A Critique of Colette Dowling?s excerpt of The Cinderella Complex: Wo
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The “battle of the sexes” that rages on today is just as strong as it has always been. Although an ever-increasing number of opinions are being heard and made known, many people are still ignorant and hold on to traditional views that can sometimes be damaging. Even though there has been much progress in the ways of communication and understanding, much is still needed to be done and improved upon. Colette Dowling is a well-respected author on women’s psychological issues who uses her personal experiences and insights to enlighten women about themselves. In Dowling’s excerpt of The Cinderella Complex: Women’s Hidden Fear of Independence, she provides a clearly written and rational explanation on the psychological issues of dependency women exhibit, but lacks in supporting evidence and examples.
One night she is lying miserable in bed, sick. She then becomes conscious of the fact that she is not despondent because she feels ill, but because there is no one there to comfort her. She realizes now that this is the way it has always been, she has known no other way. Throughout her childhood she was raised with the notion that someday somehow she would be whisked away by her prince charming and live happily ever after. She did not know what it was like to be truly independent. Nor was she raised to be comfortable with it. Boys were trained to be self-sufficient early on while her parents and society taught her that she did not need to be self-reliant; that she only needed to hold on until her “savior” came.
This person (or so she thought) appeared after she had been raising her children alone for the previous four years. As their relationship grew, they reasoned that it would be good if they moved in together. Soon after moving in together, she found herself sinking into the same routines that she had in her marriage. Slowly but surely she fell into the groove of being a “good house wife” and stopped feeling the need to pursue her career. She found this surprisingly easy and natural. To take the place of her writing she began doing household chores and started cooking again. Within no time she had gained weight and was starting to feel the inadequacies that go along with not having to support one self. She started to doubt her effectiveness as a writer and ability for self-sufficiency.
Her loss of ambition also created an unwanted hardship on the relationship b...
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... of the stress that accompanies self-sufficiency. Many women in the modern world simply do not have a father figure around. Without the man being the savior, the girls do not have that crutch to lean on and therefore come to not expect any help in the future. These are the truly independent women of today. They have no choice; either rise up and take care of themselves or fade away.
Throughout all of these concerns, one thing is evident and cannot be disputed. Humans are truly creatures of environment and circumstance. What may apply to one may be totally foreign and irrelevant to another. One cannot possibly make a blanket statement and without even researching it, expect it to apply to everyone. This is what Dowling attempts to do. All that she has the authority to speak about is her own personal experiences. She cannot possibly fathom all of the intricacies of human life and expect her personal views to be universal, nor can anyone else. No, she should not have had her book published by Ms. Magazine. Although her experiences may be valid for some, they would not necessarily be beneficial for those who were not brought up as she was. How can one expect to know the mind of all?