Why was Freud unable to answer this crucial question? I believe the reason for his impasse was that he considered women as an object for analysis and a species of its own, rather than recognizing that there is a feminine side to each and every soul. (A few decades later, fortunately, Carl Jung came along to point this out.)
If you were born in a woman's body, science says, you are more sensitive to hot and cold, less prone to violent behavior, more resistant to illness and are likely to live longer. What else is different about being a woman? In order to answer this question, I asked my inner Goddess and here is what she said:
I am a sensual being and rejoice that this is so. Relaxing in my sensuality helps me suspend all judgment. I overcome temporary discomforts by finding harmony with the cycles of life.
I am the producer of my own happiness. My happiness makes me lighthearted and beautiful, and my environment reflects the beauty I feel inside.
My freedom comes from knowing that I have choices. I celebrate my independent spirit and stay focused on my goals. I live my life in partnership with divinity, using intuition as my guide. Discipline is my friend and my purpose is clear in all that I do.
Every day I move my body in some way to experience my physical vitality and celebrate my feminine power. I rejoice in all acts of love. I seek and spend time with friends who add joy and love to my life. With every breath I reaffirm that love is who I am.
I am a mountain of peace no matter what storms may blow. I know that the little things are as interesting as the big ones, that every voice counts and needs to be heard. I especially listen to children and people's unspoken messages.
I am always on the lookout for new and exciting opportunities. Any beliefs that limit me are not based on fact. Women are the mothers of the world. My creativity flows like a river. My vision is larger than what meets the eye.
I allow my presence to speak more than my words. There is an infinite well of love that resides at the center of my heart; it keeps me warm on the coldest of days. I bring joy and laughter to the world and remind it to celebrate life.
What do women want? How can we know? Listen to the goddess and accept the power of her inner beauty. Know that all she wants for herself is to love and be loved, and all she wants you to do is open your heart and receive it.
JOSEPHINE GROSS, Ph.D. is co-founder of Gabriel Media Group, Inc., publishers of Networking Times.