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Old 01-26-2014, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,556 posts, read 20,786,339 times
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Since the whole Men are from mars, women are from venus, or why women can't read maps.etc, and long before that, it seems people are fixated on the differences between the genders, especially psychologically. Of course people seem fixated on differences (even if the similarities are far more significant)...beyond the practicalities, I often hear mixed groups of people discussing ways in which men and women or boys and girls are difference. Phrases like 'it's a girl thing' or 'only a guy would know' sort of annoy me. There are of course things that only one gender can really know - childbirth being an obvious one, but overall, I don't think the gender differences are as big as people like to believe. It seems there are some people who totally define themselves by their gender. Some gain some sort of sense of superiority from it. Others base their whole lives on being a gender, particularly women, I've noticed, and are constantly on about 'women's issues' or what not. What do you think, do we think they're too preoccupied with the differences?
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:34 AM
 
Location: Illinois
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*IN GENERAL* societies were more or less split along gender lines in terms of work - woman's work or man's work. Sometimes it was because of the type of society - i.e. women do the home work relating to child care, cooking, clothing, etc. because that is where their children are, and men do the away work such as hunting, farming, building, etc. But sometimes it was divided because the prevailing view was that women just couldn't fit really big thoughts into their precious, childlike little heads and could therefore never be equal to men.

That second view was the prevailing view in the US for the majority of its existence and I think that is why there is still such divisiveness between men and women.

That said, I think the lack of genuine understanding about the reality of the differences is the current problem. For instance, women's "equipment" is far, far more complicated than male "equipment." And I'm not just speaking in a sexual manner (though there is that). Women can have all kinds of issues that can affect our moods, feelings, comfort, and general daily life. But men can sometimes be fairly dismissive of such issues. You know, the "Huh, must be her hormones" type of response.

In that same vein is the whole biology/evolutionary argument. Now, I am not saying we are slaves to our evolutionary hard-wiring, because we aren't. But men and women SEE things in very different ways that can lead to a lack of understanding and miscommunication that is chalked up to the battle of the sexes. For me, as a woman, details are important and I appreciate a man who sees details like I do.

And finally, there are men who are so used to being in charge, so ingrained is the idea that men are above women (even if they don't consciously think in those terms) that they don't even see certain inequalities. I will give you an example. When I went back to college I was lucky enough to have a really brilliant professor for English 101. He was an older man, had been teaching for a long time, and had a wealth of knowledge that I mined quite often. But one afternoon he gave us an assignment in which we were to write an essay about a play, chosen from a list he provided. There were probably a hundred choices on the list, so there was a lot of variety and no one would end up with the same author. However, I went to his desk at the end of class and pointed out to him that there wasn't a single female playwright on the list. He looked at me as though the idea had never even crossed his mind!
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:18 AM
 
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,556 posts, read 20,786,339 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoonBeam33 View Post
*IN GENERAL* societies were more or less split along gender lines in terms of work - woman's work or man's work. Sometimes it was because of the type of society - i.e. women do the home work relating to child care, cooking, clothing, etc. because that is where their children are, and men do the away work such as hunting, farming, building, etc. But sometimes it was divided because the prevailing view was that women just couldn't fit really big thoughts into their precious, childlike little heads and could therefore never be equal to men.

That second view was the prevailing view in the US for the majority of its existence and I think that is why there is still such divisiveness between men and women.

That said, I think the lack of genuine understanding about the reality of the differences is the current problem. For instance, women's "equipment" is far, far more complicated than male "equipment." And I'm not just speaking in a sexual manner (though there is that). Women can have all kinds of issues that can affect our moods, feelings, comfort, and general daily life. But men can sometimes be fairly dismissive of such issues. You know, the "Huh, must be her hormones" type of response.

In that same vein is the whole biology/evolutionary argument. Now, I am not saying we are slaves to our evolutionary hard-wiring, because we aren't. But men and women SEE things in very different ways that can lead to a lack of understanding and miscommunication that is chalked up to the battle of the sexes. For me, as a woman, details are important and I appreciate a man who sees details like I do.

And finally, there are men who are so used to being in charge, so ingrained is the idea that men are above women (even if they don't consciously think in those terms) that they don't even see certain inequalities. I will give you an example. When I went back to college I was lucky enough to have a really brilliant professor for English 101. He was an older man, had been teaching for a long time, and had a wealth of knowledge that I mined quite often. But one afternoon he gave us an assignment in which we were to write an essay about a play, chosen from a list he provided. There were probably a hundred choices on the list, so there was a lot of variety and no one would end up with the same author. However, I went to his desk at the end of class and pointed out to him that there wasn't a single female playwright on the list. He looked at me as though the idea had never even crossed his mind!
Well the whole thing about women staying indoors in the home is sort of a modern western invention, in most traditional society women are also involved in farming and some laborious jobs, as well as child-care and taking home of 'home and hearth.' In many societies do quite the cooking as well, and in some women do some sort of hunting, even if it's smaller animals. There definitely is cultural variation.

Equipment? I think men are more emotionally sensitive/complex than given credit for, and this belief that we're these stoic, unemotional creatures is harmful to both men and women. That said, some men can be a bit insensitive to women and their emotions, and on average they probably are a bit emotional, but of course these are generalisations.

Well it is funny how men seem to be at least visibly the 'movers and shakers' in society. I think the main reason was women were so occupied producing and taking care of children they didn't have the time or capacity to spend all their lives pursuing greatness. Those that did were often childless, not that it's not possible to be both a mother and a great and influential women. Of course without women none of these men would be able to achieve anything, I think their contribution is often forgotten. Writing is one area where women were relatively well represented compared to other fields. Some of the greatest authors of all time were female, and indeed the first 'novel' was written by a woman in Japan.

I also find tales of female warriors rather interesting, how they went against the societal 'rules' etc.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:33 PM
 
254 posts, read 318,692 times
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I like gender differences.

And I'm separating gender from biological sex here.

I think it's immoral--or can be depending on context and degree--for a person to have the opposite gender than their biological sex. But many things are immoral. And my Catholicity distinguishes venial immorality from grave immorality. A person born a boy that lives his life out as a girl and takes female hormones to physically alter the physique of their body (to one that is feminine) is no where near as immoral as some boy that grows up to a be a masculine male and serial rapes women.

I can tolerate the transsexual (especially if they are easy and appealing to the eyes) born a boy but living as a woman far more than I can tolerate the proponents of a genderless society.

I can tolerate the lesbian that assumes the masculine identity and walks around with a "man haircut."

"Tolerate" is probably not the right word as I can be friends and have love for these people. That's more what I mean... or just accept them if I don't personally know them.

What irks me even more than proposing a genderless society is to propose such a thing but have no coherency of thought and encourage "male psychological traits" among boys and men (e.g., a boy or man should not be very sensitive as that's the prerogative of girls and women etc.)

People contradict themselves all the time in their "progressive" jihads. Like the "fetal homicide" laws the progressives support whilst supporting legalized abortion.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:40 PM
 
Location: New York NY
5,516 posts, read 8,762,507 times
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Why are people preoccupied with gender differences?

Because some differences between men and women are biological, while some are social and cultural. The trick is figuring out which is which.

So we end up talking about it, writing about it, and if we're scientists, researching it, 'till the cows come home.
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Old 01-27-2014, 03:54 PM
 
Location: NYC
5,204 posts, read 4,666,583 times
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If your knowledge of gender differences help you accurately predict behavior, use it. If not, use something else.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:28 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,852 posts, read 10,451,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citylove101 View Post
Why are people preoccupied with gender differences?

Because some differences between men and women are biological, while some are social and cultural. The trick is figuring out which is which.

So we end up talking about it, writing about it, and if we're scientists, researching it, 'till the cows come home.
That does seem to be a lot of it, especially in western culture, where the more obvious physical differences, like greater strength, become less relevant to daily life, even as women gain more control over their reproductive biology. So all that's left are the behaviors and psychology…. which usually just end up in some 'genderized' version of the old 'nature vs nurture' arguments.

Although with so much difference between genders in the "physical" characteristics, it's pretty hard to think that male & female brains aren't "wired" differently as well. And big deal, so what if Nature isn't always "politically correct"!
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