Today, the power dynamic in relationships are shifting to favor the woman. In other words, we are now entering the era of the lioness – she is the hunter, gatherer and child bearer. She does it ALL. If you look at graduation rates, job protections and even marriage patterns, women are tearing down the stereotypes of the past. More women today are taking on dominant roles in the bedroom, workplace and society in general.
Thus, the era of the lioness is coming within the purview of modern society.
Day to day, the lioness hunts food for her family, births, rears and defends her cubs. The lioness does most of the hunting for the pride. And why wouldn’t she? She’s a more effective hunter, seeing as she’s smaller, swifter and more agile than male lions. Lionesses also act as a coordinated group to allow for successful hunting of prey.
But near the conclusion of the hunt, males dominate the kill once the lioness has succeeded. The male lion steps in to take any spoils of victory, yet it remains apparent to the onlooker the lioness is the true huntress.
Contrary to his grandiose presence and title as King of the Jungle, lions are largely ornamental. They’re simply regal showcase animals that don’t do much hunting at all. This analogy could be leant to some cases of modern day men. Once in a while, as if a flash show of pride and athleticism, he’ll take out the odd hyena. Defending his pride takes on a whole new meaning in this scenario, you could even go as far to say individual obsession defines him.
Like the lioness, today’s woman does it all. She works a full-time job and then comes home to be a wife, mother and friend. Isn’t it time the lioness received some recognition of her own?
However, we know that with power comes great responsibility. Can being everything in the “pride” lead to unhappiness – or worse – losing your sanity?
Research has shown that as a woman’s happiness decreases throughout her life. On average, women are happier than men in early adulthood, while men are happier later in life. And around the age of 48, men’s overall happiness tends to exceed women’s. What’s going on? Some experts believe that, for women, having a newfound freedom to be whatever and whoever they want comes with an overwhelming amount of choices and responsibility. Psychologist Barry Schwartz explains this phenomenon in his TED talk. According to him, women experience the “paradox” of never being “happy enough” because choices have “two effects, two negative effects on people. One effect, paradoxically, is that it produces paralysis, rather than liberation. With so many options to choose from, people find it very difficult to choose at all.”
Because of this, the wise among us understand that sharing power is more fruitful for the long haul. Is there any way the fat, lazy lion (men) can help out?
Women have run the world from behind scenes for centuries and no longer choose to remain backstage. But part of coming to the forefront means taking on the responsibility. However, they shouldn’t have to do it alone. Of course, some lions are worth worshipping. Men are perfectly capable of providing solid emotional and spiritual support. Unfortunately, some men may have fallen behind in this life because they’ve been comfortable with the status quo – how things were and will remain if nobody changes. They don’t know any other way. So they must be taught. Encouraged. The lioness can no longer continue to pander to the lion’s childlike ego. It is time to step up, do half of the work. Don’t stifle a woman’s ambition, but also don’t leave her alone to do it all. Remember: Keeping your sanity is a matter of having a support network, a hunting partner.
ABOUT GENEVIEVE LEJUNE: Besides being a collaborative writer for ENTITY, Genevieve LeJeune is the founder of Skirt Club, an underground community for women who play with women. She is also known for talking openly talk about bisexuality and bisexual women, and for her work empowering and supporting other women. Genevieve LeJeune