male role model for their children. And yes, the same applies to single fathers (a female role model for the children.)

Listen to my interview about why a father is so critical to the success and mental and emotional health of daughters, “The negative impact fathers have on daughters

End of men?

In the US, the CDC reveals that men die six years earlier than women and are less likely than women to be insured; men are 15 times more likely than women to go to prison, more likely to be obese, alcoholic and unemployed. In the UK, teenage boys are more likely to take drugs, drink, commit crime and exhibit antisocial behavior.

In Italy, a microtrend is emerging whereby fathers are granting their business to their daughters and not their sons because the sons are proving to be irresponsible. But beyond Italy, women are proving to be more responsible than men as many men continue to abandon their families or shirk their responsibility in many areas. Men have lost ambition both as a cause and effect of the new matriarchy.

Given that men are highly resistant to change, maybe what we are seeing is not so much about women taking over as it is about men laying down and giving up.

And when reviewing the antics of female celebrities such as Paris Hilton as well as the females portrayed in Sex and the City, it appears that maybe both genders have lost not only their identity but more importantly meaning and purpose in life.

You can comment on this newsletter below. If you 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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15 replies
  1. Avatar
    Mick says:

    This is an exaggeration. Women are being given the chance to do the things that were initially assigned to men. The only reason there are more women doing it now than men is because there are more women in the world than men.

    I think guys are just so surprised because the old ways got them thinking that women were incapable of doing those things that were assigned to men. Now that women are just as good at those things as men because they are allowed to practise it men are freaking out thinking the worlds about to end what are we going to do.

    It’s really no big deal. I see a lot of this women are doing better at school stuff but I rarely see anyone telling us that in the top 10% range in schools men are the ones who are dominating. People think too much about the negatives. The way I see it women have stability and men have ambition and there are definitely exceptions to this rule just like most other rules.

  2. Avatar
    Alpha says:

    @ eggwegg is taking the biblical perspective of a man. I am inclined to agree with her. Yes that would be the perfect set up. But when society becomes contaminated with ills (corruption, homosexuality, murder, drugs, worship for money etc..) as is the case in this modern world then the first significant change is the oppression by youths and rule under women. This is not looked at in favor (biblically) refer to Isaiah 3:12. We men have abandoned our roles in favour of the world ills hence the result.

    On the extreme, I find @ Jaqueline’s contribution relatively extreme. The suggestion that we should stop complaining and altogether embrace female domination since it is bound to happen is rather scary. Imagine men simply gave up and let the women make the rule!! Hmmn not sure how to continue.

    Men and women are biologically different and we all think differently. Women yes are multitask experts, men are logical thinkers that bring that variety of mindsets into focus. Generally that does not make any of us superior over the other but rather complimentary partners. I believe that is the threshold that determines the roles. Pick it from there.

  3. Avatar
    Jaqueline says:

    It’s time to accept the fact this might happen and soon. Actually women should have taken control a long time ago but since were busy fighting ourselves most of the time and not seeing the real target we haven’t and so now if we can finally do this I can guarantee there will be much less issues because unlike men we do not attack on whim we take on more responsibility as well not saying this is all men but most of the sexist ones are all on brawn’s while we use brains so if they want this to be “their world” which is not really anyone’s they better smarten up instead of going on being all strong because it doesn’t matter how “strong” or “buff” you are don’t you ever see a skinny short kid fight a big buff guy? You think the buff guy will win right? Well no because that skinny short kid had studied about the skills of fighting and the buff guy is just going head first on instinct and guess what us women are that skinny kid sure it has been suppressed for years not because we wanted to like some of you ignorant people are saying because we weren’t allowed as in we couldn’t learn anything we couldn’t even defend ourselves unless we were a “witch” if we became smart or strong but now all that’s over and just accept it look I’m 14 I can accept it and its so obvious no matter how much you complain it’s still going to happen whether you like it or not so dont waste your breath

  4. Avatar
    Dave says:

    I find it absolutely amazing and impressive that women have come so far so fast given the supression women experienced. In so many areas of life there is a change of power from the male dominated ways to the female dominated ways.

    I agree it lies on both genders, men are laying down, not fighting at the same time women are stepping up wanting and taking control. I think this trend will speed up as we continue to a more matriarchal earth. It seems to me that a balance would be best but women now have the taste of treasures and seem to want it more and more eliminating the balance needed.

    In my own relationship, 3-4 years ago it was slightly off balance with me making more of the final decisions. If had to put a percentage on it, i would say a 51%-49% ratio while living in a single income home. In the past 3 years my wife has become more assertive, controlling and to be honest there has been a shift in that percentage in her favor. I have encouraged her to be more that way, have accepted the changes in her and myself, though it was a little rocky at first. I wouldnt say I laid down and gave up, but more of enjoying that she was taking some of the pressures off of me. Ours has turned into a more female controlled marriage and it seems to work.

  5. Avatar
    Brian says:

    I’m glad that people are finally discussing this change that’s underway in society. It’s something that we have to deal with.

    It’s not something we can sweep under the rug and forget because in ten years power will have shifted even more into the hands of women. Women are taking over and I think it’s time to accept it and figure out where us men fit into this new reality.

  6. Avatar
    Chris says:

    I am still a young man of 28 and but have definatly seen this drastic change in our culture happining. After my last relationship ended it has opened my eyes to everything. After searching for what wrong I stumbled onto so many things.

    Woman are evolving faster then men. That is my conclusion. Men need to wake up. I think its mens fault for most of this. Woman are desperate for masculine males with an endless resivour of inner stength. It is more important then ever for men to show thier masculine qualities.

  7. Avatar
    Maureen says:

    It’s all about balance – individually (however that plays out according to one’s perspective) and collectively.

    The roles of my mate and I have reversed several times as our jobs and circumstances have evolved, but we 1) always communicate (ESPECIALLY if there are other people involved) 2) decide on who is going to be in charge of what area 3) support the other in their area of responsibility 4) keep it open to results and review 5) and always find ways of appreciating the other by NEVER forgetting “please” and “thank you” and most importantly 6) treating our differing opinions as just that – differing, but valuable, opinions from which will come a result much better than either of us could have come up with alone. We just are willing to be uncomfortable during the process while keeping things solution-based.

    I am grateful to my mate for sharing the journey with me – he has enriched my life beyond measure. There will be male/female traits in all relationships regardless of the genders involved, and it is still about balance, communication, and appreciation…oh, did I mention love?

    I wish us all the best in moving toward feeling healthy in our relationships, whether they are individual, communal, or global!

  8. Avatar
    eggwegg says:


    This is very thorough and insightful. Since finding Christ in my life just two years ago, I too have come to observe that our culture is truly undergoing an identity and purpose crisis, as you’ve mentioned above. I continually pray that men will rise up to be the leaders God created them to be, and I hope to one day marry a man who embodies Christ-like leadership. I also pray that women may submit and accept the right roles/purposes God created us for. I believe both men and women should be ACTIVE partners in life. One should not replace the other, but we should work to support each others God-given identities and purposes.

    I understand that my thinking my be considered old fashioned or out of date, but can we truly say that current thinking is working out for the best?

    Just my thoughts.

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