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What's with women, self help and The View?




Men are fascinated by what women are thinking, they want insight into the opposite sex. So it doesn't really surprise me when I catch my hubbie reading my Cosmo magazine. Last night, I returned the favor. I picked up his Men's Health. It was the teaser on getting great abs that caught by eye, but I read on.....and found one of the most interesting articles I've read in a long time.

Writer Mike Zimmerman informed me that there's such a thing as Fem TV. You see, Men's Health ordered Mike to spend a week watching women's favorite TV shows -- over 7 days he watched 30 hours, everything from The Today Show to The View. He discovered a kingdom (or queendom) of incessant talk. "I've never seen such a barrage of how-to material," he writes. "You can be better, strong, sexier." The ads, he notes, are for weight loss, health and beauty products, shopping and making your life more fulfilling. 

He then throws out this question, which would be hilarious if it weren't so true: 

Is it possible that all these TV women are empowered victims? Life - their men, their bosses, this male-dominated society - goes against them and they overcome.

And then, Mike dishes out this warning to men:

As you watch these shows, you would never think women were at one time repressed in society...they control their own media world, bring their A game to all levels of government and are routinely discussed as CEOs and potential presidential candidates. Beware, men. The next decade may prove that if this is a war, women are winning.

Mike also points out that currently women have more advanced degrees, more high school diplomas and bachelor's degrees and if they point them to work, they may soon out earn men as they move into their 30s and 40s. "We may look back at this point in history as the tipping point when women became the more relevant gender."

He takes it all back to Fem TV and asks: Why do you think soap operas have been dying off in the past few years? Because the immediate, info-centric nature of self-improvement programs and talk shows appeals to women (and their daughters) who now know that they can do or be something.

Boy does this guy have it right! It's not just TV. Women networking events are all about empowerment and helping each other achieve more and more. So are the books we're reading and the fitness classes we're taking. We're into self-improvement in an extreme way that men just aren't.

I think it's because we haven't yet acknowledged that we are not the underdogs anymore. We still feel like so much is expected of us and we want to prove we're up for it. With all the time demands, we're will to make time to totally tune in to anyone who can tell us how to do something better. 

Readers, what do you think of women's obsession with the self-help movement? Is this a good thing? Are men benefiting from our drive to be better, from our being programmed to go out and achieve? Will we just eventually burnout from trying too hard?