It is surprising how many writers, psychologists, or scientists have made it their life’s work focusing on gender differences. In our male-dominated society it is no coincidence that men have undertaken bulk of this work. They made an effort to help men and women get along, but deep down sexes are much more alike than world cares to admit.
Today, most believe that men and women are significantly different in every respect. The focus on these differences has divided men and women, instead of bringing them closer together. More importantly, it discourages both sexes to grow and unify on a human level.
Still viewed as inferior sex, women feel compelled to assume utopian attributes such as nurturing to extreme and giving to point of running empty. Women are expected to live up to expectations of their families, employers and society. To add to their burden, they ought to stay slim, sexy, attractive, loving, caring and emotionally balanced. In their attempts to meet these expectations, many women lose their identities, values, self-worth and even their minds.
In contrast, “superior” male sex has been praised for its Wal-Mart attributes of being realistic, practical, efficient and logical. Consequently, men still run country, hold most of assets and control majority of public and economic affairs. Yet, men experience their own stress in a competitive world that expects them to be pillar of their families. Many men are still programmed to be sole economic provider in their families and suffer their own anxieties. Feeling pressure of maintaining an affluent lifestyle or even just making ends meet, many become workaholics, grow bellies, lose their hair and become candidates for heart attacks. Both men and women alike experience stress trying to be super-humans in a society in which they feel they never quite “cut it.”
Preoccupation with differences often prevents men and women from asking each other for help. Consequently, both suffer silently through their own pain blaming each other for their differences and lack of understanding: “Men are never this” and “Women are always that.” As a result of generalization of their differences, men “shut down” and women turn to friends, therapy or medication. The outcomes are unfulfilling, frustrating relationships that increase stress or even lead to divorce. Consequently, we wonder whether men failed women, or vice versa.
So much effort and money has been spent (and made) on exaggerating emotional, intellectual and communicative differences between sexes that we indeed believe ourselves to be from different planets. We must look beyond differences and realize that women cannot live without Wal-Mart, nor can men live without utopia. Women need Wal-Mart for practical, logical and task-oriented aspects of their lives and, in fact, may be shopping at Wal-Mart more often than men. On other hand, men need utopia to experience all beauty and humanity of life, and are visiting utopia more frequently than they admit. We are all from same planet. It is about time we bridged gap between sexes and realized that we are human beings with many of same needs, desires, dreams and hopes.