Completely by accident, I stumbled upon one of the stupidest paragraphs I have ever read.
“Despite spending years trying to understand women, reading up on their psychological make-up and occasionally watching Oprah for some insight, they’re still a mystery! It’s part of why we love them.”
It appears in a humorous article “teaching” men how to handle women, but it’s actually quite typical of many other articles, books and publications, all aimed at highlighting the differences between the genders and promoting gender wars.
Here’s my take on the subject.
1. Despite some differences, I am not a mystery. I am a person just like you, with very similar needs, wants and thoughts. Very boring, I know. But it’s true. Even the very stereotypical woman on the left is probably more similar to you than you think.
2. I’m a person first, a woman second. Yes, I am obviously a woman with female equipment and you may or may not feel attracted to me. But I am not – I will not – be defined by my gender. So whenever you wonder about what I’m thinking or how I’m feeling, it is fairly safe to assume that my thoughts, feelings, and aspirations are not that different than yours.
3. Being a second-class citizen is extremely difficult. Yes, even in the industrialized world, where women truly are blessed with rights that women in other parts of the world can only dream of, we are still second class. For a smart, talented, ambitious person who happens to be a female, it’s extremely frustrating.
4. I like you. I’m a feminist, and I’m angry that so many of you assume I’m somehow inferior just because I’m a female – I hate the tension between the genders. But that doesn’t mean I hate you. I like men. I think men have accomplished so much in terms of advancing humans and bringing us to where we are now. I also think many of you are cute. 😉
5. I remember reading somewhere that women’s deepest fear when it comes to men is being physically hurt. Men’s deepest fear when it comes to women is being laughed at. How sad! Just so you know, I’m not here to ridicule you or to make fun of you. Yes, if you ask me out on a date and I don’t feel attracted to you I will say “no,” but I will never try to hurt you on purpose. I am not the enemy. I am a fellow human being. We’re in this together, in this weird and intense and very temporary thing called “life.” We should be working together to make sense of things, not bickering and fighting and feeling suspicious of each other and writing stupid articles and books about how women are a mystery that men will never understand.
Despite the huge success of books like “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” my personal belief is that women and men are not that different. I really wish we could get along better!