CNN posted an article about universal fears among women. The research found it doesn’t matter if a woman is a CEO or a stay at home mom, we all fear losing it all. I am willing to admit my biggest fear is being widowed. Women universally fear abandonment and poverty no matter the income or education level. I like to think of myself as strong and resourceful, yet I couldn’t imagine my life without my husband.
I think one of the reasons this fear is so common is because most single mom’s live near or below the poverty line. From the beginning of time, someone has had to hold a newborn child and it hinders our ability to provide for ourselves. As women, we are inclined to want someone to nurture, yet doing it on your own proves to be challenging. My heart goes out to single moms, whose strength and determination I hope to never know.
So why then would a CEO fear the same thing as your average working class woman? She has access to health care, child care, and many other resources the everyday person is lacking. I guess the reason is that, no matter how strong the person we all are still a little bit vulnerable. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been blessed to know many strong women. Women that run their own businesses, work in upper management, women that look like they have it all. I know of many female lead households, where it’s the mom who makes more. I would never have guessed their fears were the same as mine.
So why is it that, this feeling prevails across all income levels? One reason is that, in this economy, everyone is expendable. People use to work for a company 20-30 years and retire with a pension and a gold watch. In this day and age, many people work as freelancers, contractors, and in entry level positions. We fear layoffs, downsizing, and mergers, all things made more common since the crash of 2008. Business models are changing and workers are the ones suffering. Women naturally crave security and even if they have it all, on their own, they may still fear failure.