Women and men have differences, sure, but we're not that different.
The most similar creature to Man is Woman, and the most similar creature to Woman is Man. We share about 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees, we share 60% of our DNA with fruit flies for goodness sake!
If we lined all the men and women of the world up in a line from most to least [insert adjective] you'd often find a predominance of one sex at either end, but there would be a big overlap in the middle. That applies to size, strength, emotions, interests, libido...
Yes, the strongest people in the world are probably male, but there are a lot of women who are stronger than a lot of men.
Yes, probably there are more men at the highest end of raging libido, but you'll find women up there too, and plenty of men with no interest whatsoever.
Can We Ditch the Stereotypes Please!
Plenty of people are the opposite of what they typically “should” be according to gender stereotypes:
- There are women who are lousy communicators, and men who are brilliant at it;
- There are women who want to 'fix' things, and men who just want to be heard;
- There are women who have trouble controlling their anger and there are men who get weepy;
- There are women who just want fast sex with an orgasm at the end, and men who love hours of sensual touch.
In fact thinking that way polarizes people and causes us to focus on the differences between the sexes, rather than the similarities - and it is mostly similarities.
Of Course There Are Differences!
When you do look at the differences between people, within a couple say, they are generally less to do with sex differences than individual differences anyway: how much do they like to sleep; what do they like to eat; what is their parenting style; how often do they want to visit the in-laws; etc?
Having said that, yes, of course there are gender differences. Our biology is different in many ways: women's biology is more complex than men's, neurologically, hormonally - but those differences are good! Vive la difference!
Just as we need to work with differences between individuals that are not sex-based so we need to work with differences that are.
What’s the Problem with Difference Anyway?The hallmark strength of the human race is our ability to cooperate with each other, to work together utilising everyone's strengths to survive and thrive. If everyone was the same, humans would never have evolved to be the successful species that we are.
Diversity in the workplace is definitely considered a good thing these days. A whole profession exists of consultants doing DISC analyses and Myers-Briggs personality typing, to make sure there are good balances of personality types in a workplace. We need to take the same approach with couples and find the value in diversity.
So how about we celebrate our differences, see ourselves as complimentary not antagonistic? Let’s learn to appreciate how we operate differently and work with that, not fight it.
If we average out the genders and say that men tend to have more drive for sex, well, women tend to have a greater capacity for sexual response. That sounds like a good match to me! If women tend to be better at nurturing and men tend to better at fixing, well, again, I can't see that that need cause problems. We need both. If women tend to be more intuitive and men tend to be more analytical, great stuff, using both approaches can lead to better solutions all round. These differences are all complementary.
There really is no need for a battle of the sexes.
We're all from Earth.
Like this topic? Then listen to my radio show episode here.
And please share your thoughts in the comments below!