This is something I wanted to talk about as I grew up around 6 sisters. My brothers weren’t around enough, and still this is all an experience from my own perspectives and understanding and I stipulate this now as I assume there are always outliers, people who don’t follow the medium of the norm. That doesn’t mean much, but I know that this is a bit of the truth that I have discovered along the way.
As early as I remember there has always been a difference in boys and girls, men or women. While I believe (like many) in equal opportunities, I do not believe in equal outcome. I do see the places in which women talk about their inequality, but that was before and more often I had little to no consideration of my own issues. So that is what has inspired me to write this.
As a woman, I have noticed one interesting thing is an emotional state is a big deal. While there are women who can keep their emotions in check and some are a lot more masculine in their thinking, even their emotions are a big deal. This works on men to a different degree. However, always remember that emotion is easier with women. It frames thinking in a way that states if I feel “X” and I go through “Y”, then outcome is “Z”. Men are backward to that, I go through “Y” Outcome is “Z” I feel “X”.
What this does is create the frame of the mind in both ways, it doesn’t always mean great or bad but it means that we need to frame ourselves accordingly. The state of mind between men and women always needs to be checked. For instance, if a boy is angry and upset he maybe shouldn’t/wouldn’t engage in a happy activity easily. Same goes with a female. So there is a similarity but the ways that we act in regard to life is very different.
Boys when young are taught to be prepared to go to work, or/and college. To go support a family/spouse and be a man. To understand sexuality has limits and that “No means No”. To be taught that girls are to be protected, defended against danger, and to ensure their safety. The statement of Women and Children first echoes in time of downed ships, attacked cities. Regardless, the idea of men was to protect those who might need it. That doesn’t mean we do that to other men, however. We’re Spartans (or wanting to be) and thrown together in a way that says “fend for yourselves”.
We often are challenged and continue to be by other men. Competition not only in stature, success, games/sports, build, threat, etc. The idea of this competition has caused many men to forget easier that they are humans as much as any, but regardless that covers the reason that bullies exist. I remember many times where I felt like I was on a ladder for competitive space with my fellow men. Of course, there are ways that this is difficult, and other ways that this is very easy to pass.
Regardless, the idea of that competitive sphere between males also caused us to have apathy toward our own issues and problems. For instance, we (men) hear from another man that he got raped by a woman. This would normally be considered a joke and more often waved off without much consideration to the victim. Or in the case of the man who got married, had kids, then went through a divorce and is paying child support, alimony, and is doing what he can to struggle by, we just don’t care, and we tell him “man up”. Hence a major portion of why men are the highest suicide rate of the sexes.
Where women are in a different competition. The competitive ways of men are often physical or expressed openly/outwardly. Women do the opposite. The game is a social one. The idea that in a competition of women vs women it’s about a different set of standards. Not just physical attractiveness, but dressing, hair, make-up, physical stature, social standing, who they are around, what they said, and who they said it to. Many different tangents that are part of the social hierarchy of women/girls.
I have also stated before that I have seen few things like a woman angry. When a girl/woman is angry with another female, they more than often destruct their social hierarchy. They promote ways and influence others to points that they fall from their social standing in some way. For instance, I knew a girl who had her picture without a top shown to others, and when they found out she was ridiculed and shamed. She eventually got over it but the damage to her mental state was one that caused her a lot more time and healing than some guy punching another guy.
Social hierarchies and what the measurements and scales are are different for both sexes with the same sex. However, it is also different for the opposite sex. For instance, when we males look at a female through visual stimulus we can be aroused and turned on. That’s mostly not the case for women. So we see a standard of beauty and put that on other women without realizing that women need to measure up to our particular standard. So there is, in essence, a standard of beauty a girl/woman needs to measure up to in order to have success with the opposite sex. (Thus a reason it’s also measured in female to female hierarchies) However, I stipulate that is not a full barrier for any female.
Men can be swayed by women in a variety of ways. There are men who are easily seduced or easily swayed. Some are not as easily, but regardless that offers other opportunities for women to engage with men for a relationship. However, it’s the way that men engage toward women that is often a point of focus. The fact that for many years it took initiation by men toward women, allowed some moderate form of privilege to sit back and let men initiate interest.
While I say this was a privilege, it was back in time, but now we have more people on the planet than ever before. This has changed dynamics and what it means. The idea that a man expresses interest now in a society of cat-calls, “hitting on”, pick up lines, and other various forms of expressive interest. However, as a female, she has the ability to say yes or no to the interest and how. Now, while it may seem pretty nice to sit back and have a choice, it’s not like that for most girls. Some do not get any advances as they don’t stand out enough in a standard of beauty, or there is the beautiful and has the constant barrage of interest from males.
This causes much of the discomfort for the female and why “Sexual Harassment” and “assault” are at the forefront of their discourse. This, unfortunately, has become a horrible area for both sexes. While men have few ways to express interest, it’s also the women who only want specific types of men to show that interest. This leaves men to guess whether they are the type she wants or doesn’t. If it’s someone she’s not interested in it’s a dangerous game as the male has put himself out on a proverbial limb, and risk his heart, and exposing it to her. That’s dangerous because his expression and vulnerability can be considered sexual harassment in some circles of life. Which sexual harassment can lead to punishments.
So, with that many men are afraid to show interest in certain situations simply because they don’t want to risk, and some men have no problems with it either. Men that meet there partner are willing to engage in a relationship and vice versa. The relationships offer more differences. Men still go to work to provide for spouse/family. Women go to work or choose to be a stay-at-home mother (which is also a job when done correctly). These roles are simple but also has been under scrutiny from either side in modern times. The traditional roles are not always the case.
When there is a broken marriage the problem for everyone exacerbates. Why? Because as I have mentioned before – First, Everything is situational. So every situation offers a complex amount of contributing factors, as well as a complex answer for what would be right. Alimony and custody and many other factors contribute to the situations of the divorce. While courts often try to take the situation into consideration, they more often favor the woman’s role in the divorce and so award her more often than the man. The cost and problems stemming from a divorce are high and numerous which is why groups like MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) sprouted. It’s not worth the risk for a male to invest his life in someone who may very well change in 10 years, 20, 40…
However, it’s more often the case in a Divorce also the mother will win custody of children. This exacerbates issues for both sides depending on the individuals that are the parental figures. When a single mother takes on that responsibility, it burdens her with a ton of responsibility, when a single father accepts that, it does the same. They must take on the role of nurturer and disciplinarian and more. This problem of being a two-parent role in one is not helpful for parent or children. However, it is still doable and some people still find success though this is not the majority. Majority of single-parent homes are often rife with problems.
Still, that isn’t all. While often the case of divorce and relationships continue to drive problems between men and women. The ways we view others and things in consideration of the other sexes need to be thought about carefully. Women often in groups help by having an established “sisterhood” where men’s support isn’t really there unless they have specific friendships to fall back on. In old elementary school terms – Boys are made of slugs and snails, and puppy-dog tails – Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Another subtle way of saying girls are awesome – boys suck. This has created a slew of problems for both sexes as well.
The point I am trying to make to bring us back full circle is this, we need to readjust the way we perceive the other sex, as well as realign our own sex/gender roles. This doesn’t mean to exist in a fluid-binary way, but to realign your values and contributions, to understand yourself and the opposite sex in a way that creates bridges instead of being a game of verses. Many people out there actually co-exist in a manner benefiting to both parties and continue to provide a healthy relationship the other needs. That is what I am seeking in this, to understand one another in a way that offers compromises, understanding, and value to both sexes.
To close, I hope that you understand both sexes have so much to work on to be better human beings. There is so much more we could be doing as individuals to create better stability and platforms for offering a better opportunity for everyone. What people chose to do with that opportunity forever will be their own personal choice.