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Women are still being told to hold themselves back for fear of injuring a man’s ego.
Stripped down, it’s the same disheartening message women have been taught for millennia.
She’s just closed the biggest deal of her career, and she's walking on air, bursting with excitement. She's feeling fierce and powerful, but "fierce" and "powerful" don't feel feminine. So Susan tells Jim about her success, but downplays it, substituting "fierce and powerful" with "fun, charming, and unintimidating." Not surprisingly, the date falls flat.
She can't wait to share her success with Jim, but then she remembers the dating advice she's heard again and again: "If you're not in touch with your femininity, you won't be able to attract guys. So, soften up, or run the risk of failure in love." Susan is torn between two worlds. Awkwardness, the clay-footed compromise between impulse and inhibition, takes over, and neither Jim nor Susan can find the easy connection they felt in the past.
It holds us back from our ability to love authentically.
If we're single, it keeps us choosing the wrong partners.
Second, there's wisdom in the advice to get out of work-mode before a date, but isn't that job, not just the woman's?
Which is why researchers who study gender roles use terms that are not based on biology: "Instrumental" traits include assertiveness, decisiveness, independence, dominance, and ambition.Truly, in the matter of personality and romantic love, there is someone for everyone.With all this in mind, let's re-imagine Susan's date with Jim — through two different scenarios.Scenario 1: Susan lets herself share her full excitement with Jim."This is who I am, and who I want to be," she decides, "and if that makes him uncomfortable, then I'm dating the wrong guy." Jim is awkward.