The old adage goes, “Men are from Mars; women are from Venus.” Another says men and women are like apples and oranges. The research is clear: there are differences both cognitive and physical between men and women. If we’re different, than why do spend so much time comparing ourselves as if we were the same?
Equality is overused by both political parties. Political leaders aim to sway voters by using the term “equality.” Gender equality, income equality, and racial equality have all been political talking points. Equality is the state of being equal. If something is equal it is often interchangeable or of the same value. For example, 4 + 4 = 8, which means two fours could “replace” the number 8 without any ramifications. People aren’t interchangeable. Science proves that we are all unique but share similarities. There are obvious differences between men and women. Simply put, we’re beautifully different.
Suzanne Venker writes, “Being equal in worth, or value, is not the same as being identical, interchangeable beings. Men and women may be capable of doing many of the same things, but that doesn’t mean they want to…This doesn’t mean men can’t take care of babies or women can’t play sports. It just means each gender has its own energy that flows in a specific direction.”
A study done at the University of Pennsylvania, found that “male brains appeared to be wired front to back, with few connections bridging the two hemispheres. However, in females, the pathways criss-crossed between left and right.” The study also found that the stereotypes we associate with men and women have some scientific backing. Men are biologically wired more for perception and coordinated actions, and women’s for social skills and memory, making them better equipped for multitasking.
Generally, women choose careers that ultimately pay less than their male counterparts. Women choose careers like secretaries, teachers, counselors, nurses, and accountants. Women can most certainly choose to be lawyers, physicians, and computer scientists. On the other hand, men have a natural skill set for technology, law enforcement, construction, and politics. We are not constrained to societal norms, but we have to recognize gender career trends due to biological nature. I’m not being discriminatory; it’s just the way we are wired.
Chrissie Dhanagom comments, “Sometimes there are jobs that lend themselves to one gender or another. There may be people who are exceptions to that rule, but the standards for such a role must be maintained. We cannot change what works best just for a small minority. It is irresponsible. As a woman there are things that my genetic make up and brain chemistry prevent me from doing well.”
There are certain stereotypes associated with men and women. It’s important to note that stereotypes aren’t the same as prejudices. A prejudice is judging a group by their worst example. A stereotype is a typical or average behavior in a culture. Stereotypes are recognized patterns in society. There are certain things that will always be. Laissez-faire, let them be.
No one will ever win the battle of the sexes. Men and women are not equal because they aren’t truly comparable. Men and women have different skill sets; that is okay. Instead of trying to create a genderless society, we need to celebrate the strengths and weaknesses of both genders.
Nika Anschuetz | Waynesburg University | @nlanschuetz