Wednesday, May 31, 2017

SΩ25 - Mars & Venus

Why are we still so far from human equality in the 21st Century? Much of my recent support towards gaining success has been thanks to some incredible women. This has inspired me to take a closer look at the root of gender inequality that exists across the world. For sure this a multi layer issue that has been created and fueled by religion, education, media, etc. This post is my personal take on the issue and some solutions that I believe will lead us closer to gender equality. As there are many perspectives and solutions it be great to hear your own thoughts and ideas.

Romance and Dating
It was only when I returned to Europe my romantic experience with women blossomed. This has ranged from a two-year relationship to magical travel encounters and everything in between. Over the years I’ve begun to question our romantic rituals. There is one resounding pattern I’ve noticed from the first move, dancing, or the first kiss. In the majority of cases between a heterosexual pair it’s the man that leads and the woman who reacts. Furthermore these experiences have made me realize the extent to which our biological instinct to procreate drives romance. As a male it’s embarrassing to admit how often my libido overrides my logical side. From both the male and female side the traits that we are attracted to tend to be indicators of mate compatibility. Physique and attitude play a large role in this romantic matching. A prime example of this is the ever so popular dating app ‘Tinder’. In this app you choose the people you’re interested in solely based on pictures. If there is a match the male tends to take the first move and must prove his worth and uniqueness. Do we truly feel this is the definition of romance?


Now let’s fast forward in a relationship to the point when a couple decides to become parents. In many ways biology has given women traits suitable for taking care of a baby. For example breasts to feed the child and the strong emotional bond needed to nurture the baby. Males on the other hand are pumped with testosterone ideal for being a formidable protector. Over the years these gender roles have been amplified through social structures, television shows, and marketing, What’s important to consider is that the division of responsibility between parents will be the first gender role models a child witnesses. Furthermore how the parents treat their child based on gender will form ‘gender norms’. For example what color clothing the child is dressed in, what toys he/she can play with and what activities he/she can participate in. This often has the consequence of pushing the types of jobs that are ‘best suitable’ for men and women. For example Lego toys are dominantly marketed towards boys that push engineering and construction type of work.

The Professional Life
This leads me to my point on how dating and parenting impacts gender roles in the work force. In many ways I believe that dating rituals has pushed our society to see males as the ‘natural leaders’. For example, at work it often seem men will be more outspoken then women when it comes to decisions, negotiating salary, etc. Furthermore the type of jobs women and men apply to will be biased by the gender roles our parents define. Also work environments, schedules, and work contracts are simply ill suited for people who have a child, especially for women. Yet the big question is can the dynamics of romance every truly be separated from the world of work?

Regardless of the answer I do believe we owe it to ourselves to encourage positive and healthy romantic bonds. This along with mindful parenting will set far more equal gender roles. Yet it’s important that both sides are willing to change! Here are my final suggestions:
  • Men should respect women and learn to overcome libido driven lifestyles
  • Women are encouraged to take the lead and take ownership of their skills and abilities
  • Parents should be aware of how their actions and behaviors reflect on gender roles
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