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Blame It On Hormones

Normally, I find it easy to write, but I've struggled with writing this article and not because I don't know what I want to say. Quite the contrary-I know exactly what I want to say. Unfortunately, want I want to say about men and women isn't very PC (politically correct) in modern society. I suppose it doesn't matter, since I've never been very PC anyway. (After all, I'm a MAC person and I think differently.1)

The women's liberation movement made it PC to believe that all emotional and aptitude differences between men and women were a result of social conditioning. Thus, a woman can do anything a man can do equally well (and vice-versa). So, not only are women supposed to be able to be just as aggressive, career-oriented and tough as men, men are supposed to be gentle, sensitive and in touch with their feelings.

I believe that this belief has severely damaged relationships between the sexes. Divorce has skyrocketed, and many young people today (both males and females) are afraid of marriage. I have personally experienced the damaging effects of this belief in my own relationships.

What is Equality?

Many people don't seem to understand that equality has nothing to do with likeness. If things have to be the same (or even have the same potentials) in order to be equal, then issues of equality wouldn't exist. The issue of equality revolves around the idea of having equal respect for people in spite of their differences.

The more I have studied people, the more I have become aware that people have major inherent differences in the way they perceive the world, and not all of this is a result of social conditioning. If we do not understand these differences and take them into account in our interactions, we experience unnecessary friction and inequality.

For example, there are auditory learners, visual learners and kinesthetic learners. Each of these types of learners processes information differently. Because public education is geared primarily around auditory and visual learning, people who are kinesthetic learners are often judged negatively and labeled as either slow or ADHD. Equality in education would mean honoring these inherent differences without creating the labels that judge those with a different primary learning mode as being inferior or flawed.

Male and Female Differences

My observation and study has also lead me to conclude that there are major differences in masculine and feminine energy that color the way males and females perceive reality. On occasion I have ventured to discuss these differences in one of my classes, but I can't get very far before I start to encounter resistance. It appears that the moment I suggest that feminine energy is one way and masculine energy is another way, people perceive my comments as sexist or as a put-down. (By the way, as long as students perceive the discussion to be “putting down” men, it is OK, but if it appears to be “putting down” women, they get upset.)

However, I've never intended and do not now intend this discussion to be a “put down” of anyone. People only see these comments as negative or sexist because they are prejudiced against certain character traits. In other words, they have an emotional charge attached to words like passive or aggressive.

However, differences are not necessarily good or bad-they just are what they are! Does the fact that a tree uses carbon dioxide and eliminates oxygen make the tree inferior to a dog that inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide? Of course not-without plants, animals cannot survive and without animals, plants cannot survive. Both are equally important, and it is the differences between them that allow them to live in a mutually beneficial arrangement. The same is true with people.

Acknowledging differences between the sexes does not make one sex superior to the other. In fact, it is exactly what allows the sexes to create a mutually beneficial relationship. If the different sexes possessed the same talents and abilities they would have nothing to contribute to each other and there would be no basis of sexual attraction. We are attracted to that which “fills in gaps” in our personality. In other words, we are attracted to people who possess skills and abilities we don't have and who need skills and abilities we possess.

This is the reason behind the well-known maxim, “opposites attract.” The sexes attract because their energies are opposite. We get into trouble because we wind up “judging” these opposite characteristics we were attracted to as “bad” in order to make ourselves feel “good.” In my opinion we will continue to see more relationships fail until we understand that these differences exist and that they are good. Equality between the sexes can only be achieved as we learn to honor and appreciate our differences.



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