Are you Intimidated by a…? (pt. 1)

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

Are you intimidated by a strong woman?

Would you not date a woman because she’s successful, outspoken and confident?

One of the most amazing women I know is a lion. She multitasks like crazy and she is respected in each of her arenas. She’s the ultimate go-getter. But when she’s talking to her husband, she’s a pussycat. She is so powerful in the boardroom, but at home she lets her husband be the man.

Another strong woman I know is smart as a whip, has a number of advanced degrees, is the youngest woman to make partner at her law firm and is super popular. But, she carries herself in a way that scares men off as she appears totally unapproachable. She is condescending, but it’s just a wall she puts up because she’s scared to get hurt. So she comes off as an aggressive bitch, but really, she’s not.

Women: you can’t treat men like opposing counsel. Have you heard the term “a lady on the streets and a freak in the sheets?” It sounds funny, but it’s true. Men love that you can kick tush at work, but when you meet a man, he wants to see a sweetheart. Be yourself. I’m not telling you how to act, but be you when you’re with your grandparents, or with a puppy, or a baby, not when you’re objecting in the courtroom.

The Bachelor’s Dating Dichotomy

by Tamar Caspi under Relationships

So I’m watching the finale of “The Bachelor” and it got me thinking about stereotypes in dating, specifically the dichotomy of aggressive women (i.e. Chantal) versus the damsel in distress (i.e. Emily). In the last episode, the final two women meet Bachelor Brad’s family and his relatives then tell him their honest opinion about which woman they think is right for him. First up was Chantal and Brad’s family seemed to really like her and they commented on her outgoing, friendly nature. They thought she would be great for Brad and that they would have a lot of fun together and that she wouldn’t put up with his antics. Then they met sweet Emily and heard her sob story (seriously, I sob every time I hear it) and watched her very ladylike, shy demeanor. Suddenly they were head over heels in love with her and wanted Brad to pick her.

Brad also appeared to have fun with Chantal but he was enraptured by Emily. With Chantal, he was her equal and she repeatedly pointed out to him that she would never let him “get away” with anything. Meantime, Brad got to be the hero for Emily and her daughter, he got to feel wanted and needed. As much as men say they want a strong, independent woman, when it comes right down to it, those traits are equated as masculine and what straight man wants a masculine woman?

The longer a woman is single, the more aggressive she becomes in her career and in her dating life and therefore the more independent she becomes as well. A 30-year-old woman knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go out and get it. My husband calls me “aggressive” constantly and I hate it, but it’s true. I was single until I was 28 and was in the very competitive world of broadcast journalism. My aggressiveness in the work arena without a doubt spilled into my dating world. But in my marriage that aggressiveness isn’t necessary. Women have been told over and over again that we are just as capable and therefore have a hard time giving up that power. I majored in Women’s Studies, so I have an even harder time admitting that I can’t do something and might possibly need a man’s help.

The more I try to think this out, the more I feel like I’m going in circles, because I vividly recall numerous circumstances where I gave a date the opportunity to open a door, put on my coat, pull out my chair, order for me, pay the bill, call me, ask me out, etc. and was rebuffed. Are men becoming too used to today’s women’s ways? Or did women become this way because men got lazy about chivalry? It seems counter-productive to tell single women to not “act aggressive” because the opposite of that is “weak” and weak women get walked all over by men. No one wants to be vulnerable. Why can’t a woman be ladylike and strong at the same time? Why are men threatened by a woman who doesn’t need him?

Again, I can debate both sides of this topic for hours. What it really comes down to is being yourself – a mixture of that successful woman at work and that vulnerable woman in love – so when a man comes along who complements your personality you aren’t hiding behind a wall of steel scared of getting hurt.