Why can’t a woman be more like a man?

I watched a video from the movie ‘My Fair Lady’ made in 1964. Naturally that was before the world grew wiser and ‘toxic masculinity’ became a go to phrase. I added the video in this blog.

“Why can’t a woman be more like man?” An interesting question indeed. In fact, it’s probably at the heart of so many marriage problems that I decided to make it the subject of today’s piece. Whenever I talk about men and women I like to let the reader know that these are stereotypes. They are observations made based off of generalizations and so whenever anyone replies to my thread by saying, “Well that’s just a generalization” thinking that that’s an actual argument, they should know that it isn’t. Anything we discuss from a phenomenological perspective, is based off of generalizations. It doesn’t mean that it is false. To state the obvious, for those people, all men are not the same and all women are not the same. Exceptions always abound when talking about these kinds of issues, but there are common observable features. The very notion of studying societies, gender, and cultures assumes that fact- that there will be common observable trends.

Men and women are different

Often, to point out that men and women are different in various ways has gone down as gender discrimination. As a result, the genders no longer understand these differences and struggle to get along, especially in an intimate setting. For a few minutes, while you read this article, I want you to forget about everything you’ve been taught and go back to the basics.

Women give birth

This major biological difference between the two is likely the origin of all differences. Women who give birth are technically incapacitated and or otherwise rendered largely immobile for roughly two to three years-since her breasts was typically where the food for the infant originated from. Men are not incapacitated during this time and hence it made sense for them to work for the woman and child. However, men would not naturally work for something that doesn’t belong to them. Therefore, the traditional agreement of mating was to do so with a single man in exchange for maintenance and protection. Perhaps the agreement was merely practical to begin with, one can never really know, but through thousands of years of similar arrangements different sentiments and abilities have evolved. Men tend to be possessive because ownership has always historically been part of the mating ritual. Women tend to be possessive because a man too thinly stretched isn’t a good provider.

Women menstruate

For thousands of years, menstruation was quite an ordeal for women. Sanitary towels were only invented in 1896. Before that a woman couldn’t go far without showing visible signs of bleeding. This meant that in terms of physical labor, which accounted for most of the ways in which people ‘brought home the bacon’ women were not reliable workers and much less productive than men. Also, many women report being more emotional during that time of menstruation and in a world where life depended on the ability to provide, down time wasn’t often an option.

Women are physically weaker than men

Women, having not done the heavy lifting, evolved to be physically weaker than men. That might change eventually, who knows. However, that is still the case today. This made men better suited for what was for the longest time the function of being the breadwinner. Office jobs wasn’t such a big thing until recently. In a world of soft skills, one could argue that women often fair better. Nevertheless, men are still required to protect women and children by going to war in service of their countries and governments.

Women’s minds don’t work the same like men’s do

I know I may be skating on thin ice here, but in recent studies they have proven that men and women ‘process’ thoughts differently. Men compartmentalize ideas, women connect everything together with everything else. Men recall events based on where they fit into a timeline, women don’t have timelines. They recall events based on the emotions they felt at that time. Men tend to be more disagreeable- they stand for ideas and insist that they will not waiver. Women tend to be more agreeable- they stand to keep people together and happy.  Again, this is largely because women had to keep the family and tribe together and had to prioritize conflict resolution, because in the inner sanctum objective truth was of little consequence. What mattered was that everyone got along. Men, on the other hand, could not ignore the location of a lion on a hunting mission because it would make everyone feel better. They needed to face up to it or die. Men, therefore, evolved to be interested in solutions because they dealt with the harsh outdoors. Women evolved to be interested in feelings, because when everyone felt good the tribe could be kept together.

Men can’t live without women

Obviously we all came into the world via a woman’s vagina. It isn’t farfetched to say we can’t live without women.  Putting that aside, a world without women would be a world where the yang of the man would destroy the planet, and where the social fabric of society would disintegrate. It would be a world where no one could go ‘home’ because there will be no harmony or an integrated existence within it. It would be a world of cold hard ‘logic’ without the touch of empathy and emotions. It would be a battle without repose- a hard day after another. “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” It’s because then she won’t be a woman and we’d all be screwed- and just maybe we are heading there!

Links to further reading