I have been pondering this topic for a while and I have hesitated to delve into it for any number of reasons. I told myself I didn’t know enough, couldn’t possibly speak to this sufficiently or that I didn’t want to offend anyone but to hold my silence any longer is doing a disservice to me and to anyone who needs to hear what I have to say.
Gender wars. The battle of the sexes. Whatever you call it or however you see it, it has become such a raging issue in our society. I have watched, with an equal measure of humor and distress as it plays out on a friend’s Facebook wall. It started with a comment which was followed by a photo posted with an array of sandwich-making materials with the caption “Woman: Because these samiches aint gonna make themselves” and with that it was off to the battleground. Next, a woman replied with a photo similar to the first, only the female was telling the man to make HER a sandwich and that led to another photo of a woman demanding to be treated equally who then gets punched by the man, while calling her “bro”.
Now, of course, this was all joking (or mostly joking) but I believe it’s highly indicative of a deeper issue in our society…the battle of the sexes or Gender Wars. There is a battle going on and most of us are completely blind to it and the casualties continue to mount. The Gender Wars are ravaging our relationships and I propose we cease fire.
I think if I were to talk to some of the women who were commenting in the scenario I described above, what many would really be saying is: “Please don’t treat me like a lesser citizen. Respect me. I am more than a sandwich maker. I am more than a vessel with which you procreate. I am not a sexual object. I am strong, in my own way. Please don’t diminish my value or reduce me”.
I think the men would say something like: “Respect me. Treat me like I’m valuable, important and necessary. Please don’t ignore my needs and requests because you feel like it diminishes you. Please don’t try to take over the role I want to play in your life. Allow me to be strong in my way.”
I have spoken with a number of good friends, both men and women, about this topic and each agrees that this gender opposition is exhausting and confusing. Many times, men just throw their hands up and walk away because they don’t know what to do. Women often move into the “Independent Woman” place where we deny the need/want of a man and decide we’ll just do it ourselves. Then, we stand on opposite sides of the playing field, mocking the other side for where they are failing us.
What if we allowed ourselves and the others in our lives to be in our own strength? What if we agreed to meet each other on an equal playing ground while respecting the differences we each have? What if we put aside the weapons of our Gender Warfare and began working together, as a team? I don’t know how it all could go but I have a feeling it could be magical.