There is an unspoken rule in Western society that life begins to degrade rapidly after age 30. Why? Because all of the worse parts of life happen after then. Sagging skin, balding crowns, infertility, middle management. Mediocrity.
In the dating and love realm, the message is clear: You had better figure out life and marry someone by the time you reach 30, or else no one will want you. This rule is applied much more stringently to women than to men (much of this has to do with biology, of course). After all, no one wants to be seen with a cat-loving lonely middle-aged spinster. Older brides (like Meghan Markle) are judged harshly by public, but are judged nonetheless slightly better than single and childless people over 30. In many ways, it is much more socially acceptable to marry and divorce several times than it is to be single after a certain age.
How much do you volunteer each year? Would you say 10-20 days a week? If you do not volunteer regularly, consider becoming a volunteer and using your time to help others in need. I currently volunteer at a hospital so that you I can learn more about working in the medical field. There are thousands of way ways to volunteer: You could work in a hospital, build houses, pack meals or help a child learn to love reading. Why? First, it feels great to help other people. By volunteering your time, you are increasing your ability to care for other people, which will make you more feminine. After all, compassion is one of the hallmarks of femininity. In addition to the impact that volunteering has on your ability to empathize with others, volunteering also offers a number of unexpected benefits.
Thinking of Others
Volunteering will help you to think about the needs of other people in your community. Though you may be successful or live comfortably, many people in your very same community are facing serious challenges and need assistance. Perhaps, for example, you do not visit your local library that often, but that library makes a big difference for veterans trying to find jobs or local foster teens who need quiet spaces to do their homework. Volunteering helps to remind you that you are sometimes greater than you think: Your few hours of volunteer service may make the difference for a family struggling to feed their children or a homeless person trying to get back on his feet. You can also learn more about your community through volunteering.
Volunteering teaches you to be grateful for the opportunities you currently have. As a lady, you have to carry yourself with grace and humility, and one of the best ways to appreciate the life you have is to meet others who are in need of help. Volunteering gives you a perspective that you may not get at your job or hanging out with your friends.
Connecting with other Thoughtful People
Volunteering is a great way to expand your social network! Consider that by volunteering in a tutoring program or in an environmental cleanup project you are meeting others in your area who are also interested in the same activities. Maybe you might connect with environmentalists on a volunteer project that you would not have met otherwise. Many people have met friends and partners from volunteer projects.
I always think that volunteering is one of the best ways to get hands-on experience in a new field or activity. Unlike formal internships, volunteering opportunities give you unfiltered and unstructured access to new career fields. By volunteering on a home building project, for example, you have the chance to learn directly what it is like to work as a construction worker, if that’s a career you are interested in. Similarly, a person thinking about becoming a nurse can learn about all facets of working in a medical setting by volunteering in a hospital.
Will you host a party this summer? Back in the day, it was expected that women would host elegant parties to bring together friends and acquaintances from their various social circles. Middle- and upper-class women would compete to see who could host the most popular parties. Today, many women (and men) have issues finding time to host house parties, so home events are far less common than they used to be. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you have time to read this blog post, then you have time to spare to plan a party for your social circle.
If you have never hosted a party before, start with as easy project, such as hosting a barbeque or beach bonfire. Outdoor events are much easier because you do not have to worry about securing color-decorated table settings or fine silverware. Another easy option would be to host a game night or potluck in your home. You can use recyclable dinnerware and serve food on one central table.
If you want to host an event of medium difficulty, consider hosting a brunch, creative event (i.e., painting night) or dance party in your home. With the brunch, you will have to round up dishes and seating options for your guests. As for the creative events, you will need to prepare for the party by purchasing the craft materials (check Pinterest for ideas). For the dance party, you will need to secure a DJ or a band, plus you will need to make sure that your neighbors are okay with the loud music. Prepare to spend a great deal of time cleaning up after your dance party ends (trust me).
If you are interested in hosting a high-level (top-shelf!) difficult event, consider hosting a dinner party in your home. I classify dinner parties as the hardest events to host because of the amount of pressure on the host to create a seamless and elegant event. With the dinner party, you will need to select a set of stylish table settings, cook excellent meal course options, and secure wine and other beverages. For this event, you will need to also check if your guests have food allergies or limitations.
Here’s a few tips to hosting a party that will be the talk of the town:
Don’t just select a date in your calendar and begin planning your party on that day. You must first ask friends in your social circle if they are interested in your party idea. Do they want to go to a Pinterest-inspired painting night in your home, or are they more excited about a summer beach bonfire? Once you decide the kind of party you will have, you must also think about when your closest friends are available for an event. You want to make sure that you select a date far in advance, usually one to two months early. After all, you do not want people to skip your event because they already made plans.
Prepare for Your Party with a List
After you select a date, begin to think about the theme for your party. Will all of the cups have one central color or pattern? Select a theme, then walk through every step of your party to determine what you need to buy or cook. When a person walks into your home, should they get a name tag? Then purchase name tags and markers for the party. When they come your bonfire, should they receive a flower lei necklace? Think about every item you will need, including paper towels and band-aids.
Get a Core Group of Friends to Help–Thereby Ensuring that they Come
Once you start planning your party, choose a few select tasks that your closest friends can help you with. I say this tip so that you can ensure that a few select people are certain to attend your event, after all, they have a responsibility to help in some way with the event! You may also benefit from their help. Have one friend bring a few bottles of white wines, and have another friend bring the plastic forks and knives. Ask one friend to take photos throughout the event. One friend can bring the pinata, if necessary.
On the day of your party, eat as much as you can before the party so that you can prepare for all of the running around you’ll do during the party. Trust me, you will not have time to eat a full meal during the party. You’ll be too busy socializing, which is a good thing!
Have Fun and Make the Rounds
Make sure to talk to everyone at your party. Introduce your acquaintances to your friends and vice versa. You never know when new connections will be made at your party.
Do you have any party hosting tips? Share them below on online using the hashtag #ladiesagain
Have you ever been in a disorganized, cluttered and filthy home? You know, one that is filled with stacks of papers, crowded kitchen sinks, overflowing trash cans and grimy toilet seats? I, unfortunately, have experienced the horror of being inside filthy homes before. These of the homes of my colleagues, classmates and family members. I’ve been in homes so messy that I was not sure where to step or sit down, for fear of sitting on an item or stepping on clutter. The clutter is not just limited to the home: A messy person is messy everywhere. I’ve also had the unfortunate luck of being inside of someone’s cluttered car or messy work office.
There could be a variety of reasons that explain why a person a person could have a cluttered home. It could be that messiness is in some way related to a lack of conscientiousness, or a lack of inattentiveness to detail (messiness is common among people with Attention Deficit Disorder). Or, the person could just be busy and does not make cleaning a priority for some reason. It’s also possible that a cluttered person may have hoarding tendencies and feel an unhealthy attachment to material items. Or maybe, some messy people just feel more comfortable living in cluttered environments, similar to pigs in a muddy pigsty. I once had a roommate who, when the subject of cleanliness came up, said that she preferred her house to look “lived in,” and that too much cleanliness was overbearing. Yuck.
Cleanliness is a subject of utmost importance to feminine ladies. A clean home is a welcoming home. You should feel pride in being a responsible person who keeps their home clean and organized. Hold yourself to high standards because it is up to you to make cleaning a priority. Neglect is not sexy nor is it healthy. Additionally, a messy home communicates instability of some sort. And think about how productive you could be if you maintained a clean and organized home! I have always believed that messiness, in general, is bad, but I think it is unforgivable if a messy home belongs to a woman. I have just always imagined that our kind and compassionate nature would naturally lend itself to help us keep our homes clean. But, alas, some women struggle with cleanliness more than others.
Perhaps cleanliness is a challenge for you. You may want to keep your home cleaner, but you just do not have the time. Below, we offer a few easy ways to keep your home clean.
Get to the Problem First
If your home is frequently cluttered or unorganized, what is causing the clutter? Are you too busy? Or, if you are honest with yourself, do you dislike cleaning? Do you live alone and lack pressure to keep your house clean until guests come over? Are you unorganized in all aspects of your life? Are you busier than you should be? Take some time this week to think about what is causing the clutter in your life. Think about specific examples to get to the source of the issue. Think about your bathroom, for example. Do you empty the trash every on a schedule, or do you just dump the wastebasket when the trash overflows? If it is the latter, what is stopping you from cleaning the bathroom regularly? You need to get to the root of the problem before you can solve it.
Make a Schedule
If you wait until your home needs to be cleaned to get your home in order, it will never look clean. You should not wait until your trash piles up or there is mold growing on the shower tiles before you decide to put your gloves on and do some cleaning. You should set aside at least an hour every week to clean your home. You may need to set aside more time than that depending on the size of the home. Pick a day in the week to schedule a time clean your home, which includes doing a deep cleaning of your kitchen sink, dumping the trash, disinfecting the kitchen counters, mopping/vacuuming the floor, scrubbing the tub, washing your bathroom sink and cleaning the toilet. Set aside an additional 20 minutes to file and sort any paperwork or tools that are lying around your home.
Have a System
Do you mentally have a system for how you like to clean your home? Create a cleaning methodology. Decide, for example, that you want to prefer to clean your kitchen before you clean your bedroom and bathroom. Then, move on to cleaning your car or closets, if that is a part of your system. Make a habit to keep a certain amount of bleach and other cleaning products in your bathroom and kitchen. Create a system that works just for you.
Figure out how to make cleaning more enjoyable. When you figure out how to make it a fun activity, you’ll be more inclined to do it regularly. I love cleaning because it is the one time every week when I have downtime to myself. I can de-stress from the week’s activities when I’m mopping or cleaning my refrigerator. I also like to listen to music on full blast when I’m cleaning. I might even dance a little when I’m cleaning. Some people may listen to a television show or film while they clean. Find a way to make cleaning fun!
What’s your cleaning technique? And do you have any horror stories from visiting other people’s homes? Share in the comments below!
I like to live on the edge sometimes by doing tasks at the very last minute. Boredom scares me, so I have a habit of jam-packing my schedule with too many activities. I end up rushing through a lot of tasks just to finish all of the projects I started. As a consequence of this line of thinking, I struggle to look presentable on a regular basis. I want to sleep in as long as possible, so I wake up 30 to 40 minutes before I need to begin my commute. I end up trying to toast waffles while I’m brushing my teeth. I get to the office on time (some days), but I don’t look nearly as presentable and glamorous as I would like to be. Occasionally, when I arrive at work, I notice that my shirt is wrinkled, my hair is messier than it should be, and there is not a stitch of makeup on my face. Not sexy.
It’s been said that there are no ugly women, just lazy ones. If I look rushed and disheveled, it is because I did not set aside the time needed to look my best. But there is hope! My inability to pull it together before I leave the house is not a poor reflection on my character; it just means that I need to work harder to refine and improve my morning routine. Some of you may also struggle with getting out the door as well. In the end, what can we do to change our behavior so that we appear more polished every day?
First, accept that you are not perfect. You may perform well in one area of your life and be disorganized in another. A person high in openness may be low in neuroticism. I am a very organized person at work and at home, but I struggle with punctuality. Knowing this about myself, I know that it is unlikely that I will magically wake up two hours before work to beautify myself. Try not to be hard on yourself. Understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Second, once you figure out your strengths and weaknesses, find ways to work around your shortcomings. I understand that I am not a morning person. To make up for that, I recently started laying out my clothes the night before, deciding in advance how my shirts will match my pants and shoes. I also select my accessories at night. By doing this, I save time in the morning and I know when I get to work that my outfit looks presentable and professional. I also have time to iron my clothes properly at night, so I do not have to rush in the morning! Others save time in the morning by preparing breakfast foods at night.
Third, understand that patience is a virtue. When it comes to being presentable, some things, such as doing one’s hair or selecting clothes for the day, should not be rushed. It sounds crazy, but I prefer to do my makeup a little later after I leave the house, like at work, so that I do not rush through applying my makeup. By doing it a little bit later in the morning, I know that I am fully awake and can dedicate time to applying my makeup carefully. There are great workarounds for looking fabulous: If you can’t do your makeup at home, bring a small makeup with you; If you can’t do your hair in the morning, bring your hair materials with you. Keep your heels in the trunk of your car if you need to do so.
How do you maintain a polished look every day? Share your tips below!
It’s been a very busy few months for all of us at Ladies Again. I joined a salsa dance team (to learn how to be more feminine, of course) and African Femininity started a fabulous new job. We’re also in the process of bringing on new writers to Ladies Again, so that is exciting!
Sometime in the last month, through the rush of all of the things going on in my life, I set aside some time to watch a short TED Talk called “Relationships Are Hard, But Why?” While watching the video, I had an epiphany: So much about what we’ve written on Ladies Again has been about attracting the right person and learning to be more feminine for that person, that it never occurred to me that it was possible that we could be the cause for our own negative relationship issues. I never realized that early childhood attachment issues could re-emerge during adulthood. According to Dr. Stan Tatkin, the TED Talk speaker, attachment issues have the power to negatively influence our ability to maintain healthy functioning relationships.
Dr. Tatkin defines people as anchors, waves and islands. Those individuals who are waves and islands experienced insecure attachment relationships during their formative first years. He defines the three groups in the following ways (summarized by Clinton Power):
Characteristics of Islands
People who are islands tend to:
like to be alone, enjoy their own space
have been raised to be self-sufficient and tend to avoid people
learn early on not to depend on people
often feel crowded in intimate relationships
be in a world of their own
self-soothe and self-stimulate
not turn to others for soothing or stimulation
find it hard to shift from being alone to interacting
under express their thoughts and feelings
process a lot internally
Characteristics of Waves
People who are waves tend to:
feel a great deal with their emotions
have strong attachments in childhood, but they were inconsistent
have helped soothe a parent or both parents who were overwhelmed
have felt rejected or turned away by one or both parents
focus on external regulation: asking others to help them soothe them
find it hard to shift from interacting to being alone
over-express and like to talk about all the details
stay in close physical contact to others
often think they are too much and nobody can tolerate them
Characteristics of Anchors
People who are anchors tend to:
come from a family where there was an emphasis on relationships
have experienced justice, fairness and sensitivity in their family
love to collaborate and work with others
read faces, voices and deal with difficult people well
Do any of these descriptions sound familiar? Read more in Tatkin’s illuminating book “Wired for Dating.”
Worldwide, women are thought by men and other women to be highly emotional, sensitive and reactive. In fact, many cultures (think parts of the Middle East and Africa) believe that all women are hysterical and are likely to behave in irrational and illogical ways when given the opportunity. This kind of stereotype has been used to oppress, demean and marginalize women for years.
Obviously, it is unfair and inaccurate to paint a broad brush and call all women hysterical, but there seems to be an element of truth to the sexist stereotype that women are more emotional than men. Women are more sensitive to negative emotions, according to one study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology and conducted by researchers at the Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Montréal and the University of Montreal. Researchers found that subtle differences in brain function affect how the sexes respond to negative imagery.
Sex differences in the stressful reactions to coping with negative daily life events also have been found (Matud, 2004), and observation data of women’s written and verbal behavior tends to find women express more negative emotions than men do (e.g., Burke et al., 1976; Levenson et al., 1994)
– From the article “Are Women More Emotional Than Men?”
It’s reasonable to conclude that women can be more emotional than men at times. But here’s my question: Now that we know that women can be more emotional, should this fact define our reality as women? There must be a way that we can co-exist (and even thrive!) with men without helplessly succumbing to the ups and downs of our emotions. In my own life, I have felt overwhelmed by a surge of emotions at work or with friends and family. For me, those moments come and go occasionally, but I recognize that many women struggle to maintain their composure under stress. So what can be done?
I recommend that women take a professional public relations approach to keeping cool under stress, where they understand that their primary objective is to uphold a respected public profile at all costs. You can react in private in your own way, but in public, you need to stay calm. Having worked professionally in communications for many years, I understand that image is everything since the impressions you make on others dictate the kind of opportunities you may have access to later. One bad blowup can cost you a job, friendship or opportunity in the future, so it is important for your own sake to stay calm when faced with stress. On top of all of this, there something wonderful to be said about a woman who can maintain her cool under pressure.
I was motivated to write about this subject when I saw an interview with the very polished and articulate Omarosa Manigault, the reality television villain and current director of communications for the Trump Administration’s Office of Public Liaison. Not long ago, Omarosa kept her cool when she appeared on the television show “The View,” despite facing combative and catty behavior from many co-hosts on that show. By going on that show, she knew that she was walking into a storm of hate and accusations, but Omarosa succeeded because she followed many basic crisis communications principles (learn more about crisis communications from PRSA).
If you would like to learn how to stay calm under stress, you can apply many of the same four crisis communications principles below to a stressful situation as well:
I’ll outline these principles by using Omarosa’s appearance on The View as an example.
Omarosa probably watched “The View” before appearing on the show to get a better understanding of the show’s co-hosts and the kind of questions they would ask. She has probably heard of Joy Behar, and her habit of becoming overly emotional and unprofessional during conversations. Joy Behar has a habit of cutting off guests when they speak, so Omarosa likely prepared for that kind of immature behavior. Omarosa also likely learned ahead of time that many of the talk show hosts are liberal, so she prepared for that also. I know that Omarosa prepared for hostile dialogue because she taunted Joy Behar at one point by telling her that “I know it’s gotta be really hard after the last year and a half, of all the things that you said about Donald to see him sitting in the Oval Office.” Ha!
We can all adopt this principle. Understand your stress limits and decide whether you can handle a stressful environment before you go into it. Omarosa can handle an environment like “The View,” but many other people could not handle a situation that hostile.
Having worked in communications for several years, I am sure that Omarosa and a team of her colleagues worked together to prepare a number of taking points before her interview. Work with other people who support you when you are under stress (or preparing for a stressful situation).
Work and repeat your talking points (or your story) until you understand the points backwards and forwards. Say the points until you believe them in your soul. Then go into your stressful situation knowing that you are right and the other side is always wrong. Effective public relations is all about repetition, repetition, repetition. If you falter on your points, you lose.
Step out of the crisis or stressful event for a second and realize that it is not the end of the world. Whether you lose your job, or lose a boyfriend or get into an argument with a friend, the world will keep chugging along. In the case of Omarosa, she probably went into the debate understanding that the opinions of the talk show hosts do not matter in the long run. Joy Behar talks for a living, and she does not dictate federal policy. Behar’s opinions are almost completely irrelevant to Omarosa’s livelihood. Understand when you are in a stressful environment that you can only control so much. The moment will pass eventually.
Understand your own story and your own motivations, then communicate them clearly. Omarosa repeated the same points throughout the interview, and spoke slowly and directly to her audience. Make sure that you own your own points when faced during a crisis.
Any other tips for staying calm under pressure? Or just think Omarosa was wrong for defending herself? Tell us in the comments below.
With the U.S. presidential election coming up in a few weeks, much of the world’s attention is focused on learning more about Hillary Clinton. While there’s quite a bit that could be written about Clinton, the Hildabeast that may likely become the first female president of America, I’d like to focus on a more interesting character in the Clinton circle: Huma Abedin, Clinton’s her right-hand woman and professional aide.
Never before have I seen a woman made up of so many contradictions and twisting plotlines. She is so polished and calculating, but made of so many mistakes. On many levels, I am fascinated by Abedin because her life has taken a course that I no interest in following. She is the opposite of a role model. If anything, she serves as a public guideline for how not to live.
The first and foremost mistake that Abedin has made is that she married a scheming, lying sham of a man, named Anthony Weiner. Heard of him? He’s the former New York congressman who was first caught texting another woman (outside of his marriage to Abedin) while running for public office. I originally dismissed the first texting scandal as temporary marital strife in the Weiner home, and none of my personal business. But then, he got caught texting his penis a second time shortly after the incident.
At the time, I thought, it was just bad timing. He probably should have known not to do it again, especially so soon to the first texting incident. He was laughed out of Congress. Then, years later, Weiner attempted to make a comeback by running for mayor of New York City, but was caught sexting other women again! His bid for mayor failed. Then most recently, he was caught texting a photo of his penis to a woman—while his infant son lie on the bed next to him.
Weiner flagrant extramarital affairs were hard to understand. It was even harder to understand why Abedin remained so loyal to him, especially given the negative impact that her association with Weiner could have had on her career. And what kind of person would marry someone as crazy as Weiner in the first place? I can think of two theories: First, she wanted to stay married for her son’s benefit and/or marriage is frowned upon by her family. Second, she may have thought that being faithful and loyal to Weiner will make her look like a hero in the long run, because after all, it worked so well for Hillary after the Bill Clinton affair.
The last theory is the most probable I think, but it’s hard to imagine why someone would stay married to a man who continued to disrespect her. Lastly, Abedin might also be crazy or egomaniacal too, and just wanted to be married to someone powerful. Was it possible that Abedin is just as unstable as Weiner? It turns out that Abedin may have known that he was a bad apple from the very beginning. In an interview, Abedin said that she walked out on Weiner on their first date. And yet, she married him even still.
The second crazy thing about her is her unwavering dedication to Hillary Clinton. I do not want to get on a soapbox about how wrong Clinton is for the country, but I know that anyone who is an ally with her is also probably wrong too. Abedin has testified in court in defense of Clinton, and she even had Clinton preside over her wedding, for goodness sake.
Lastly, Abedin is, in all outward aspects, a very feminine woman. She understands the importance of color-coding and matching, and she makes sure that her hair and makeup looks fantastic on a regular basis. I think it is wonderful that she takes care of herself, but it’s also a bit contradictory that she works in such a cut-throat industry. After all, her work with Clinton at Department of State involved conversations about drone strikes, refugee camps and military interventions. Not so glamorous. Nevertheless, Vogue recognized her many years ago for her sense of fashion, but neglected to discuss the much seedier side of the work that she does everyday.
Abedin may now have it all together in her personal life, but her professional life is most certainly on a steep incline (after all, we know that women can’t really have it all). It is shocking that a woman who made such a poor choice by marrying and staying loyal to Weiner may soon serve as the top aide to the president of the United States. As more and more women turn away from feminism, I hope that they will look to Abedin as an example of how not to live.
I’ve always thought of myself as a laid-back, low-maintenance chick, someone that would never give a man a lot of stress. So when I asked my ex-boyfriend years ago if he wanted to get married, and he told me that he needed more time, I gave him all the time he needed. As in, several years to figure out how he felt. In the end, we never got engaged or married, and we ended the relationship shortly after. I never got upset with him, or threw a temper tantrum when he seemed put-off by my interest in marriage. I wanted to be an understanding partner and I did not want to feel like I forced someone to marry me by giving an ultimatum.
It turns out that my laid-back nature was not healthy for my love life and aspirations for marriage. According to the groundbreaking book “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others” by John T. Molloy, it is only the women who demand marriage that end up getting married. Those women who patiently wait for the man to set the terms of their relationship often never end of getting married.
“Our most important discovery was that the primary difference between women who marry and women who do not is Women who marry insist that the men in their lives marry them,” said Molloy. “More than 73 percent of the women coming out of marriage license bureaus with the future husbands told us they had put pressure that didn’t involve an attempt to manipulate their man into marrying them but was simply a result of their telling their man what they were feeling.”
The book makes this point clear: Women who wish to be married need to tell their spouses that it is vital to their long-term happiness if they are married. And they need to make it clear that they won’t settle for anything less.
“The idea that any woman needs a man to be happy and fulfilled today seems politically incorrect. Nevertheless, 64 percent of the brides-to-be told us they held this belief, while less than 20 percent of the women who did not think they would marry held the same belief,” said Molloy in the book. “We concluded that a woman who believed that marriage was essential to her happiness worked harder at finding a mate.”
Molloy recommends that women refrain from giving “It’s marriage or me!” ultimatums. Instead, he recommends that women say something along these lines: “I love you, but I need marriage.” This is a delicate way of speaking to the man about how you feel, without making the discussion about marriage accusatory or hostile.
Here’s more interesting points from the book:
“When we asked couples about to marry which of them had first spoken about marriage, 69 percent said it was the woman, 12 percent the man. The remainder did not remember, were not sure, or disagreed. Most of the times they disagreed, the man said it was the woman, and she did not remember it that way.”
“Discussing marriage is important for a number of reasons. One of the most important is to avoid a misunderstanding that can strike a major blow to your plans to marry.”
After reviewing the data, we came to this conclusion: If the woman conveyed to the man in her life the belief that marriage was essential to her happiness, it often became a very powerful argument for marriage. Almost a third of the women who were about to marry said that they discussion or argument that convinced their fiance to propose went something like this: ‘Marriage is essential to my happiness. If you love me as you claim, you’ll do what it takes to make me happy.'”
“Interestingly, 63 percent said they would have proposed in a year or two. That’s a very revealing answer: Our research showed that when men delayed proposing by as little as three months, often they never proposed. Without such pressure, there probably wouldn’t have been a proposal at all!”
“The majority of those women also believed that their men understood if they remained a couple for a year or more and were getting along, at that point they should start seriously considering marriage. This is an extremely good idea: Left to their own devices, less than percent of their future husband a thought dating for a year and being in love meant marriage was necessarily the next step.”
So be very vocal about your feelings ladies! If you are a woman who wants to get married, you only have so much time to discuss the subject seriously with your spouse before the optimal moment passes.
Do you have any advice for speaking to a man about marriage?
Entertainment wunderkind Tina Fey returned to movie theaters this year with a film about the raunchy adventures between a recent divorcee and her sister who both decide to live it up one final time before reality sets in. Maybe you’ve seen the movie before, since it is similar to that other Tina Fey movie Baby Mama, where a hopelessly single career woman decides to throw caution to the wind and hire a surrogate mother to give birth to her child. Both films are similar in nature to the movie “Trainwreck,” a film about a shamelessly promiscuous woman who decides―when she’s ready, of course―to give love a chance for once in her life.
What do these films have in common? They all feature women who live by their own rules and make their own happiness, even if it means shunning meaningful relationships with male partners, their children or their families. Female narcissism, it seems, has become today’s trend du jour. It seems that before our very eyes, the airy romantic chick-flick genre is being replaced by a new entertainment category focused entirely on bringing to the big screen the you-go-girlism once confined to Women’s Studies classrooms. You’ll find this narrative also plays out in books and television shows.
These feminist films are misguided in that they glorify very shallow representations of female empowerment in relationships and workplaces. These movies are actually feminist fantasy, where long-term consequences for selfish behavior never arise. It is rare for these movies to criticize a female character’s poor decision-making when it ultimately leads her to a life of singledom, loneliness and unhappiness. None of these “you-girl-go” films chooses to show what comes after their female lead characters kick their no-good men to the curb or decide to become single mothers on their own. How do they cope, at age fifty, with the regret of knowing they could have had a family but chose instead to pursue their own career goals? Or, how will they balance high-demand jobs with single-motherhood, as Fey’s character will have to do in Baby Mama?
As much as these films shun relationships, the truth is that a life led just for one’s self is a self-centered and lonely existence. Instead, happiness can be found in the joy that comes from stable and loving relationships. Despite all of the female empowerment nonsense pumping out of Hollywood, the fact is that men and women need each other to feel completely and wholly fulfilled, even if admitting that fact sounds less politically-correct than some would like to acknowledge. Relationships push individuals to think about the world outside themselves by forcing them to be conscious of the needs of their spouse. It is in healthy relationships that people learn to be more caring and less selfish.
What will become of this entertainment trend in the future? I, for one, am not going to sit passively and wait for more narcissism propaganda from Hollywood. It is for this reason that I joined a partner in starting Ladies Again, a site for young women learning to be a little more feminine, altruistic and caring. And a little less selfish. As the daughters of two single working mothers, we are educating ourselves independently about femininity and womanhood―learning concepts about femininity that our grandmothers and great grandmothers knew instinctively. Together, we are discovering tips on everything from how to cook, to dinner table etiquette, to how to let a man take the lead.
But as fulfilling as writing for Ladies Again can be, just having these conversations online cannot be enough. We must use the power of the purse to support films, shows, books, and even news sources that support functional families and relationships, particularly those that applaud togetherness and not narcissism. So, will you see the new Fey movie? I hope that you’ll choose to support art that promotes functional relationships instead.