Women From Utopia And Men From Wal-Mart?
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Women From Utopia And Men From Wal-Mart?
It is surprising
how many writers, psychologists, or scientists have made it their
life’s work focusing on the gender differences. In our male-dominated
society it is no coincidence that men have undertaken the bulk of
this work. They made an effort to help men and women get along,
but deep down the sexes are much more alike than the world cares
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.
as the inferior sex, women feel compelled to assume utopian attributes
such as nurturing to the extreme and giving to the point of running
empty. Women are expected to live up to the 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.
the “superior” male sex has been praised for its Wal-Mart attributes
of being realistic, practical, efficient and logical. Consequently,
men still run the country, hold most of the assets and control the
majority of public and economic affairs. Yet, men experience their
own stress in a competitive world that expects them to be the pillar
of their families. Many men are still programmed to be the sole
economic provider in their families and suffer their own anxieties.
Feeling the 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.”
with the 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
the 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 the sexes that we indeed believe
ourselves to be from different planets. We must look beyond the
differences and realize that women cannot live without Wal-Mart,
nor can men live without utopia. Women need Wal-Mart for the practical,
logical and task-oriented aspects of their lives and, in fact, may
be shopping at Wal-Mart more often than men. On the other hand,
men need utopia to experience all the beauty and humanity of life,
and are visiting utopia more frequently than they admit. We are
all from the same planet. It is about time we bridged the gap between
the sexes and realized that we are human beings with many of the
same needs, desires, dreams and hopes.
case may have been in hunting-and-gathering societies of the past,
today we are all hunting for the same things. Men and women alike
are hunting for love, happiness, validation and prosperity, and
are gathering whatever they feel is necessary to achieve this. Now,
more than at any other time, men and women need each other in the
pursuit of these common goals.
Do we really
think that investing in gender stereotyping encourages successful
relationships? Today, both sexes seek to be loved and accepted,
instead of being labeled. Do we really think that lovers connect,
because they have figured out their gender differences? Love flourishes
when both move beyond gender differences and rejoice in their commonalities.
True love is based on mutual respect, moral responsibility and authenticity
all of which promote the human potential of both sexes and allow
for interaction without judgment.
Men and women
are indeed living as if they are from different planets and often
do not connect intimately as human beings. Gender differences have
been analyzed to death, and we may never be able to understand a
man or woman. However, we will always be able to understand and
respect a human being once we realize that we are all human beings
first and men or women second. Inside each of us, men and women
alike, lies a vulnerable soul, the desire to love and be loved,
the need to be validated, respected and to feel important. Regardless
of gender, deep down we all have a fragile ego that often feels
inferior. Recognizing that both sexes have many of the same vulnerabilities
and strengths is the key to men and women relating to one another
on a human level.
We need to free
each other from the gender roles that society has cast upon us and
start focusing on the ties that bind us. The commonalities between
men and women are so much greater than their differences. As we
change our attitudes towards each other, we will be able to relate
to one another on common ground. Lasting love is only possible when
we appreciate that our focus on gender differences has been of great
disservice. For any relationship to become a stable and lasting
anchor in our lives, we must learn to give up our pride and unrealistic
expectations of each other. If we are to find true love in this
misunderstood world of males and females, we must stop trying to
figure out the opposite gender and focus on the human being inside.
Allie Ochs 2005
Ochs is a speaker, relationship coach and author of: Are
You Fit to Love? Her book has received the honorable mention
at the USA 2004 Best Book Awards. She has appeared on TV, Radio
and is published in numerous magazines and newsletters. Visit her
and take the Fit 2 Love test.
You Fit to Love? : A Radically Different Approach to Successful
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