Thursday, March 15, 2007

The differences between men and women.

I just realized something. Before I share it with you I'd like to ramble on a bit, thinking aloud and trying to organize my thoughts...STOP !who am i kidding, I'm a man and my gender never thinks aloud, and never needs to organize its thoughts, they are organized logically anyway! Yep you got it, I've realized that though men and women belong to the same species, they are different creatures, with different characteristics.

It all started when I began analyzing my own parents. My dad with his quiet thinking, efficiency of words and actions, logical thought process, and ability to compartmentalize his entire universe without ever needing outside help, can never find that packet of biscuits in the kitchen. While my mom, with an incessant compulsion to think aloud, obsess over details, indirect communiques, inbuilt lie detector, her complicated relationships with friends and relatives, uncanny ability to predict who it is thats calling, or who's at the door when the bell rings...will be able to locate the packet of biscuits with little or no effort or thought. This is not to say that my dad couldn't have found it given enough time, and hunger as an incentive...but he'd rather ask mom about the probable location of the biscuits and then perform a sweeping search of the area, using the process of elimination to locate it. To him, mom's ability to swoop in and locate the biscuits with an apparent lack of effort or thought, will remain an unsolved mystery. Rather than analyzing her ability, he'd prefer to grumble about how she's always hiding the things he needs. There is a scientific explanation for these differences between men and women. Experts have suggested many theories, that women have better peripheral vision, hearing, sensory apparatus, a nurturing instinct , while men have narrower, more focussed vision, dulled sensory organs as compared to women, and an instinct to protect rather than nurture.

And yet, civilized society insists on proclaiming men and women equal. Don't get me wrong, I am not some kind of misogynist (or am I?), all I want to state is, society can shout from the rooftops about gender equality, and of breaking free of gender stereotypes, I will not be able to silence them, and do not want to either, because they speak(shout) the truth. But the fact of the matter remains, that we are not equals. A man is taller, stronger, loses hair quicker, dies earlier, will sooner go to war if provoked, than his female counterpart. She on the other hand, is of slighter build, less strong, more likely to express emotion, talks more, will live longer, would use retail-therapy to counter mood swings etc. These are differences visible to even the narrowest of perspectives. Then why the insistence of equality? Is it not evident that differences exist in the way each party functions, talks, thinks, moves, smells, listens, lives. Then why does the insistent society still proclaim their equality?

Society has evolved from the times of the cavemen. In those days, gender stereotypes were accepted completely, and were the reason for the survival of the human animal. The men hunted, and the women kept the cave clean while nurturing jr.caveman and little miss.cave girl. Everyone was completely at ease with their roles and were happy enough to procreate and survive for many generations. Then civilization happened. Men were no longer required to hunt for food, and women were more likely to venture out of their homes for basic daily functions. Slowly this shift in accepted roles became a part of society. And hence the argument for equality. We must however remember that when these roles were first identified, the early periods of human evolution were in progress. The early human was still evolving, and his/her role in that society was hardwired into his/her brain, and his/her genetics. The human brain has remained hardwired with these roles till the present, for the basic reason that human evolution is not in its nascent stages anymore, the mind and body are not evolving at that same rapid pace evident in the beginning. So we are left with a lot of hardwired genetic programming that seems obsolete to today's evolved cultural and sociological conscience. So where does that leave us? How do we erase genetic information or overwrite it to match with social evolution, rather than the Darwinian theory of physical evolution through natural selection? Get Darwin back here, give him a computer!

I believe that our equality has less to do with equal rights, abilities or anything else. It is instead more relevant to the continuously evolving sociological and moral aspect of civilization. Pure scientific reasoning will never support this claim of equality among the genders. And evolved morality will always defend it. Be that as it may, dad's of today and tomorrow, and the day after... will always be blaming mom's for hiding the biscuits...

9 comments:

monjima said...

umm...a man is not always taller. most men i know are shorter - than me, of course :)

sriku said...

ah, I agree...but forgive my generalisation...you see, statistics still support my claim. Long time no see...:) thanks for reading.

shreya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shreya said...

sigh, you engineers take words like "equal" too literally. okay, let me try...

by saying that men and women are "equal" i am not suggesting that they are "identical." by "equal" i mean equally important and equally valuable as human beings.

having said that, i must also say that gender differences make for interesting reading. but the truth according to me is that men and women are more similar than we have been allowed to be(lieve).

and ps: i second monjima :-P

sriku said...

he he, don't club me along with all the other engineers, they might be offended :) Seriously though, the whole 'equally valuable as human beings' is a first world notion, hardly applicable to the third world, where the value of a human life, male or female, seems to be negligible. But I defend my post...we may be of the same species, possess similar senses and sensibilities, but the differences must be accepted.

shreya said...

i meant "are equally valuable," in a philosophical sort of way :) yes, it is not even remotely like that! and yes, the differences must be accepted.

as for 300, i would've LOVED it in college. and i would've even made fun of people who found it too gory! but i've somehow become squeamish over the years...

sriku said...

hmmm...on 300, my blood lust hasn't mellowed at all by the passing of years...but i can see where you're coming from... sometimes there is such a thing as too much violence...sometimes.

Khalid Hamza said...

Long back i had written a... sort of poem on Feminism, pesh karta hun us kavita mein se do relevant panktiyan...

Societies survive on how individuals behave
Moon cannot do sunshine nor can sun create a wave

I can guarantee 50% of the world population is not going to like this by default.

sriku said...

Khalid bhai I would love to read the rest of that and other poems. And why bother whether 50% people will not like it, they need not accept anything you say, but have no right to reject your ideas either. And since when have we ever lost sleep over something like that :)