Women today are inundated with years of gender role conditioning very early on from childhood through adulthood, where we are expected to uphold a position of power in our careers and relationships. The never-ending quest for female empowerment in every social stratum in our culture is the bulwark of modern womanhood.
Activists claim women “still haven’t broken through the glass ceiling” despite the fact that women as a demographic collective have now surpassed men in earning power, employment, and educational pursuits.
Unlearning the female power role in romantic relationships can prove to be daunting for women with numerous factors at play, including many men expecting women to “do it all.” A large majority of men demand their women work full-time while assuming the majority of child-rearing responsibilities in addition to paying half of the living expenses – equality in relationships is a standard that many men have unwittingly bought into.
Needless to say, it’s enormously difficult for women to find an outlet to be more submissive in their relationships when we’re simultaneously being expected to rank equally with or outperform our male counterparts.
Women today are exhausted from trying to do it all. We are expected to be the boss at work, then we come home and oftentimes find ourselves having to be the boss to our adult husbands as well. Not only does this leave women emotionally drained, but it also kills the intimacy in our relationships. It’s hard to feel sexually or romantically attracted to someone you feel you have to take care of.
Over time, many women come to resent husbands who refuse to take charge. But even if you’re in a relationship with a masculine man, it’s hard to turn off that #girlboss attitude once you walk through the door. So, what can men – and women – do to alleviate the stifling amount of pressure women now find themselves under?
More Alpha Males/Masculine Men Would Help Alleviate the Need for Women to Assume Positions of Power
The decline in masculinity in modern males is a major factor that forces women into the dominant role in their relationships. Healthy masculinity is frowned upon, and many men either don’t know how or are too lazy to embrace their masculinity.
Despite the rhetoric, men have also been falling behind women for decades. The disparity begins in elementary school, as increasingly feminized learning standards and behavior discriminate against young boys. Colleges, too, are now dominated by women, with nearly 60% of college students in 2020 being female. But men’s problems extend beyond schooling.
"Men commit 90 percent of homicides in the United States and represent 77 percent of homicide victims,” writes Stephanie Pappas in the APA Monitor. "They’re the demographic group most at risk of being victimized by violent crime. They are 3.5 times more likely than women to die by suicide, and their life expectancy is 4.9 years shorter than women’s.”
Despite the rhetoric, men have been falling behind women for decades.
The staggering decline in masculinity in males poses a severe problem for women who would like to be given a choice to be more submissive and less dominant in their relationships. So women have responded by either settling for a man who doesn’t take charge, or worse, by becoming domineering and critical wives.
Across the social media landscape, there are scores of streaming videos with discontented wives humiliating their husbands on camera for clickbait views. One recent video showed a man doing housework while his wife shamed him for performing the task in a menial fashion.
This increasingly common desire to humiliate one’s husband comes out of a lack of masculinity on the man’s part. After all, any woman who has spent a significant amount of time around bona fide masculine males understands instinctually that dominant, masculine men simply do not arouse these types of assertive sentiments in women.
Masculine men naturally provoke submission in women. Women are quite content to assume the submissive role in the presence of a powerful, masculine male.
However, today’s women often find it difficult to adjust to submitting to a masculine man with grace and humility. She may seek to either control him through being needy or by emasculating him, taking on the role of the mother or therapist in trying to “fix” him so that she can control him.
Women must learn to embrace submission in fully entrusting a man to fulfill his rightful role as a man in the relationship. Smothering a man and treating him like a pet project that needs fixing is a sleight of hand – it's a distraction for the relationship dynamic itself that needs fixing. Many women insist they must be in control, otherwise, they believe a man will desert them. And unfortunately, men very often do check out of their relationships because masculine men don’t take kindly to being smothered and emasculated.
Why Today’s Women Treat Men Like Children
The shirking of responsibility and the failure to grow up and become mature adults is a mainstay in Western culture. Manchildren/manbabies are the norm and not the exception. The messy man cave replete with empty beer cans and stale pizza, video game consoles, and widespread porn use has become a dereliction of duty that many of today’s men are more than happy to fulfill.
Being in a relationship with a manbaby sets a bad precedent, as women are forced to assume the responsibility of overseeing and babysitting their men. When a man checks out mentally and emotionally and uses dopamine-induced escapism to fill a void in his relationship, it can be insulting and dispiriting to a woman.
She finds herself thinking, "I have three children to take care of. And with a manchild who refuses to live up to his male responsibilities, that means I have four children to take care of."
This is a very common tale for many of today’s women. The high divorce rates are proof that something is off. And the high marriage failure rate can be partially credited to the manbaby phenomenon. Unfortunately, many men are simply unwilling to grow up and uphold a position of authority and power in their relationships.
The more a woman steps in and decides a man is too inept, the less inclined he is to want to step up.
And women aren’t without fault, not by a long shot. The more a woman steps in and decides a man is too inept and incompetent to fulfill his responsibilities in the relationship, the less inclined he is to even want to step up and try. If you want him to try, you have to give him ample space and the opportunity to prove to you that he is trustworthy to fulfill his rightful masculine role.
Tips on Unlearning the Female Power Role
The female power role is indeed all about power – the power to lord oneself over a man to feel more safe and secure in the relationship. This is not empowerment; rather, it’s destructive to the male/female dynamic that is requisite in a healthy, fulfilling relationship.
You must learn to allow your man to fulfill his male expectations in your relationship. You must allow yourself to trust him and allow him to build up that trust over time through consistent effort. And that can prove difficult if he’s not willing to meet you halfway in terms of meeting expectations as a couple.
Communicate with him. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart discussion with him and be civil albeit unflinching in expressing your needs and desires. Your relationship goals should be a focused team effort, and if he’s reasonable and has similar goals in mind for your relationship, you should be able to come together and form a pact.
Meet him in the middle and fully entrust that he will do what is asked of him.
You will have to swallow your pride, leave your ego at the door, and allow yourself to be an integral part of the team effort you want to summon and embrace within each other.
“Honey, I hope that you will do XYZ thing in our relationship. It’s too hard for me to do it on my own. And in exchange, I will do my best to do ABC. I would like to see us work on this together for the benefit of both of us. How does that sound to you?”
Don’t point fingers. Don’t nag. Don’t be uncompromising. Instead, meet him in the middle and fully entrust that he will do what is asked of him. Unlearning the female power role is to find within yourself the humility to admit you simply can’t do it all – and to essentially come to a compromise that both people in the relationship have expectations that must be fulfilled.
When you're clear on what those expectations are and you allow yourself to ease some of the burden of responsibility placed on you, he will naturally step in and decide that his purpose in the relationship is help you and to help fulfill these expectations. Learn to delegate responsibility to him and entrust that he will manage to get it done. If he knows you trust him to be a man and fulfill male responsibilities in the relationship, he will gladly rise to the challenge.