I went to the doctor the other day and told her I thought a particular medication I was on was sending me crazy and that my brain wanted to explode from the inside out. (Maybe a combination of stress, pressure, too much work and a fear of missing out). Besides the strange look she gave me when I uttered those words, I was expecting a smart medical response and instead was told, “you know sometimes it is hard being a 26 year old female”. I didn’t think I needed someone with a PHD to tell me that. I was looking for a medical reason, an explanation for my current state of craziness, and all I got was reality pushed in front of me. Was she right?
I was looking for a straight forward biological explanation for my current state of craziness and what I got was life advice from my local family GP (who yes was female and successful). Sometimes people give me advice or make statements that stick in my head like glue, this was one of them.
Is it hard to be a young female these days? The more I think about it the more I think it’s hard to be female in general sometimes. (Just try being a young female Sexologist).
I am always fascinated why people cheat. I suppose it’s something that comes with the job. Sexologists analyze everything and want to know why things happen the way they do. So I once asked a friend why he had cheated on his wife of 25 years. His response was another one of those statement that sticks with me and even still haunts me to this day. “ She was an amazing wife, mother and business partner, but I wasn’t getting enough sex”. After initially being horrified, my second thought was, well maybe you are not pleasuring her right, that could be why she doesn’t want sex all the time – why is it always the woman’s fault?
It makes my skill crawl and fills me with fear that there is so much asked of women these days and yet they can be punished for the ultimate crime – lack of sex! I felt just exhausted thinking about it. Could I really do it all- wife, mother and world domination? And also still make my relationship survive and be happy? Makes climbing Mount Everest look easy and being apart of a harem a good idea.
When we broke the mould and fought our way to equality in the work place, the image of a workingwomen was one who was often single, possibly married, overworked and no time for children. It was as though there was a choice, a career or a family. Now we can choose both, we just need to overcome the possible obstacles that are sent our way. We are no longer choosing one life, we are combining both!
The feminist movement in a way has come around to bite us in the ass, big time! Where we once stayed at home, looked after children and a husband, we now are expected to do all that and take over the world at the same time, the alpha female? We wanted to step out of traditional roles and have our own exciting lives, but someone still has to make the dinner and get the kids ready for school. (I think this is where take aways and catering becomes handy).
We have careers, social lives, fantastic shoes and have become women of power, yet our biological drives still kicks in for many of us, with now the combination of both worlds, trying to make them simultaneously work. (And apparently giving our partners mind blow sex every night). There are some women who choose not to have children or are unable to, but many out there are working women with a strong biological drive to motherhood.
I still maintain that we can have it all, but does it come at a cost and is the pressure sending us crazy (and should our GP’s be doing more for our crazy like state?). I‘m not saying men have it any easier, they don’t, but lets just focus on the wonder women out there for a moment without turning this into a man bashing episode on a chick flick.
I am fortunate enough to have the experience of working for some amazing women in high powered positions. They are always chirpy, polite, on the ball and popping up with rings on their fingers and babies in their bellies. I had a meeting once with a very on the ball PR women, who just happened to have her 4 week old baby feeding on her breast. Instead of being shocked, I was amazed at how she could breast feed with one hand and take notes with the other.
Another high powered women in a meeting also politely interrupted because her children were home sick and needed her on the phone. This is what inspires me. Women who really do have it all, including my respect and admiration. High powered successful women, loving mothers, wives and I only sometimes wish I had the courage to ask them about their sex lives (don’t worry that day will come). These are the women that I look up to and women that give me hope that it is all possible, It just seems bit of work to get there. Maybe we need to swap the stilettos for some hiking boots?
Motherhood was once a reason to give up work. Now it is just another thing to juggle in the mix. Working women are now taking minimal maternity leave, working from home (or hospital beds) and even taking their babies to work. I’m not suggesting we all do this, but I think women are becoming stronger and are managing to combine both worlds successfully, family and a career. But I’m still not convinced they are getting enough external support from the wider community to do so. I encourage them to keep going and share their secrets of success. One famous mother built a nursery in her office, now I hear of others following and have hope that if one mother can do it (work and a baby) than they can too.
There is now a place in our society for the alpha female, however there is still so much going against us. We call each other sluts, steal each others’ boyfriend, and jobs, bitch and gossip about each other, criticise for breast feeding, not breast feeding, staying at home with the kids, not staying at home with the kids, dressing in a certain way, styling our hair the wrong way, wearing something that does not match or is out of fashion, having an opinion that is too different, being too pushy not being pushy enough and the list goes on. We are so quick to attack each other without even realizing what we are doing. (And the presence now of social media just makes it even easier for u s to do so).
Lets give them and ourselves a break and a bit of credit – we need this generation of strong and empowered women to survived and succeed and they are the ones that can really make a change.
Sometimes I feel the “bro code” is stronger and maybe we have something to learn from the opposite sex. Competing is one of our biological drives as a woman and something we used for survival of our young back in the day, but maybe it’s just possible to put aside our primal urges for just one moment. We can override nature, it’s just a matter of being aware of our actions and behaviors and the affect they have on others. Support not criticize, help not hinder, give advice instead of negative comments and love instead of hate.
We also seem to have come into an imbalance with men. We now have room in society for the alpha female but I’m not so sure men have been so accepting and supporting of our place there. We got ‘Sex And The city’ and our right to own vibrators and date multiple people whilst wearing our corporate best, however we forgot to tell the men out there that this still make a women a women and in no way will takes anything away from what makes a man a man.
Men still seem to be threatened by a strong and powerful women (and I’m surprised how much I see it and feel it myself) whether in the work place or on the dating scene. I feel alpha females sometimes challenge men’s roles as stereotypical and traditional and questions the notion of what a man really should be.
My advice to men who come across these women, don’t fear them, don’t challenge them or exert your manly status and so called authority but accept and embrace them. There is nothing sexier than someone who knows what they want and is confident enough to go out and get it. Women can be strong and independent but still traditional. Tradition should not mean becoming submissive.
And what about our sex lives? Who has time for sex these days? Well most of us, but who has time for amazing and satisfying sex, not many of us! This is something that is still important and has the potential to make us feel relaxed, stress free, confident, powerful and sexy. Make the time, don’t make the excuses. Even if it’s just a kiss and a cuddle, it’s important to be intimate with your partner but also intimate with yourself. Self-pleasure is so important to our state of mind. You can still be a sexual person without having sex with anyone except yourself. And it’s a great way to get to sleep at night!
We also need to talk about sex more amongst our friends and groups of women. When I first discovered what the clitoris did, I felt cheated and lied to that no one had told me about this before. We have the power to teach each other and help each other feel normal when it comes to sex. Having that light bulb moment with a friend when you both realize you like the same thing in bed or have had the same problem can be such a comforting thing.
Next time like me you feel you are going a tad crazy, stop and rationalize it, don’t send yourself around the loop. As young women and women in general we have the world at our Jimmy Choos, but it’s not always easy stomping all over it, we might at times just slip and fall down but that’s ok, we should not be expected to be perfect and with it all the time. We can be wives, mothers and business women and sexual goddesses but we just need to give ourselves and our fellow female fighters the space, support and credit we deserve and need to get there.
Good luck in the alpha world,