Self Help For Women
Self Help has come a long way in the past several decades. It used to be that “women’s issues” weren’t even thought of let alone specialized in Universities, counseling centers and books all over the world. In just a few short decades, self help for women has burgeoned into a major industry and a worldwide movement. Entire countries that used to promote traditional cultures where women were expected to be submissive to their husbands are now taking up new values and becoming part of a globalization of equality.
Women’s issues were traditionally overlooked in the past largely because of the fact that the jobs were simply held by men and the economy and industry of publications and counseling were exclusively male driven. Today, things have changed and there is plenty of self help available for specific women’s issues as well. Women have issues that they still face concerning self esteem, sexuality and even “the perfect body image” but they can now face these issues out in the open and learn to grow and change just like men are doing. As human beings, we all have issues to contend with and none of us are perfect. It is a great step that we can now recognize this together and learn to grow spiritually regardless of our genders.
Some of the women’s issues which are constantly challenged by the media and by product advertising today concern objectification and marginalization. These are issues that concern women individually and often require a person who has already “been there” who can help. One great program which has pioneered the movement against the marginalization of women is the Oprah Winfrey Show. Setting herself apart from many other self help guru’s, Oprah avoids much of the negative language aimed against men and instead focuses on the solutions that women can use to overcome in society. The Oprah Winfrey Show also raises awareness of many other issues outside of just women’s self help and thereby makes itself accessible to an even wider audience. This places the struggle for women’s self esteem and self empowerment into a larger context of world issues rather than cutting it off from its connection to all issues that face humanity. Greater self esteem for women means greater self esteem for everyone and the Oprah Winfrey Show has been a great benefit to humanity because of this fact.
Self help books for women are widespread but some of the earlier works are especially notable for those who wish to get a foundational understanding of the issues. Interestingly, Anna Freud, the daughter of Dr. Sigmund Freud actually contributed to the work of psychoanalysis in a very profound way when she wrote the famous work The Ego and Mechanisms of Defense. This is one of the classic works of psychoanalysis which actually brought together many of her father’s ideas in a more succinct and clear fashion thus making them more easily identifiable for all people. Another great book which is part of the classic works on women’s issues comes from Nancy Friday and is entitled My Mother Myself. Here, Nancy Friday investigates the core issues which involve women in relationship with their mother’s and uncovers the common reasons for self esteem issues in women. She leads the reader to a deeper understanding of herself so that she may identify her issues more readily and find a way to move ahead in her life. Although a third book has been largely left behind in terms of the women’s movement, Carol Gilligan’s book In a Different Voice was a groundbreaking work decades ago in terms of the women’s movement and is still offered in many University courses today.
Wherever you choose to start, there is a wellspring of information on women’s self help today. Women have taken the lead in terms of personal growth in many areas and have caused men to stand up and take notice as they lead the way into a better future for all of us.