High Quality Genders?

On Blog Sisters today, Gina Guiliano posted some info about an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education by Carol Tavris that reviews many of the current books that examine gender differences. Tavris ends her piece with the following statement:
…as long as we keep seeing the sexes as opposite players in some unwinnable zero-sum game, rather than as allies seeking to solve a specific problem, whoever suffers from it, society’s responses will careen drunkenly from one sex to the other, depending on who is making the most noise, whose problem seems worse, and whose problem makes the news this week. And as long as women focus exclusively inward on their feelings and their pasts, as long as they are lulled by the mindless if soothing hum of psychobabble, they will lack the knowledge and will to find solutions beyond the self — and to reframe the conversation away from ‘us versus them,’ and forward to ‘us and them.’
Of course the ideal is to get to a place where it’s ‘us and them’ and then maybe even on to just ‘us.’ BUT — BIG BUT — getting there is not as easy as Tarvis seems to think. At this point in our history, males and females value very different qualities in their opposite genders. And the paradox is that it is just those differing values that often cause conflict and misunderstanding.
Until both genders agree on what kinds of human qualities are desirable for all humans to demonstrate — AND until both genders make an effort to actually demonstrate those qualities — it just ain’t going to happen. Too many men are still in the place where they value certain qualities in males but very different qualities in females. And too many females are still in the place where they value certain qualities in females but very different qualities in males. When both genders start valuing many of the same qualities in both genders, then we’ll be getting somewhere.
Of course, the question then becomes ‘what should those universally valued and expected qualities of both genders be?’ Here’s my partial list: nurturing, honest, empathetic, tolerant, generous, patient, fair, communicative, participatory, non-judgemental, forgiving…. Hmmm. Sounds to me like the qualities one probably would want in a good friend. How about that!

3 thoughts on “High Quality Genders?

  1. An “unwinnable zero-sum” game? Does that mean that everyone necessarily scores zero? (I can’t think of any other way of doing it.)

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