In chatting with women over the years I’ve noticed an interesting trend — all of us have felt at some point that there was a “wall” around us that someone else needed to climb in order to win our loyalty and affections. Why? Why do so many of us wait for “our turn,” for someone to come to us and sweep us off our feet? No doubt it has something to do with the classic tales of “Rapunzel” and “Sleeping Beauty” we all heard growing up than mere coincidence.
Among men who have shared their stories with me, I’ve observed a desire to be a hero in the form of provider and protector. When they fall short, their environment provides no opportunities to fulfill this role, or the mission seems futile, they retreat into their caves.
To avoid feeling vulnerable, women put up invisible walls while men become invisible.
Again, these trends probably have more to do with the persistent themes and formulas in movies, TV shows and magazines that we consume from our pre-school years into adulthood than by chance.
For decades superheroes and ninjas have been the dominant themes in boy’s media while princesses and magical abilities have been the dominant themes in girl’s media.
One of the problems with girl’s television shows and movies is that they sell themselves as “female empowerment” yet they teach girls absolutely nothing about the importance of developing a skill, serving the greater good, or the effort or trade-offs that come with the pursuit of success. Instead, they revolve around the privileges that come with tiaras (“Sophia the First”), using one’s magical abilities (“Wishenpoof”), and acquiring the latest fashions (“Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse”); they teach girls to be entitled, rather than develop themselves and find purpose.
Indeed, one reason why nearly all the main female characters in popular girl’s shows have magical possessions or magical abilities that make them special may be to avoid confrontation with any uncomfortable possibilities that might accompany hard-earned accomplishments, such as the loss of femininity, risking injury or death, or having to compromise and cooperate with others.
Studies reveal that women are more critical of each other and do not cooperate as well as men do with each other…