Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alpha women are hurting all those pansy's egos

I'm a little behind on my magazine reading. The Stieg Larson trilogy sucked me in to deep that I have had a small pile-up on my kitchen table. Now that I finished book 2, and book 3 doesn't come out until May 25th I've been playing catch up before I receive The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest in the mail.

I opened up the May issue of Marie Claire, a magazine that I have found tends to champion women's issues. It intrigues me each month with a new snippet of women empowering themselves around the world, or being victimized in other places. The theme this month was Alpha women intimidating and emasculating men.

There was an article about a DVD release in Japan called Cry Baby. It is all female starlets in real emotional pain. The director filmed them retelling traumatizing events in their lives and breaking down crying. Apparently this passes for entertainment for traditional Japanese men who feel their typical social roles being threatened by strong women claiming independence and rejecting the accepted path straight to marriage. The modern Japanese woman wants equality and social power. Men experiencing a "deep malaise of inadequacy" feel lost without constant pampering from their wives, and reinvigorate their machismo by watching videos of women in vulnerable situations, such as crying. Twisted, no?

Then there was another article written by an author right here in the US about her stay at home hubby, and how men are willing to sit back and let their wives be the primary breadwinner. Yet, many husbands remain unwilling to relinquish financial decision making power and pick up the housekeeping slack to compensate. This leaves the alpha female overtaxed with the double burden as head of household and head honcho. It reminded me of a book I read in college called the Second Shift by Arlie Hochschild, about the same issues.

Women want to have it all, love a career, a family, success for family and job. In order to do so, they need to have a support system to lift the pressure somewhere. Certainly a husband who does not feel emasculated, but empowered by his strong and successful wife. I find it disturbing that some men still feel so threatened by smart and ambitious women. Clearly Marie Claire agrees. The tone of their articles leave no doubt about whose side they're on.

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