Casualty of the sex abuse debate: Whatever happened to women’s intuition?

What messages do today’s women send?

3 minute read
Hepburn: Clothes for the assertive woman.
Hepburn: Clothes for the assertive woman.
The recent global firestorm over Dan Rottenberg's BSR column on "Male sexual abuse and female naiveté" serves as a reminder that today's media revolution has eliminated millennia of intergenerational knowledge about what it means to be a human being. Never before in recorded history has the generation gap been wider, especially between women.

Just because we've mastered these newfangled circuitries doesn't mean that men know one iota more about women than they did a thousand years ago; and just because women now use the media every day doesn't mean that they know one bit more about themselves (or each other) than their mothers and grandmothers ever did. Although all avenues are open for people to communicate, less of the old fashioned, common sense substance of life is being conveyed.

Look at the old movie stars: Katharine Hepburn, for example. Look at the clothes she wore, and listen to what she said. Hepburn knew exactly what message she was sending, and how to control every aspect of her image, both on screen and off. Like many assertive women of her generation, Hepburn wore her clothes like a suit of armor.

Equal to men, until….

Since Hepburn's day, millions of women have been told that they are equal from childhood, have been educated as equal, go out into the world thinking that they are equal … until (overtly or covertly) they slowly begin to find their inherent feminine powers stripped away.

Of course, the real reasons this happens are far deeper, and far more important, than what women are wearing, but they have gotten buried under the glitz of the (male-dominated) news media. Any woman, who has survived long enough to become a grandmother, learned as she was growing up that she had to quickly parse out her territory. What is it about the media that has removed these feminine powers of intuition?

It's up to the new generation of highly empowered women to discover how to reclaim their core human intuitive powers in the face of technological advances in science, medicine, global corporate life, political uprisings and revolution… and even, like the CBS News correspondent Lara Logan, in the face of men's deadly warrior behavior.

Lust, like Jimmy Carter's

The firestorm that Dan Rottenberg set off is only the beginning. The truth is that Dan is the only man of my generation I know who openly proclaims his monogamy. That he might have had some "lust in his heart," like President Jimmy Carter admitted to having, rather than remaining silent like most men, should be accepted for what it is: an innocent blunder made by a faithful husband, a father of worldly successful daughters, a decent man who has tried harder than most to do good in our community for decades; and someone who truly, deeply cares about free speech and the fate of our culture.

It's time for us women to start taking the higher, far more difficult path toward discovering consensus among ourselves: consensus based upon our own feminine needs, now that we possess the analytical and communication tools to begin to comprehend them.

It's time for us women to use technology to "hear ourselves think," as my mother would say, and to reclaim the politics of our femininity. Men all over the world are waiting for this. If we women don't fully understand ourselves and the messages we're sending, how can they?

Everyone wants peace on Earth. Women are now, as they have always been, the only teachers men need.♦

To read responses, click here and here.

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