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Thursday, September 25, 2008

"I accept you as my equal … but nobody told me I'd have to cook”

I’m starting this article with a very simple assumption: Men and Women may not be identical, but...
I’m starting this article with a very simple assumption:

Men and Women may not be identical, but they are equal.

I won’t even try to debate this, that’s why I called it an assumption. I don’t think many would disagree with this statement, but just to be on the safe side, if you do, save yourself the trouble of reading this article.

The problem with my assumption is not really whether you agree with it or not, it’s how you perceive it when you do agree with it, and that is because of one annoying little word: “Equal”.

When two individuals are equal, that usually entails that they have the same set of rights. And among this set, is one very important right: Self-fulfillment.

Now before I dig deeper into this, I’d like to step in the way back machine, and take a look at where civilization has been, and how we, as a race, have evolved into this global mess we call The World.

In most civil societies, men were perceived as the providers, while women assumed a role of caretakers. And so while men worked the fields, went hunting, or went to their daily jobs, women were most likely to stay home, take care of the house and the children. The reason behind this is that these societies noticed early on that men had a natural predisposition for physical labor, while women had one for care taking. And naturally, boys and girls in these societies were often raised in separate ways: boys were raised in a way to enhance their natural predisposition to become providing men, and girls were raised in a way that enhances their natural predisposition to become care taking women.

So what’s wrong with this picture ?

Society as a whole gets stuck in a self-reinforcing model that might potentially end up harming its own members. Let me make this clearer. If you raise a child in an environment that reinforces a certain belief, like for instance that sex is the work of the devil, odds are, this child is going to grow up to be a man who firmly embraces that belief. I talk about odds here because there is always the chance that one child out of a bunch might question that belief, and possibly rebel against it. We’re getting to that.

My point is: The individuals of those societies didn’t have much choice to choose how they wished to fulfill themselves; instead, they were raised in an environment that dictates it upon them, depending on their sex.

Remember that child who beats the odds and rebels against his society’s beliefs ? That is what got us to where we are today. Not just one child, a whole bunch, rebelling and slowly changing the world. And that, is what led us to my initial assumption that men and women are equal.

So why am I writing this article ? Well this is where it all gets interesting. You see, in the battle for women’s rights, and indirectly so, women were asking for their right to be providers, which they eventually earned. The problem is, when men “gave” women that right, they ignored a whole part of the issue:

If women were to become at least partly providers, that meant that men in turn, would have to become partly caretakers.

That didn’t go very smoothly with the men.

So what do we have now ?
- First, women who choose to stay at home and be full-time caretakers.
- Then we have the women who have jobs to fulfill themselves, but still have to play the full role of caretakers in their homes, resulting in a lifetime of exhaustion.
- And finally, there are women who have jobs and don’t wish to be full-time caretakers as well. Those are, sadly, mostly single women.

The moral of the story:

“The world is changing, and men, you should change too. Learn how to cook, clean and iron. Don’t worry, it won’t make you less of a man. If anything, it will make you a better one, one who at least doesn’t rely on anybody else to feed himself.”

comments

October 5, 2008 at 8:07 AM Randa

Fadi, I'm definite you were a 10000% sure I was going to comment on this article. So I'm not going to disappoint you. All I can say is: Thanks for understanding.

Randa

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