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Different But Equal.

i haven't totally thought this through, i'm kinda exploring how i feel about this by writing about it. so if it doesn't make perfect sense, i apologize.

with regard to gender roles, i have some degree of sympathy with the whole "equality and chivalry aren't really compatible" argument. but i'm kinda more of the mindset of "different but equal". women and men are different physically and in the ways that their minds work. they also have slightly different social roles, though those lines are (rightfully) much more blurred now than in the past. with regards to chivalry, i personally like being taken care of. i wish it happened more :) i like it when men open doors for me, let me onto elevators first, take my coat, etc. i don't think that makes either gender any less "equal", just different. like yin and yang, balancing each other, different but equal.

a similar argument with regards to race or culture. people of different races look different than those of other races. that doesn't mean one is any better than another, it simply means that they are different. and a person raised in a culture on the other side of the world is not any more superior or inferior than any other. each culture has different strengths and different areas in which it could be improved.

the bottom line is that as human beings, we are all equal. each and every one of us has intrinsic worth. each of us has different talents, different strengths, different weaknesses, different fears, different desires. it is because of our differences that we are able to help each other grow. i think that valuing and exploring our differences as well as our similarities is the best way to understand and achieve true equality.

journeyfulloflaughter journeyfulloflaughter 26-30, F 4 Responses Nov 15, 2007

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Easy to agree with you, and enjoy your style of writing.

I would quibble a little on the chivalry thing. The feminist politics on this point go back to Simone de Beauvoir's "The Second Sex". At the time it was written it made a lot of sense; the idea that women were entitled to privileges of courtesy precisely because they were considered weaker, and therefore more needful of special consideration.

As women's rights gradually became more widely accepted and normalised, the residual courtesies came to be regarded as a sign that a polite man was in fact an old fashioned gender chauvinist, one who would assert his dominance and limit her freedoms if the opportunity arose.

Today, in most sectors of Western culture, our gender differences are less of an obstacle in most work places, and no obstacle at all in education and law. These changes have meant that women can generally assume an equality of respect. Those men who have disrespect can be regarded as very young, immature for their age, or carrying emotional wounds from negative experiences, and they do not show much courtesy.

I agree with the comments on offering chivalry to any person, regardless of age or gender, when there is need... carrying heavy, bulky of awkward burdens, trying to cope with kids, needing aids for movement, tiredness, hurry or emergency... or even just mutual flirtation, and/or kindness.



I love your willingness to think things through, and put them out here for all to join the process. :)

I like how you put things it makes sense to me.

thanks :)

Even if you don't think it is a well thought out opinion, I think it is a very good start!