Some time ago, I stumbled across a Marie Claire article featured on WebMD - Fembots: The New Breed of Women. I imagine WebMD has a ton of readers seeking to empower themselves with fast, reliable medical information...but this prescription for Fembotism should have a warning label to go along with it: Hazardous to your Health!
The first time I encountered the Fembot was in the Austin Powers movies - these robotic women were gorgeous (if artificial) sirens and objects of men's lust, desire, and fantasy. But make no mistake: they were all business, out to exploit the opposite sex's weaknesses, out to annihilate him (at least in Hollywood:). Even when playboy Mike Myers (aka Austin Powers) actually falls in love with and marries Liz Hurley, we open to a sequel where true love cannot last and the gender war and shagging rage on. Turns out, she too, is a fembot...she was never a real woman. Right now, we have Angelina Jolie and the Pussy Cat Dolls teaching us to walk in Fembots' boots. C'est la vie...right? Or can we say no to that ending?
In her article, Theresa O'Rourke notes, "Take a look around, and you'll notice that more women are having their sensitivity chips removed." O'Rourke offers feminist praise for "the fembot: the cool, together, emotionally unavailable girl one cube over." Men desire her because she is seductive, mysterious, unattainable, totally independent and self-possessed. O'Rourke continues, "We spend seven-plus hours a day at the office, the classically male arena where men have honed a lot of their own robotic abilities. And we're learning their tricks: You don't have to -- can't, really -- think about last night's spat with the boyfriend; just focus on work instead. Disengage, hold things together, keep your cards close to your chest, and you'll get ahead. Fembots have mastered these lessons and can apply them just as easily outside the office."
While all this may sound extreme, this recipe for re-engineered womanhood includes compartmentalizing and forgoing deep female friendship often in favor of careerism and competitiveness. But, as Wendy points out in Girls Gone Mild, we should remember "jadedness" does not equal "maturity" and all of this sounds like a whole lot of unnecessary emotional repression! As a young woman, wife, teacher and art therapist, I believe any time you numb out you are afraid of feeling pain. When a woman's been burned before, sometimes I think she tries to protect herself against it by becoming a bit of a Fembot. Or worse yet...she's traded herself in for a newer, 'better' false self that can't betray her the way her natural longings, bubbling emotions and frustrated love can.
Parting words: As Wendy points out in her book, "In seeking a soul mate, in other words, it's helpful not to forget your own soul."
I thank God every day for my husband and cannot imagine a single day where we don't communicate honestly and with love and with a sense of humor about the stuff that makes us tick. Expressing our real emotions to each other helps us to Grow as persons and grow together. But you have to want to share your whole life with him, with God too, and not settle for less.
What do you think - where do you see Fembotism in girls? In women? How does this affect or relate to (young) men? Who are amazing women in your eyes?