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Five Myths About Women
by Marc H. Rudov
I’ve recently published a book about women and know them well. My true education in all things feminine began almost 12 years ago, when I became reimmersed in the single world after my divorce. During this post-marriage odyssey with the “opposite” sex, I learned that women are not so opposite and are, in fact, much like men. To me, this is no longer a debate; it is fact.
Now, we hear almost daily from anthropologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed psychotherapists, so-called life coaches, movies, books, magazines, TV, radio, parents, friends, lovers, and standup comics that men and women are wired differently and hopelessly incompatible. We are coached to accept, embrace, and gingerly navigate these differences. Nonsense, I say. If you believe this propaganda, you are part of the problem.
Many children grow up hearing repeatedly from their parents and teachers that they are unalterably shy. Then, these children internalize the negative message and often remain shy until death—having lived a self-fulfilling prophecy. This same phenomenon occurs with the barrage of myths we hear about women’s limitations, passed down from generation to generation. From the long list, I have identified five, counterproductive relationship myths that our society continues to propagate and reinforce about femmes. They are totally absurd and untrue. Yet, if men and women don’t stop indulging in these myths, we will never find the harmony we mutually seek and need. Once we destroy these myths, however, men and women will realize, at last, how similar they really are.Myth #1: Women don’t like or need sex as much as men do.
It is laughable how many men and women actually believe this myth. Worse is when they insist on clinging to it. Let me tell you that healthy women—those without emotional hangups or medical problems—definitely like and need sex as much as their male counterparts; often their cravings supersede those of men. On one hand, many demonstrative women have told me that men they had dated rejected them for being too sexually expressive. Wow, these men are morons! Unfortunately, sexually uninhibited women threaten insecure men, who need to be in charge, and old-fashioned men, who believe such women are sluts and not the marrying kind. In turn, a spurned, frustrated woman typically reacts by toning down her sexuality for the next guy. She conditions herself to believe that her unreserved style is wrong. What a waste of spirit. She should instead look for a better mate. Why doesn’t she? Usually it’s because her sexually frustrated mother and girlfriends force on her their repressive credo: great sex isn’t as important as his ability to provide for you—make it work.
On the other hand is the woman involved with a secure man, who encourages her, perhaps for the first time in her life, to be as free as she wants to be—emotionally and physically. Frequently, this woman was raised to be sexually passive or even to believe that sex is bad, and she expends a lot of energy in the act of self-repression. After behaving uninhibitedly, “like a man,” she almost cannot believe the difference and is never again the same. Numerous times I have witnessed this sudden metamorphosis first-hand, usually hearing the refrain: “Yes, my mother was definitely wrong! Why did I wait so many years to experience this?”
Myth #2: Women aren’t as visually stimulated or obsessed with looks as men are.
How many times do you hear this line? Give me a break. More nonsense. Part of the argument for this myth is that the majority of porn addicts are men. Porn addiction is a sickness that has little to do with visual stimulation and a lot to do with intimacy dysfunction. As an aside, a recent feature article in the San Jose Mercury News revealed a dirty, little secret: that porn is becoming increasingly popular amongst women of all socioeconomic stripes.
In the mating game, if she has the choice, a woman always will seek the best-looking guy. Isn’t this how many women choose presidential candidates? Despite Bill Clinton’s record of abusing females, many women continue to give him a pass because of his looks, and they have said this to my face. Beware women who deny their preoccupations with looks.
I remember watching a Fox TV show called Mr. Personality, hosted by Monica Lewinsky. A beautiful, sophisticated, well-spoken girl named Haley had to choose one man from a group of 25 masked, unnamed suitors¾each week further winnowing the group by a few men, based on their incompatible personality traits. Haley never saw the face of each suitor until she selected him to leave the group. And, every time she unmasked a handsome man whom she otherwise found unacceptable, she was disappointed. Sounds like the MO of a stereotypical guy, doesn’t it? On the final show, she narrowed the field to the last contestant—her new beau. Monica announced that he had done well financially in real estate, but Haley’s biggest question still remained unanswered: Is he gorgeous? Finally, he unmasked himself. Her relief was palpable.
Myth #3: Women are more faithful than men.
Recently, on The Radio Factor, host Bill O’Reilly said that men cheat more than women because their DNA renders them unable to be happy with one mate. In other words, they can’t help themselves. What nonsense! Normally, I agree with Bill O’Reilly, but I knew, based on my own experience, that he was dead wrong! Every time I go to a party, I see women cheating on their boyfriends. Every time I visit a dating Website, I find women cheating on their boyfriends. Wives who cheat on their husbands, however, are more discreet than their single sisters. But they still cheat. Why? For the same reasons men cheat: insecurity, immaturity, lack of commitment, lack of character, opportunity, boredom, duplicity, lousy sex at home, communications gap at home, etc.
I searched “female infidelity” on Amazon.com and saw at least 10 books on the subject, including one by Susan Shapiro Barash called A Passion for More: Wives Reveal the Affairs That Make or Break Their Marriages. In writing her book, Author Barash interviewed many cheating wives as well as psychotherapists. When asked on ABC’s Good Morning America about how much guilt these cheating wives must be feeling for their transgressions, Barash said she believes most of them don’t struggle with guilt. Nice. Once again, we see women exhibiting behavior typically associated with men. No surprise to me. Another myth shattered.
Myth #4: Women are more relationship-oriented than men.
Men like to date; women like to settle down. Sex, for men, is physical; for women, it is emotional. Men have trouble making commitments, but women are always ready for romance. Right? Wrong! Yet another unfounded myth about women as the nurturing creatures of the human race. But, isn’t this what we always hear?
Have you ever met a woman freshly separated from her husband and headed to divorce court? Sometimes, she wants to barricade herself in obscurity while she heals and deals with her lawyer. Other times, though, she wants to have as much sex as possible, with no attachments, ridding herself of the man she now despises. But wait, I thought this is the way men are supposed to behave!
In fact, there are men who crave being in relationships and women who avoid them at all costs, and vice-versa. Both men and women have had good and bad experiences with their counterparts. Some are dedicated to heal themselves and move forward; others feel permanently burned and live in avoidance for many years. Gender, once again, plays no role here. This myth is ridiculous.
Myth #5: Women are kinder, gentler, and more romantic than men.
Please, give me a break. I always knew that, like men, women have the capacity for brutality. My male friends confirmed this with their mindnumbing stories from divorce court. More telling is the number of women who explained to me just how brutal women can be! What happened to sugar and spice and everything nice? This truth became further evident when my young daughters came home from school, crying about the abuse they suffered on the proverbial playground from girls who one day welcomed them into the inner circle and the next day rejected them. And, society has the audacity to treat men like troglodytes incapable of empathy!
After you’ve been around the block a few times, usually when you hit 40, you start to realize that there are men and women of all stripes: generous, stingy, romantic, cold, demanding, appreciative, kind, and vicious. There are men who can write effusive, heartfelt love-letters, and there are women who are completely incapable of communicating their feelings, either verbally or in writing. I’ve been with sweet, loving, caring women whose ex-husbands are insensitive, dense, unromantic blokes—but excellent providers, dare we forget. So, again, another gender-based myth dispelled.Myth-Busting
If you’re honest with yourself, you cannot find many real differences between men and women. The differences you’ve always thought about are socialized differences based on myths. If women were as different and mythical as the so-called experts would have you believe, they’d never be able to run major corporations, cities, states, and nations. When we stop behaving according to our socialized programming, our stereotypical roles, we are surprisingly similar. This behavioral shift is the solution for making our romances more harmonious and successful.
More from Marc H. Rudov * Can Men & Women Really Get Along?
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