#129 – Auto Estima

In our last essay (# 128 American Predators) we lamented that one half of the world’s population was preyed upon by the other half. How can a tragedy of such enormity happen? And more importantly, can it be changed? Obviously, complex behavior patterns cannot be modified overnight but a beginning must be made and we do that now.

Both the predators (men) and the prey (women) exist within the same narrative or context which determines their identity (who they think they are) which in turn drives their behavior. So let’s begin by looking at both the stories and the resulting behaviors that explain why women are victimized.

We start with Ester, a Brazilian mother of two, who had a request for her former employer, a plastic surgeon. “Doctor, I want to put in silicone.” (1) Even though the cost ($900) would tax Ester’s budget, her identity and societal pressures pressured her to do it. “I didn’t put in an implant to exhibit myself, but to feel better. It wasn’t a simple vanity but a necessary vanity. Surgery improves a women’s auto estima [self-esteem].” 

Ironically, as we have just seen, trying to please the very predator that stalks her can be one of the most subtle traps into which a women may become ensnared. Offering up and even altering her body on the altar of love is just one and the myth of romantic love is another.

“Sacrilege as it may be to say ‘falling in love’ remains criminally oversold to girls in our culture. From their earliest fairy tales, it is the Great Event. A man has always been a woman’s best excuse to avoid her destiny; that a man is her destiny is one of patriarch’s most pernicious tenets. What a scam. And often we leap into our ‘poor choices’ with the operatic flourish of Juliet, Madame Butterfly or Tosca—all dead by suicide at the show’s end.” (2)

“Until women realize our pre-eminence, and act accordingly, with its inherent responsibilities, we will never get a grip on our own happiness. Might we shift our thinking, reorder our priorities and discipline our minds in our affairs with men? If we did the world would change too.” (2)  You think?

Perhaps we might need a more profound understanding of our dilemma which is, of course, a catastrophe for both men and women. Click on the link below to deepen the process.

Insight # 129:  Whether they call it soul, spirit, atman, or Buddha nature, all the major religions say that men and women are often not held as equals. (3)



  1. Edmonds, Alexander. “Surgery As Therapy.” The New York Times Sunday Review. August 14, 2011, page 12.
  2. Bentley, Toni. “Consumed.” The New York Times Book Review. August 11, 2019, page 14.
  3. “Women’s Liberation.” Shambala Sun. July 2005, page 37.

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