Sunday, July 20, 2008


I rarely feel the need to justify what I write. However, based on the comments and emails I've received regarding my last post, I do want to clarify.

I do not support traditional gender roles. Actually, as I mentioned, I'm in full support of men who cook, clean and want to be Mr. Mom while I go change the world. I do not associate "allowing a man to be a man" with allowing a man to be aggressive, overpowering, controlling or a modern Neanderthal. I do not think women should be anything less than the amazing people that they are. Period.

However, I do think that there is a balance somewhere between making your life's focus having dinner on the table for your husband by 6pm, and taking on the role of man, woman, mother, provider, and life partner. I have noticed my peers - AND MYSELF - rejecting parts of their femininity merely because we were taught that it is weak to let men do traditionally "manly" things like carry groceries or open a jar of pickles. Yet these small gestures are vehicles for men to show women that they can take care of them - something most women secretly want to feel. So why reject these overtures just for the sake of feminism? Not allowing a man to pay for dinner or open the car door isn't teaching him that women are equal to men - it's teaching him to treat us exactly the SAME way he treats men. NO THANKS!

Whatever your own personal balance might be, I think there is something to be said for allowing your partner to be the man in some ways...whatever those ways may be. My point was merely that some of the innate differences between men and women are worth preserving.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

I'm a gay woman and have been trying to put your "let a man be a man" theory into a gay context...I'm unsure where I net out. But I think in either situation you should just let everyone be themselves and people should stop second guessing chivalry - in both hetereo or gay cases. If you take it up one notch just to think of it as romanticism, and you allow for women to perform some of the romantic acts (like paying), on occasion, then you find that you can have equality and also enjoy some of those activities that you think women stifle men from performing.