I don’t know about you, but I have recently come across an influx of articles lately about men and women, relationships, gender roles and stereotypes, and who knows what else. People are attempting to fit each other into boxes, and then claim why the boxes shouldn’t be there, and then get into the same box themselves to make a point that we are all kind of sort of the same.
As men, we can only look out into the world from behind our own eyes. We can attempt to understand the perspective and struggle(s) of being a woman, but we can only truly apply a limited amount of empathy.
What we’ve got to do is change the way that we view women, both as a whole and as individual people. If we change how we view them, we will change how we treat them as a society, and eliminate more problems than we could probably imagine.
For starters, we need to eliminate the notion that equal has to mean “the same.” Men and women are equal in the amount of respect and fairness in treatment that they deserve, but we are not the same as each other.
Our differences provide us with unlimited learning experiences. Women are an enigma (as are men), as are each of the 7 billion individuals on this planet. We all have unique upbringings, backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses. All of which can be appreciated and learned from.
As men, we have to recognize the strengths women have that we often times, just don’t. They are more empathetic, nurturing, and generally more emotionally in-tune than men are. Obviously some men have these strengths and some women lack them, but the idea is to respect it an equal amount as we respect physical strength or other traditionally “male” type qualities.
In fact, if we did respect all of these qualities equally, then men would be more willing to examine their own selves and become more in touch with other emotions, feelings, or interests they may not have even known existed. In turn, being able to live a more well-rounded, fulfilling life.
Too often in society anything feminine or emotional is seen as inherently weaker than the opposite. This is ridiculous and is just another symptom of the false pretense that “different” means “bad.”
Speaking of different – Women have different views and outlooks on the world than men do. I can’t tell you how many conversations I’ve had with women where I’ve stopped and said “you know, I never thought of it that way.” This is an infinitely valuable characteristic to be cherished and explored – not oppressed and stifled.
To think that some countries in the world still don’t even let women drive or become properly educated is devastating. How can we expect to maximize our productivity and happiness as a race if we are under-utilizing (or not utilizing at all) half of the brain power in so many countries?
Women should be alongside men in roles of authority in order to provide these valuable insights, and a good man will understand and appreciate this benefit.
By being alongside men, they are not “underneath,” “behind,” or “below” men. They are not conquests or objects. They are not targets to be aimed for. They are not entitlements that you “deserve” because you think you’re a good person. They are daughters, mothers, sisters, cousins, and loved ones. But, before they are any of those things – they are human.
They have wants, needs, and desires. Emotions, hopes, dreams, and goals. We should support and encourage them in all of these things, as they do for us.
And most of all, they are not “they” – they are we. And we are human.
This, is how men should really see women. Equal, but not the same. And that is a beautiful thing.