In my view, “femme fatale” is out of date. She is one of those female types in the film noir movies, where the male hero (think Bogart, Mitchum) is trying to make something of himself, and his downfall, his Achilles’ heel so to speak, is a… woman, a femme fatale. Beautiful, enticing and sneaky, but deadly. His obsession with her distracts him from his goals and she can even make him do bad things. She is fatal, hence, the fatale part. He wants her, but she’s bad, mostly because she makes love to him, and it’s the ‘30s and ‘40s, and “good girls” didn’t do that kind of thing before marriage. She proves to be his undoing, and for that, and for being a bad girl, the movie script usually kills her off at the end.
She is no more, I hope. I have spent my career encouraging women to get what they desire through direct, honest, ethical communication with men, and through hard work. Women don’t have to hide their sexiness, but it’s not what defines them. I encourage both men and women to meet on an even playing field, which was not the case back then. Respectful requesting is what works in the modern culture. Women negotiate and manage people just as well as men do. We realize a certain necessary roughness is expected and we can say no, stand our ground, and compete — now THAT’S sexy.
Submitted by Mimi Donaldson. Mimi is a speaker, author and expert on women’s empowerment and gender communication. She is the author of the upcoming book, “Necessary Roughness: New Rules for the Contact Sport of Life,” a female-friendly approach to using football strategies to get ahead in your personal and business life. She is presenting a free webinar for PRSA on Aug. 27, titled, “Diversity: A Matter of Gender or Style?”.
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