I was having a conversation with a friend a few weeks back, and the talk turned to his romantic difficulties. He’s a good guy, but has limited romantic experience, and tends to put women on pedestals and engage in bouts of self-pity punctuated by occasional dips into ‘chicks dig jerks’ territory. As you can imagine, these tactics have not led to astounding romantic bliss.
Anyhow, I was explaining that I think that part of his difficulty is that he thinks of women as essentially different from men, where I don’t believe that they are. The topic of different ‘gendered messages’ that people get came up, and I found myself saying, “I don’t actually think that any gendered messages, no matter how ostensibly positive the messages may be, are actually good.”
He was taken aback, and asked, “Wait, none of them are good?”
I thought a minute before saying, “No. None of them are good. Do you have an example of a gendered message you think is actually good?”
“Yes! Women should be taught that their bodies are sacred.”
That’s when I realized it was probably hopeless. *Sigh*
Anyhow, I open the question to you, dear readers . . . are there positive gendered messages? I figure things that rely on differences in biology are a gimmie (Men don’t need to be taught that they have the choice of whether or not to carry a child to term. Women don’t need to be taught to wear a condom. Etc.), but beyond that, can you think of anything? I’m uncomfortable with absolute statements, but right now my position is fairly absolute, which is why I’m opening this up to discussion.
Please do not comment unless you accept the basic dignity, equality, and inherent worth of all people.