All men are created equal. That is, we are equal in utero until week six, when the presence of a certain chromosome starts the wheels a-rolling. Then the hormones kick in, or not, and everything changes.
The differences between men and women can usually be readily seen: the presence of testosterone in the body influences characteristics like the growth of body hair, jaw angle, strength of connective tissue and deep tones of the voice, among other things as well. Testosterone will enable the male to be stronger, more prone to fight and propagate his species. The absence of testosterone will soften the facial features, round out the hips and enhance the breasts. This also helps the female give off certain scents in order to help her attract a male and propagate the species. Absence of testosterone will limit aggressive behavior, so, in theory, a female should be docile and even-tempered.
But how can one make such general, superficial, sexist statements? Those are organic differences and by no means do they influence the roles that women and men take on. These roles are mostly determined by the environment the child grows up in. Or are they?
The way a man or woman develops over the years is, yes, to a certain degree, determined by the environment that they, as children, grew up in. But there are also so many organic factors at work here; so many that they cannot be ruled out.
For example: The Shoe Gene. It does exist. I have first-hand experience. I personally do not care about shoes. I have two, no, four pairs of sneakers, combat boots, and yes, dress shoes that come out once a year for Christmas. In contrast, my daughter’s first words were: SHOES. She lived in patent leather shoes for the first few years of her life. At this point, we had no TV and she wasn’t exposed to fashion magazines, so I came to the conclusion that it was an organic trait. Her love for shoes has not waned, not a bit.
Now the world of advertising is, alas, a major factor in determining to what extent a man or woman will accept or alter their perception of gender. Way back in the old days, when the razor companies felt they needed to earn more money, Madison Avenue started an ad campaign, urging women to shave the unsightly hair off their legs and from under their arms. The razor companies had tapped into a huge untamed market. What a success that was!
And such campaigns still hold true today. Women are urged to shave all the hair off their bodies. But not only women, men too! Hairy chests were once so sexy. Do you know how many razors a week are needed for such an undertaking? And depilatory and wax. The cosmetic industry has taken this one step further. They have found that men can be just as vain as women. And another flood of non-necessities has saturated that massive untamed market—men’s anti-wrinkle cream, body lotions and a whole slew of products endorsed by David Beckham.
Now, this is not to say that a man should not take care of his appearance. By all means, pluck that uni-brow! This is just a message to spark some awareness about the feminization of men, a term coined by my best friend.
This process starts in our education system. Education was once exclusively male. Today the education system is geared to females. Today, boys are trained to sit in rows like dainty little sunflowers and paint rainbow pictures and play with silk scarves. Pump them full of ritalin and they may just do that. Dress them in pink shirts. Tell them it’s OK to cry. Give them Celine Dion CDs.
Or dress boys like they may get dirty. Allow boys to fight out their differences between themselves—they’ll probably be friends again by the time their parents get off the phone with their lawyers.
A man must not suffer through the Sex in the City film to prove he’s sensitive. Maybe he’d rather pet his dog. Men need to sit sometimes and say nothing, without someone asking, “Darling, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about me?” Men can only do one thing at a time. They can’t, for example, chew and think about what they are supposed to be thinking about and answer dumb questions all at the same time. You wouldn’t bother the dog when he was eating, or disturb a feeding baby. When the man is feeding, allow him that time to concentrate on what he’s doing!
In conclusion, living with fellow human beings demands a certain degree of open-mindedness. Of course it’s OK to cry, whoever you are, but don’t make a habit out of it. Wear any color you want, but guys, please don’t wear pink. (You know you don’t like it.) Live and love like it was your last day on earth. Love is Tolerance. Tolerance is Love.
Here’s a cool link from PBS. Click on the Launch Interactive button to start: NOVA-How Is Sex Dertermined?