I think all rational men and women know that the sexes are not the same. Men and women come from different planets; they’re different creatures with contrasting mindsets, attitudes, views of the world, personalities, and senses of humor. So yes, I believe they can coexist in harmony like most other species on the planet (except for ants and grasshoppers). Are men and women equal? Not by a long shot; nor should they be–but they sure aren’t unequal, either. Whatever everyone else is probably thinking about me right now (including my wife), this article will explain my philosophy on what makes men and women equal even though they are not the same sex.
Are women and men equal in all aspects of life
The question “Are men and women equal?” has two parts. First, are men and women equal in abilities? The second part is “Are men and women equal in power?”
The essential fact is, men and women are not equal in abilities. If you asked me, I would say that men are better at some things and women are better at others.
But all that means is, “men are on average better than women.” Most of the differences between men’s and women’s abilities are not significant.
Are we stepping back with gender equality?
Are men and women inherently equal? No. But are we making progress? Yes.
Anthropologists studying gender roles in different cultures believe that there are universal patterns, but they vary in degree: in some societies, men and women have roughly equal status; in others, men are dominant, and women have little or no power.
But in the United States, things started badly. The 18th and 19th centuries were a time of great social turmoil, including horrific violence and isolation of the sexes. In the West, women were largely excluded from education and positions of authority. They were never allowed to vote, though, in 1920, they were given some limited voting, and when women did vote, they often voted for men.
And while there were very few women scientists, only 14 women were elected to the United States Congress in the 19th century, and only four in the 20th century.
By 1960, though, things were changing. The United States was in the midst of the civil rights revolution, and women’s groups had been pushing for political equality for decades; by 1960, women had won the right to work outside the home, and in 1964 they were allowed to vote.
Since then, progress has been steady. Women now make up about half the students in college, and though they make up only 24 percent of science and engineering majors, women have become a majority of the graduates of those fields.
Some seem to think that men and women are the same and that, therefore, any inequality between the sexes is natural. Though men and women are fundamentally different, differences in how their brains work mean that one sex has advantages and disadvantages in others.
Men are better with the map; women are better with the compass
The first idea was that men and women were not only equal but interchangeable. But the second idea that women had different innate aptitudes was uncontroversial. When the idea was first proposed, women were excluded, but the idea quickly became so popular that it was extended to both sexes.
Both ideas were wrong. But neither one made any logical sense. Men are good at navigating by map, and women by compass. The more obvious explanation is that map reading is practical, and compass reading is impractical.
This has nothing to do with sex. Women can navigate by map just as effectively and efficiently as men. But map reading is more practical, and compass reading is impractical for practical purposes.
Men are better with the map.
Women are better with the compass.
What map? What compass?
The maps are the maps men used to conquer the land. The men used maps that showed everything and in an orderly way. The women used maps that didn’t show anything clearly. The women used maps that showed only what seemed obvious. The men used maps that say, “There is a river, “Thee women said, “There is water.” The men used maps that say, “There is a path,” and the women said, “There is a way.”
And the compasses? The compasses were the women’s way of finding their way home. The women’s compasses don’t point north. They point muddy.
The women’s compasses point south.
The women’s compasses point east.
The women’s compasses point west.
The women’s compasses point north.
The stereotypical roles of mother/wife/career woman are limiting
One of the core ideas of feminism is gender equality. But though the idea is good, the feminist movement has made some terrible choices in its attempt to implement it.
Feminists have traditionally said that the sexist stereotype as someone’s mother, wife, or career woman is limiting. But from a practical point of view, this thesis is almost the opposite of the truth. The stereotypical roles have many advantages.
Every woman I know who has worked full time in a family is a happy and productive person. Her career comes second to her family. Most mothers have had great careers, including high-powered jobs and positions as leaders in their organizations. Women I know who have devoted their lives to their families have had great careers, including high-powered jobs and positions as leaders in their organizations.
The stereotype is a poor choice for evaluating women’s lives. It is neither good nor bad; it is just wrong. For one thing, it ignores the fact that married women, on average, have careers that contribute just as much as their husbands’ careers (and, in many cases, more).
For another thing, the stereotype is too narrow. It ignores the fact that most mothers and wives do not work outside the home. The stereotype focuses entirely on mothers and wives and ignores all the other people who bring energy, intelligence, and wisdom to their lives.
The stereotypical roles are limiting because they are too narrow. Socially, we are better off when we include everyone and recognize everyone’s contributions, when we acknowledge that women’s lives are not just one thing, mother, wife, and career.
On the other hand, the stereotypical roles are not a wrong choice for the women who play them.
Both sexes have different strengths
In an age when women seem determined to prove they are as good at everything as men, we lose sight of how women are still different.
Men are better at some things, and women are better at others. These differences aren’t just arbitrary or the result of social conditioning: our brains are shaped differently.
According to recent brain research, men have more neurons in their amygdala, a part of the brain involved in fear and rage. When men are angry, their amygdala emits lots of express trains of action potentials, electrochemical signals that travel along the neurons. Women, on the other hand, have a smaller amygdala, and the electrical activity in their amygdala is more like a slow-moving river.
Men also have more neurons in their hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for complex learning. Men have roughly twice as many neurons as women in this area. And the more neurons you have in any one area, the easier it is to learn.
Men also have larger adrenal glands, and a larger hippocampus, and a larger amygdala. Men also have larger testicles, larger muscles, an enormous heart, and a larger brain. And men make more testosterone.
The differences between men and women are not trivial. They are essential. But they are also not equal.
There are things women can do better than men. Men are better at some things and women better at others. Men are better than women at some things, and women are better than men at others.
Men and women have different strengths. Unlike what you might think, they are not equally good at everything. They are good at different things. Both sexes seem to have taken the feminist revolution to mean, “Men and women are equal in everything, except maybe in figuring out when to go to the bathroom.”Society rises above gender stereotypes to achieve success.
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