Dr. Roy Baumeister wrote a book – Is There Anything Good About Men? I know Roy’s work because he was a friend of my mentor James Tedeschi. It’s a great read and especially so for an older feminist like me. I cannot possibly discuss it in a few paragraphs but I’ll tickle you with this. Women have spent the last 30+ years kvetching (complaining) about the raw deal we think we have. God-forbid we allow men to say anything bad about us! Roy argues that we are different- not better or worse- just different. However there is a camp out there perched on a theoretical hill with a sniper aimed right at the heart of that statement. Why? Because some hold fast and tight to the notion that there are no male and female differences. To say that, to imply that makes me a traitor to all feminism stood for. Go ahead, throw tomatos at me.
For example take one area- math and science. The next time you have a crowd of women together just try to tell them that they do not achieve at math and science as well as men. Do you know the statistics? Men outnumber women in the hard sciences. It’s not that women can’t compete- it most likely is that we don’t want to. I’m one of those women- I had an advanced degree (lots of math) but chose to mother rather than advance my career. Somehow hormones and nurturing took over my brain and instead of leaving my babies at home with a sitter I decided to stay in a small college rather than join the big leagues. But I decided. I could have made a different choice but I didn’t. Women have much more role flexibility than men do. What man would refuse such an offer? Society expects him to jump on it. Can you imagine what would have occurred if my husband walked into his firm the next day and said “I want to stay at home and raise my newborn.”
Imagine all you want. He did. It was our 5th baby and with a special needs toddler at home he resigned from his seemingly incredible position- to parent while I taught. He got more shit than a ten horse barn with a two horse pasture. He was the pussy whipped idiot, the lazy nutcase and the man with no backbone. Men have very little role flexibility.
Turn on your TV. How many men do you see that are portrayed as emotionally rich, skilled at raising their children, or faithful lovers? Men are stereotyped as stupid, goof-balls, philanders, idiots when raising children and clueless about love.
My job is not to encourage this. My job is to illuminate how you feel about the opposite sex. To state the truth- we are different. But those differences do not imply that we are any less. Roy Baumeister calls it ‘gender trade-offs’. How about a complementary view? What good is the door lock without the key? Each sex has abilities, needs, costs and benefits that differ. Sex and love are areas I hope to reveal as one of those, for you, my reader.
My husband started his own firm. After my workday which ends early I come home to cook and tend to the family, which now is only hubby David and our son. I cook elaborate meals, even decorate the plate which I serve happily. But it is my choice. I only intend to explain how we differ so we can understand our mates. After all doesn’t everyone want to get along, love and have a good life? Dr. Dawn Marlena Hopper http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKDwTgnMtjU (Roy Baumeister)