Friday, July 15, 2011

Women Burning Out

In a post about a book by Dr. Joan Boysenko called Fried: Why You Burn Out And How to Revive, Dr. Helen Smith explains why modern women seem to be so prone to burn out.  

Dr. Helen also links a recent article about the book from The Daily Mail. It provides a very useful summary.

Why do women burn out?

In her book Dr. Joan Borysenko offers the usual explanations: women are people-pleasers and they don’t take enough time for themselves. Or better, they don’t like themselves enough.

Ah yes, if only they had more self-esteem. Of course, these are therapy-culture nostrums.

Dr. Helen has some better ideas.

Most important, from my perspective, is her point that these women do not who they are. They are living their lives as though they were men.

As Dr. Helen writes, this has been standard feminist fare for decades now. Too many women do not look at what is best for them and their families, but blindly obey the instructions that they are receiving from their feminist masters.

Then they claim that they have gained independence and autonomy!

Women have been told, or better, have had it beaten into them, that anything a man can do, a woman can do too.

They have learned this in indoctrination sessions masquerading as college courses. I doubt that any of their feminist teachers has ever asked whether it is really a good idea to try to imitate men.

This feminist mantra is not quite as harmless as you think.  A woman who makes decisions according to what a man would do is denying who she is.

Besides, if feminists are so pro-women why do they try to convince women to act like men. Doesn’t that suggest that there is something wrong with being a woman?

If so, who are the real misogynists?

Remember the line that was inscribed on the portal of the temple of the Delphic oracle: Know thyself. It should be obvious, but you can’t know yourself if you do not know which gender you belong to and do not embrace it.

If you conduct your life in order to deny who you are or in order to pretend to be someone or something you are not, Dr. Helen explains, you will burn out.

Regrettably, too many women are sacrificing their lives, their health and their sanity to make an ideological point.

Those women who were not seduced by the idea that they could act as though they were men might have succumbed to the idea that women could have it all. As Dr. Helen reminds us, feminists were instrumental in perpetrating this illusion.  

It sounds like a great idea-- who doesn’t want to have it all-- but it loses its appeal once women really try to have it all. Isn’t it a modern form of hubris, an arrogance so vast that it refuses to accept any limitations?

Women who buy the notion that they can have it all soon discover that they have made a Faustian bargain. As you recall, Faust’s story did not have a happy ending.

How do these women deal with the disappointment that befalls them when they follow the feminist program?

Dr. Helen explains that they complain about it, even to the point of turning themselves into martyrs.

Ironically, Dr. Helen notes, these complaints echo those that an earlier generation of feminists thought it was hearing from 1950s housewives.  

If, she adds, the original feminist solution to the “problem that has no name” was for women to put themselves first and to take more personal time, it is amazing that Dr. Boysenko offers exactly the same nostrums for the problems that feminism has been instrumental in creating.

I draw two lessons from this situation.

Lesson one: know who you are, and be who you are. Anyone who tells you that gender is a social construct, thus, that you can choose your own, is lying to you.

Lesson two: no one can have it all. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you.


David Foster said...

Since you used the term "Faustian bargain," a description of Faust's character may not be amiss:

"What this Faust wants for himself is a dynamic process that will include every mode of human experience, joy and misery alike, and that will assimilate them all into his self’s unending growth; even the self’s destruction will be an integral part of its development."

From Marshall Berman's essay on Faust as Developer, which I cited in my review here.

Dennis said...

This all seems to be "Damned if you do and damned if you don't." Either way women get to be "victims." It is why years ago when asked the question, "What do women want?" I said "I DON"T CARE." Women don't have the slightest idea of what they want and never have had it.
When women grow up and take on the persona of an adult with adult responsibilities and stop whining maybe I might care. Would women take us seriously if all we did was whine about just how bad life treats us and want everything to be set up so it meets our desires, no matter how ridiculous, and specific wants because of our gender? NOT LIKELY!!
Thank GOD I have large numbers of women around me who have no use for this feminist drivel. Life is a challenge and should be looked upon as a way to meet those challenges and succeed. Enjoy those challenges because they are what make you what you are as a human being. We have everything to learn from our challenges.
One needs to learn it is good to be who you are and to revel in ones existence. Once one gets past whining and feeling sorry for one's self the road to success will make its existence known. Success is, in many cases. just learning to love who you are and that almost every other thing is just that, "a thing" with little or no long term value.
How can one ever find joy in life if all they do is whine? And feminists wonder why a lot of males find them disgusting selfish little ingrates?

Bizzy Brain said...

My thoughts go back to one of the curses pronounced on women in Genesis 3:16. “Your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.” (Translation: your desire will be to lord it over him, but he will lord it over you.) Feminists may rebel against this Biblical truth all they want, but are doomed to failure in attempting to reverse the curse.

David Foster said... that really the translation? I would read the first part of the Genesis passage as: "you *will be* sexually attracted to your husband"...(y'know, the oxytocin effect)...or, alternatively, "your sexual attraction *must be* limited to your husband."

Anyone here read Hebrew?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks for the link to your excellent article, David.

As best as I can tell, Bizzy has provided us with the King James translation.

I just took a look at the Anchor Bible, which tends to be very scholarly, and it says that a woman's "urge" shall be for her husband and he will be her "master." It does not include the original Hebrew.

I think that your point is well taken. It feels like the oxytocin effect and it seems to make women more likely to cling to their husbands than would a man cling to his wife. Clearly, as Bizzy says, this makes women more dependent and disempowered in relation to men.

Interesting point....

Bizzy Brain said...

My comments were based on the New King James version of the MacArthur Study Bible. There is an identical use of the Hebrew words and grammar in Genesis 4:7 where God is speaking to Cain. “And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” The word desire in this sense means to rule over or control. In other words, sin will rule over you unless you decide to rule over it.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you, Bizzy, for the clarification.