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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Can women ever be good enough?

By Gina Barreca




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) If you want to get into an argument with a woman, compliment her.

Say she did an excellent job on her project, on her assignment or with her fundraiser, then watch what happens. Whether you're applauding her for the skillful handling of a complex situation or cheering her for the quicksilver nature of her problem solving, she will nod, offer a tight-lipped smile and proceed to explain, in earnest, why you're wrong.

"My team did everything." "If only I had another week!" "Are you kidding? I'm nowhere near my expectations."

She'll keep talking, too, apologizing and offering details. Men back away slowly, scratching their heads and swearing never to say another word. Other women murmur soothing noises because we understand.

I offered soothing noises today. For three years, a close friend has been writing a novel. Her publisher sent an email that included the glorious phrase: "It's terrific. Consider the book accepted" as well as suggestions for a few changes for the final chapter. She forwarded me his note. I focused on "terrific" and "accepted," but she focused on his edits as evidence that she was not, and probably never would be, good enough. She feels lightweight, amateurish, and as if she's been caught pilfering rather than earning her success.

She suffers from what I call "achievement dysmorphia," or the sense of disconnection women experience when our manifest accomplishments and our sense of unworthiness don't line up. It isn't quite the impostor syndrome — it's not about faking a persona — but instead it's about a reluctance to accept victory and enjoy even an earned sense of triumph.

Cue Doris Day singing "I Enjoy Being a Girl."

Over the years, we've learned about body dysmorphia, a recurrent, relentless dissatisfaction so profound it compels a woman to diet, exercise or scrub her face compulsively because she can't stand her appearance.

(Such behavior is not hard-wired, either; female gerbils do not spend hours wondering whether they've spent enough time on the treadmill that day. They do not search under the wood chips for tiny pairs of Spanx if they feel some fat under their fur.)

Cultural conditioning causes us to undermine ourselves ritually, and we accept the self-sabotage as if we were born to it.

Actually, we're almost but not quite born to it: If you see a very little girl look into a mirror, you'll probably see her smile. But the older she gets, the more that smile is tinged with chagrin. By the time she's grown into her adult body, she's probably dissatisfied with it.



This profound sense of discomfort inside one's own skin is so widely accepted as part of women's lives that huge corporations such as Unilever, owners of Dove products, capitalize on it. Dove now has a "Self-Esteem Toolkit" as part of its website to help girls "embrace their unique beauty."

Great, right? Except Unilever also owns AXE products marketed to young men. Are young men encouraged by AXE to discover the unique beauty in every individual? Let's see: An AXE website declares: "Girls are getting hotter! Keep your cool with new AXE." Hmm.

This tells us that women are identified first by their beauty — and belief in their beauty is worn away long before they are old enough to understand that it would be better for them to build their identity on their strengths, skills and talents. But after all, vanity in girls is encouraged; pride is discouraged. If this were not the case, there would be ego moisturizers alongside the ones for your face.

The world persists in categorizing women as either pretty or smart, nice or ambitious, and feminine or feminist even though, if you're civilized enough to sleep lying down and not standing on all fours, you already know these divisions are artificial. They only exist because some guy, a long time ago, decided "Hey, if we don't start compartmentalizing women, they'll be all over the place!"

And now women are all over the place, or soon will be; it's taken a few thousand years, but we're on it.

It's time for us to stop rehearsing our shortcomings. When they are due, we should accept congratulations with grace and pleasure — right along with the other responsibilities of success.

Comment by clicking here.

Gina Barreca is a columnist for The Hartford Courant.


Previously:


Why are women left holding the bag?
Check Your Bumper Sticker At The Door
How a customer became a sucker and then got mad
Using reality TV to reveal your personality
Unlearning the kindergarten lessons of life
Things everyone must stop doing right now
Six truths about summer --- it's no picnic
Anthony Weiner --- we've seen enough of you
When women shop, expectations usually out of stock

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