Posted by: kaitlynproffitt10 | October 4, 2012

Are Men Afraid of Successful Women?

In class today as we were discussing ambition; I was pondering the question of whether men look down upon successful or ambitious women. Our society has emphasized the importance of the woman staying at home to care for the children, while the man of the house should be out being the primary bread winner. Although this view is slowly changing, it has not disappeared completely. This question made me think of the movie The Stepford Wives.

The entire premise behind the film is that these Stepford wives have been transformed by their husbands into their idea of the perfect wife. Essentially they turn their wives into robots.The basic characteristics of these Stepford wives include: a lack of ambition for anything outside of the home, an emphasis on the way they look, and a view of men as highly superior to women.

Although this movie is an exaggerates of what men want out of a woman, it still brings up the idea that the ideal women is the one with no ambitions. This relates back to the Wilson reading when she says “men have to manage their ambition, while women have to mask theirs.” I feel as though this entire idea of women having to mask their ambitions has to do with men fearing an ambitious and successful woman. Maybe it isn’t just men who fear ambitious women, but other women as well.

Here is a little clip from the movie to show an exaggeration of man’s idea of what women should be ambitious about.


  1. Thank you for posting this clip! I had heard of this movie, but had not seen any clips form it. I agree with you when you said it is extreme, but I feel the same basic ideas still do apply today. In the scene she said that women must always look their best no matter what they are doing. This made me think back to the Women in the Media discussion that we had. When women are in positions of power they often get portrayed in the media based on their physical appearance and how they look and that adds pressure to women to always look their best.

    I like what you said about women also being afraid of ambitious women and I could not agree more. I feel that women help create this stereotype of the perfect woman just as much as men. Might women do this in order to try and prevent other women form succeeding outside the home?

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