First Wives Club

Would I fly an airline with a female pilot in the cockpit, someone asked me. I’m an advocate for women but I admit the question made me think.

Women are nurturers; we work from the “heart space.” How well would we think on our feet to handle technical emergencies? Women multi – task; wouldn’t our minds be partially – occupied with, “What shall we serve for dinner?” And, “How to remove that stain from the carpet?”

Whoa! I stopped short when I noticed my prejudice and judgment towards my own gender. What holds women back is our attitude isn’t it? Statistics prove that women are just as qualified, if not more so than men. Only expectations, generalizations, and stereotypes limit us.

When women stand up for what we believe we are labeled bossy and aggressive. When men do it, they are great leaders. When women promote assertiveness, confidence, and freedom we are upstarts and activists venting our anger and bitterness at the world. When men propose the subject they are heroes and game changers.

In terms of business – in Singapore and Thailand, there are more women entrepreneurs than men. In Switzerland and Brazil, there are an equal number of women entrepreneurs. In the US, 80% of entrepreneurs are women!

At what point does a wife become a liability instead of an asset? I’ve had this conversation countless times with women going through divorce. At the brink of separation, women have the most outrageously horrendous accusations hurled at us. We’re treated like the enemy. The war seems to be a crusade for the male ego and how he fights is to go all out to crush his partner. No consideration for the years we spent together as husband and wife. No thought for the children’s wellbeing, only to win at all costs.

Costs… yes, usually these are the grounds and justification for the “liability” statement. Women are a liability because we don’t earn as much money; we don’t contribute to “his” business. With us, men are “forced” to sacrifice, compromise, and share. Wives hold their husbands back, they argue. (What do men want that we don’t, women wonder). Oh and not forgetting that only men are permitted to age.

Where do men attack when all reason and logic dim? The man who believes a woman has wronged him (how dare she!) aims at destroying her sense of reality, her self – worth and dignity. That’s when all hell breaks loose. Instead of resolving issues and reconciling differences, the argument spirals south. “You’re insane!” “You’re nothing but a ________________.”

Divorce is a life – changer, for sure. Committing to someone and then having that bond broken literally forces us to wake up to our assumptions and expectations.

Could it be that men confuse happiness with pleasure, and beauty with sexuality? Men pursue women for pleasure – not realizing that the feeling uses itself up the more they experience it. Think chocolate cake. One slice – pure delight; whole cake – total disgust!

Men need variety, excitement, and pleasure; women need stability, serenity, and joy. Perhaps when women rule the world, life would change. We could wager a fairer outcome on the golden rule: The one with all the gold makes the rules? Certainly men would control less and women would stand a better chance of having our needs met.

What if more women leaned in and stepped up to occupy our true place on the dais? This means women must rise up and take our power back. We must break the stereotypes. Drop the neediness and be self – sufficient. We must train our minds in the habits of preserving our wellbeing.

Our power lies in our choice. We can choose our emotions! Instead of depression, choose elation. Instead of anger, choose compassion. Instead of judgment, choose understanding. We cannot feel two opposite emotions at the same time. We cannot make a fist and offer a handshake at the same time.

All this competing, proving one’s worth is tiring! Isn’t it time we all dis – armed? And if it comes to pass that we must go our separate ways, it’s good to remember that history has evolved and we are now civilized beings. No need for the gnashing of teeth and the pulling of hair, we can choose to accept, appreciate, honor.

Are we mature enough to call a truce? Can we get our ego out of the way long enough to acknowledge the truth? Maybe we can stay friends. Hope springs eternal.


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