Friday, December 9, 2011

Why Women Need to Support Men

Here's a quote from Marcia Reynolds (author of Wander Woman) a colleague whom I have quoted previously in posts.
"There is an identity evolution going on around the world. Economic necessity has spurred women to be more self-sufficient and confident both at work and at home. This reality has put a dent in male dominance. However, the result is not the "End of Men" as many writers would have you believe. As the definition of "what it means to be a woman" changes, so does the definition of "what it means to be a man."
The problem is the lack of support for this evolution.
The truth is that many women are proving to be good at traditionally "male" tasks, such as running businesses, fixing gadgets and even drinking. Men are also proving to be good at traditionally female tasks, such as listening, caretaking, doing household tasks well and managing family relationships.
Women are not becoming less feminine; they are learning to speak up, take charge and more easily make decisions while still possessing more "feminine" qualities at varying degrees. Men are not becoming wimps; they have been given the freedom to express their "softer" emotions, find joy in less "manly" tasks, and choose careers based on meaning and fulfillment instead of taking a path based solely on money.
We are all evolving. It's the labels and judgments we place on each other that are not evolving."

Here's the link to the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-reynolds/why-we-need-to-support-me_b_1127886.html

Most interesting to me was a comment by a reader who noted that moving beyond competition as to which gender is smarter, quicker, funnier, better, is key to improved communication and relationships. I heartily agree while also noticing that I'm very competitive with, to, and about men and need to make some changes in my thinking, behavior, and posting on the topic of gender difference.

Here are some thoughts I'm entertaining on the topic.

• I don't want to be less or feel that I have to be less, so that men can be more.
• I don't want to be fakely feminine so that I can be acceptable.
• I don't want to have unrealistic expectations of the men in my life: colleagues, sons, spouse, friends. E.g. They always know about technology and directions to get somewhere.
• I don't want men to have unrealistic expectations of women and me. E.g.We always enjoy the caretaking role.
• I'm not sure how to drop the defense, or the offense, and genuinely move forward collaboratively, although I think for sure it's the right way to go.
• If I figure it all out I'm sure I'll feel good, but I'll miss the humor and edginess of the competitive game.

What are your thoughts about gender differences, competition, and supporting men? Remember the Time magazine article about whether men or women do more work to "run the family show"? http://intelligentwomenonly.blogspot.com/2011/08/equity-in-gender-division-of-labor.html
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