I had this identical conversation separately with a male friend and a female friend and felt the overwhelming desire to write about it.
As women we are told we can have it all, that we're just as good as men and that we can balance home, family, work and relationships. Whilst I definitely don't deny that it can be done, I challenge the notion that it's actually right and beneficial. Le me say unconditionally that feminism is fantastic! Women should have the right to education and careers, we aren't just baby making, men sitting, house cleaning machines (definitely not in my case :-)! WE are intelligent, capable, adaptable managers!!! However, we are different to men. Men and women are two halves of the same coin, each side is vital, each side is equal, each side is uniquely DIFFERENT!!!
Women of the world, I know what we're capable of. I know that we can raise our children, go to work, run a household, own our own cars, manage money, study and do 101 things single-handedly in order to get the job done, however, ladies I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you but the price we've paid to have it "all" is emasculating men!
Modern equality between the sexes is still in it's infancy and I can't help but feel that in our rush to prove ourselves we're disrupted the natural masculine/feminine balance of Life.
What do we want???
By the looks of it, education, marriage, career, sex, Love, children, home, physical, emotional, financial, intellectual independence - which if these things in whatever order make you happy are wonderful. However, we are WOMEN! We ARE aesthetically beautiful and soft to the touch. Our nature is to Love, nurture and support. We are the bearers to fruition of Life itself. We embody feminine energy. It is the source of our power and we should be proud of it ( I sure am) and celebrate the fact that essentially we are women, not men.
Men are physically stronger, harder to the touch and more resilient than us. Mother Nature designed them this way for a reason! Do you really wanna challenge HER? Just as the feminine role is to Love and nurture, conversely the masculine role is to protect and provide. Men Love being MEN!!! And they are BRILLIANT at embodying masculine energy - WHEN WE LET THEM!
But our post suffragette determination to have it all, be it all and do it all has destabilised them. Men (and yes I am generalising here) don't know what we want because half the time we don't know what we want! I want a man (preferably my own) to open a door, choose a wine, tell me he fancies the pants off me, drive the car, walk on the outside, propose to me, give me gifts, pay for dinner and tell me "No". I don't expect a man to able to concentrate on my face when I'm talking to him and I Love the fact that when we;re on the phone "being friends" he's secretly wondering what I'm like in bed. It's OK! Be a man because I LOVE being a woman and therein ladies, lies an amulet.
Ssshhh! Come a bit closer and I'll tell you a secret that every woman already knows...
We KNOW when push comes to shove, we can do all the tings we need to in order to survive. Our power, our freedom and our feminism comes from recognising that although we can, we DON'T have to! Most men want to take care of us. Most men want a woman to protect and provide for (not golddiggers). Most men want us to Love and support them (without the criticism). We nag and belittle men, no matter how frustrating (and illogical) their behaviour may be - we alienate and confuse them. They don't know if they should invoke the essence of who/what they are (masculine) because we're so determined to prove that we don't need them because we can do it all ourselves!
Don't get me wrong, I'm not canonising blokes! Men, you have your part to play. Women need you (menfolk) to respect and understand that we are different to you. Whilst it is natural for a man to mull over a problem internally, to retreat into himself whilst he works it out, to withdraw, a woman will summon her girlfriends and pour out her heart over and over (cocktails help) just to get it our of her system. This is how women make sense of situations, intuitively, through feelings. We don't expect our girlfriends to charge out like knights to make things right, we expect them to listen, smile, nod, pour the wine and make reassuring "awww" and "oh" in the right places.
Of course a man hates to see his woman distressed, he wants to make it right. It's natural for him to fight for her corner, men don't know how to shut up and listen. They fix stuff! They don't realise that our natural need to vent and verbalise our frustration is just our way of processing our problems before dealing with them. Just like it's natural for a man to say nothing!
Men instinctively know when one of their own has an issue and they support their brother by taking him for a drink where the problem will be given 2 minutes airtime over a game of pool followed by another beer! Problem solved. It works for them just like talking it over on the phone works for us. Two halves - same coin!!!
Don't get me wrong, neither sex is perfect and we are all individuals with our own lives to contend with, however, fundamentally we are Yin and Yang, masculine and feminine, his and hers and there's nothing wrong with acknowledging it!
So let Love live.