Does Being A Successful Woman Mean Staying Single?

Illustration for article titled Does Being A Successful Woman Mean Staying Single?

The thing about the Madonna divorce is this: If you're Madonna, who can you live happily ever after with? Who doesn't make you feel, "Been there, done that"? Can she even be married? Her whole life has been built on reinvention. And maybe this problem is unique to Madonna. Marriage is not enough for her, and she's tried everything: Religion, adoption, sex, drugs, Latino guys, Sean Penn. I used to have big dreams, about doing big things, when I was younger. Though I never really loved Madonna, I was always in awe of her conquering spirit. But her divorce does bring up the issue of whether to be a powerful woman you have to be alone — whereas a man in power, say, Richard Branson, can (and usually does) just have a quiet wife in the background.You know what they say: It's lonely at the top. And maybe if a woman's got guts and determination, she "intimidates" men. So she either doesn't get attached to a guy, or finds one who is content to live in her shadow. Oprah doesn't have a husband, per se, but when's the last time we heard anything about that Stedman guy? Anna Wintour? Divorced. Condoleezza Rice? Not married. Tyra? Single and looking to mingle. Angela Merkel? Wikipedia says, "Her second husband is quantum chemist and professor Joachim Sauer. He remains out of the spotlight." Barbara Walters? Married three times, but presently un-hitched. Toni Morrison has been divorced since 1964. Gloria Steinem didn't get married until she was 66 years old; he died three years later. While many men have careers in which they shine and the wife is content to stay in the background, it seems that women who live an ambitious life in the limelight rarely have a "quiet" husband at home. Okay, not every successful woman is single. Hillary Clinton's married, as are Nancy Pelosi and Tina Fey. And Beyoncé and Jay-Z are certainly making a go of the married-pop-star thing. (Brad and Angelina exist within their own universe, clearly.) But do any of them have the sheer wealth, power, global influence and drive of Madonna? I just wonder if a mere mortal man can ever be enough for her, or for any woman in her position. Related, sorta: Hung Up!: The Madonna Breakup Playlist [Blender]

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Dodai, please get out of my head. This is a question I am asking myself right now.

"And maybe if a woman's got guts and determination, she "intimidates" men." I don't think all men are intimidated, but quite a few are by women who are driven.

Why is being successful and driven a positive in men but not in women? I'd like to find a partner but not at the expense of my dreams and potential.