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January 2000
WOMEN IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM
By Sandy Plone, Ph.D.

The question many women are asking me in the privacy of the psychotherapy hour, and are asking themselves frequently is; 'DO WE REALLY WANT TO HAVE IT ALL?" We women in this "New Age"--which presently means a new century--where all changes seem likely, have witnessed many changes depending on our age group. Some of us lived through the painful throes of women's liberation in the 70's. This was followed by the blossoming of choices, opportunities and models to emulate during the 80's. And many were faced with new challenges and choices in the 90's. We, or our daughters or granddaughters could (and certainly still can) aspire to greatness-- to success that might include real power!

Eleanor Roosevelt seemed, for a time, to be reincarnated in new form as a Hillary Rodham Clinton, who embraced not only marriage, motherhood, and a spiritual life, but also seemed to wield power that would have been unimagined decades ago---although at present her particular future is unclear. Last year we witnessed, for the first time, a woman running for president--and while some may have doubted her true intention, (for example, was Elizabeth Dole REALLY positioning herself for the 2nd spot?) , women around the country knew she was serious!

Current ideas for the future of young women are put forth in popular writings, hinting, or promising "new paths to fulfillment while going beyond the myth of having it all". Yet, within the sanctity of private conversations, many women are confiding to each other about longings for intimacy, for connections-- whether it be through finding a life companion, hopefully a soul mate, or finally bearing (or adopting) a child, or even being in a work setting or profession where isolation is replaced with relatedness, or by discovering a life's work that includes real meaning, beyond material gain.

How these seemingly disparate trends will intersect with current options for success or power, as we enter this momentous year 2000, portends a fascinating experience for participants and observers alike. As the ancient Chinese blessing reminds us, how fortunate we are to be living in interesting times!

--Dr. Sandy Plone is a clinical psychologist in West Los Angeles. She can be reached at 310-979-7473 for information or confidential questions.

©copyright by Sandy Plone, Ph.D. 2000


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