Very recently, this very interesting article came my way (in Spanish), and based on it and several discussions I’ve had with some interesting people, both men and women, I’ve come to realize some things: people are seeing equality as a need, but they’re not quite sure how to proceed about it. I believe this is because we still have very well implanted in our DNA how patriarchic society should work therefore mandating how we think and how we behave.
So what is exactly society mandating us to do? Just put in one word, it is mandating us to create relationships out of ‘need’; and that’s not necessarily bad, however, what is interesting is that this mandate is a predefined set of needs that define the roles of men and women in a patriarchic system. Moreover, this is exactly how we’ve been brought up, all the examples of human relationships that we have are based on these ‘rules’ so, in this line of thought, it is very understandable that we don’t immediately see any other way of relating as ‘suitable’ or appealing.
So let me bring this to the plane of consciousness:
Men are told that their manhood is defined by a number of things, they must be ‘stallions’ meaning their manhood is defined on how many women ‘they take’; additionally their manhood is defined on how good they are at ‘controlling’ women and having them at their service. Men are measured against society on their potential of money making and house holding. Finally, men are brought up under the image of the mother, and so, to look for emotional support only in women since father does not really ‘understand how to do it’.
Women are told that they need a man for survival, therefore their main mission, in patriarchic society, is to seek for this protection, this ‘security’. They are told that sex is not for them to enjoy but what they need to give in exchange for man’s protection, and they ought to prove they’re capable of this. Women are taught that they will be valued by how well they can take care of their man. Giving emotional support, and cleaning after her man’s mess.
So based on this we can extrapolate some common expectations men and women have when they’re in the process of building a relationship:
- Men only approach women with sexual intentions because they need it to claim their manhood points. Therefore, friendship between men and women is not possible.
- Women are not supposed to look for men but rather accept the most suitable one, therefore taking a passive and willpower-less role.
- Men need to display their house holding capabilities to women, therefore their true person has a secondary character.
- Women are not expected to have a life plan other than pertaining to a home and carrying children. Therefore they need to adjust to their man’s agenda.
- Men are supposed to ‘buy’ sexual favors from women through gifts, expensive dinners and so on, therefore women are expected to ‘give in’ upon accepting these gestures.
- Women are expected to look pretty and attractive, and their whole value is based on these qualities, they ‘need’ to be like that in order to be selected, therefore men don’t have to make any effort in their looks, and they will get what they need no matter how disgusting their appearance may be.
These are some examples of what actually happens to bigger or lower degree. Many more examples could be thought of in by just by applying the roles already defined.
Now something interesting is, that the examples of egalitarian relationships I can think of, really imagine, I don’t know enough to say, are homosexual relationships, this is specifically because the gender roles are simply not present: In a relationship between two girls, who needs to serve who? In a relationship between two guys, who is the owner and who the possession? This is the reason why many egalitarian people both men and women are perceived as homosexuals: They are missing the traits that define their ‘roles’ in society!
If Equality is what we want, women and men must cooperate and fight against these built-in predefined behaviors both in terms of physical action and expectations.
A short story: A friend of mine, big egalitarian guy, didn’t make a sexual move towards a girl he liked when she was showing clearly her intentions; this made her feel in the worse way, even deeply insulted, since guys are supposed to take sex on every chance they have, she may have felt like something extremely wrong may be going on with her. From the egalitarian point of view, this cannot be more far away from the truth, since everything that happens between two persons is product of their mutual will: My friend simply didn’t feel balance in the level of interest (remember that patriarchic society tells women that sex is the award they give and not something that is to be pursuit or enjoyed) therefore he simply didn’t proceed. At the end this girl got pissed off and asked if he was homosexual!!
So to close, I’d like to take my previous examples, deconstruct them, and project them in the egalitarian world:
- Men and women can be friends and not feel attraction of one another.
- It is ok for women to ask out a guy they like, if they feel so.
- Both men and women need to develop an attractive personality and attractive features to be truly valued.
- Both men and women must have a life plan and they get together to realize it, perhaps make something bigger than what they could achieve individually.
- Sex is a balance of mutual interest, with the objective of intimacy, mutual pleasure, and procreation. It is not meant by any means to satisfy social needs.
- Both men and women must be attractive so they don’t disgust their sexual partner. Guys are supposed to invest in their looks in the same magnitude as women, with self confidence and being pleasant in mind.
So the main deconstruction of ideas that needs to happen is from “I need this” to “I want this” and really understand why. If you’re a guy, don’t be afraid of liking pink color and knitting; If you’re a girl don’t feel that asking out a guy is a loss of dignity. At the end of the day you both want things, needs are just a social construct that feeds this archaic system.
With this I close my post, I hope this brings into some reflection, and, as always, comments are very welcome!