Dear Dr. Brilliant Cliché;
I’ve heard a lot in your column lately about women who subjugate their will to men; but in my case, it seems to be just the opposite. I have had a lifetime of experiences being the strong woman while the men around me wimped out.
The real bitch of it is that they never could bring themselves to acknowledge my efforts. Instead, they tended to concentrate more on their own limp manhood and whine about how I’d castrated them.
Interestingly, my first husband was a very strong man, but not good at compromise; we clashed like two cymbals, and could not stay together, although we respected each other as lifelong friends.
I’ve had this experience with other strong men- they can see me as a welcome ally in business, but it seems they all prefer a supportive, admiring female to hang on their arm as a partner.
If, as you have been saying, this is a culture where we are constantly fed messages that women should be silent and suffering to redeem their men, what of women like me? Where did we get our messages from? And why is it that every man insists on calling us bitches when we butt head with them and come out the winner? If I was a man, I think I would get much different treatment for being assertive.
Granny says: where do strong women get their messages from? Interesting question. It is my opinion that some people are just simply born with the internal instinct to become strong. I also think that some people are natural born victims. It has to do with intrinsic nature and it goes deeper than those mass cultural messages we all receive.
I also believe that we all find what we look for, so it’s simple enough- anyone who seeks strength is looking for messages of strength. On the other hand, someone who seeks to be a victim looks for excuses and confirmation that it’s OK to give up and give the controls over to someone else.
Here’s another fact of life- if you seek or take a position of power, someone is always coming along to try to knock you out of it and occupy that seat themselves. Your foes will use whatever weapons they can. It’s an easy pot shot to call a strong woman a bitch, but that doesn’t stop anyone from doing it.
On the other hand, I’m a strong woman myself and if I am honest, I have to admit that sometimes I AM a bitch. I just can’t help it. The smell of fear pisses me off the same way it does a dog. Chances are, you’ve been guilty of that yourself.
As always- you are what you are. Sometimes, the more we are questioned by others, the stronger we become. Stop railing at those annoying men and don’t fall for their tricks. They have been your training ground in all that you have done. Learn the lesson, and maybe you can move on to find men of a different sort.
I agree with the Granny Doctor. The only generalization you can accurately make about people is that not all of them are the same.
There will always be exceptions to the rule; although most people fit into the herd and do what they have been trained to do there will always be rebels, those that can’t fit in. And I agree that much of this is from genetic inner nature.
Given that, our culture was not designed with you in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful in love and relations; but don’t try to change others directly; it’s a game that you can’t win.
A Buddhist concept that I like is that of the Bodhisattva. This is a person who has achieved enlightenment but chooses to stay on this plane and relate to others as a guide and teacher. A Bodhisattva acts as a role model and guide, but they expect people achieve their own enlightenment.
As far as men who call you a bitch, that is an indication they aren’t deserving of your attention. They haven’t reached a level of maturity as yet to share on equal bases.
Your energy is better put to use on endeavors that expose you to people involved with skills that allow them to share equally. Volunteering is a great way to meet people with more generous intent.
You might also want check out the books: Getting in Touch with Your Inner Bitch, and The Bitch in the Bedroom; Your Inner Bitch Guide to Men, Dating and Relationships, all by Elizabeth Hilts.
Dr. Brilliant Cliché