I’ve got a very important message for you – please read the whole thing.
I’m writing this in the early morning hours after the US presidential election. I’ve been a puddle of emotions all morning, and tears are streaming down my face as I write.
I can’t get over how last night was a huge setback for women. And it’s not because a woman lost. Or even that it was Donald Trump who won.
It’s because a man who bragged and joked about groping women, then later claimed his accusers were lying on the basis of how they looked, was elected to the most powerful office in the world.
I know there are many women in this community, my clients included, who’ve been raped, sexually assaulted, verbally abused, and/or made to believe that you have to have sex in order for a man to be interested in you.
And I’ve spoken with women who feel powerless when it comes to dating: the guy has to make the first move, he has ask you out, or initiate the ‘where is this going conversation.’
Healthy relationships can’t exist when the man has all the power, or when the woman is so scared or distrustful (usually because she’s been burned many times) she keeps her power hidden by building walls around her heart. This at best leads to a toxic and unhappy relationship, and at worst, to a relationship full of dishonesty, resentment, and even abuse.
Look, this isn’t about politics or specific policies of the candidates. And I’ll admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Hillary even though I did support her. This really isn’t about that.
I’m way more concerned that Trump’s victory will continue to reinforce the belief and cultural norms that men have the power when it comes to dating, sex, and relationships.
…That somehow it’s our fault when we get cat-called in the street or groped in a bar.
…That we are objects that have to look, do, and be a certain way to get the attention of men.
…That if we want to wait or aren’t ready to have sex with someone, we’ll be labeled as prude and won’t ever be able to get into a relationship.
…That if we ask for what we want in a relationship we’ll be called a bitch or needy.
…That men have the power, and we can’t make the first move, initiate a date, or have any say in the relationship or where it’s going.
…That we don’t have to hold men to appropriate standards, and making excuses that he’s tired, work is stressful, he has kids, as reasons why he hasn’t called or why he can’t drive to see you for a date.
…That it’s normal to care about how he’s feeling more than how you’re feeling.
…That if a he rejects you it’s because of how you look, who you are, or your inherent worthiness.
…That really, men do have all the power, and perhaps it’s better to let them take it or give it all to them.
I didn’t make any of this stuff up. These beliefs come directly from many of you, sharing with me so vulnerably your deepest fears and beliefs you’re afraid to admit you have.
And I’m not blaming Donald Trump for this. These beliefs have long been perpetuated by past generations, Hollywood, the media, and professional sports team who refuse to do anything about sex offenders playing on their team
Institutions are certainly slow to change, but we’ve been moving in the right direction. And while I still think we’re moving in the right direction, last night was an enormous setback.
I often tell my clients that doing the self-growth work, like choosing love over fear, trusting the process, and forgiveness is easy when things are going well. But the real work is staying on the course when everything around you seems to be uncertain.
And totally coincidentally, (See, the universe is supporting us!), this week on Date Yourself Radio I have a brand new interview out with a sexuality expert all about the female and sexual empowerment. Make sure you take a listen here. (Or look for it by searching Date Yourself Radio in iTunes or Stitcher.)
This isn’t over.
Choose to stay the course.
Choose love over fear.
Chose to keep empowering yourself.
Choose to rise above.
And please, please don’t ever believe you have to be fixed, you’re broken, or that you have to give away your power to be loved.
All my love,