Should women act more like men?


Al-Jazirdah daily Newspaper

Although women in the West and the USA compete with men over almost everything, women have had to pay a hefty price for it. Today, women are regarded as equal to men in everything regardless of the different intuitive feelings of both sexes, meaning a woman has to show male qualities such as strength and ability to work under pressure if she wants to compete. If she does not have such qualities, she will be regarded as weak.

An American female writer named Wendy Shalit criticized members of society who want to deprive women of their right to be sensitive. She said those members consider women’s sensitivity, which is a natural feeling, as sickness. The writer said that too much equality between men and women has caused some to describe women’s sensitivity as a psychological disease.

Because of the social pressure on women to put aside their feminine qualities, a large number of women in the US take Prozac, a popular medication since 1988, especially among American women between 20 to 50 years of age. Why? Donald Klein, a psychiatrist, conducted research on what he called “rejection to sensitivity” and classified it as a mood disturbance, calling it “Hysteroid Dysphoria”.

It is not depression per se, but more like a fear of being rejected for showing sensitivity. This fear causes a woman to feel desperate and down. Klein found that some psychiatric medications make patients stronger and better able to cope with social pressure.

For example, if a woman loses a man’s admiration, she will take Prozac so that she does not feel sad and down. But the question is: Does a woman who experiences such feelings need this medication? After all, it is natural that some men will lose admiration for their wives and desert them. So, it is okay to feel sad and low.

Peter Kramer, a psychiatrist who wrote a book called “Listening to Prozac: A Psychiatrist Explores Antidepressant Drugs and the Remaking of the Self”, also said that he prescribed Prozac to some of the women who visited his clinic. He agrees that the medication helps boost a woman’s mood and makes her more daring and man-like in her behavior and better able to handle emotional matters. In other words, the medication helps women get rid of feminine feelings like giving-up, strong emotions, etc.

Shalit says that American society views woman’s sensitivity as a negative feeling, not a natural one. Women who have such sensitivity should take Prozac so that they can get rid of this sensitivity and act like men, not women.