Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dude Looks Like a Lady

For millennia, it has been known that men get the better end of the baby-making equation (besides for the obvious: childbirth). Take the first aging couple with a fertility problem: Avraham and Sarah. When he takes Hagar as a concubine, she promptly bears a son. However, a divine miracle was needed to rejuvenate Sarah's womb. 

This seeming inequity has continued down the generations, until today, when bachelors of 50 are seeking females twenty years their junior to fulfill their dreams of daddyhood. 

While the results are not overwhelming, there is some research to suggest that aging men may pass on mutations to their offspring. It was enough to have women gleefully pounce on this news as another equalizer between the sexes. 
But if men start worrying about their biological clocks even 10 percent as much as women do, commenters seemed to suggest, that would signal a notable social shift — one that’s in line with a broader gender shift we’re seeing. Far more men are feeling anxious about worries (work-life balance, pressure to look attractive, even whether they’re good cooks) that used to weigh more heavily on women. We used to think the gender revolution meant that women would become more like men. Has it turned out the real shift is that men are becoming more like women?  
Well, yeah, kinda. Men and women used to live completely separate lives, with strictly defined roles, in nearly all aspects of class and status. As women encroached more and more on the male sphere, adopting more male aspects, men were influenced in turn. It would seem our culture is becoming rather androgynous in gender. 

Seriously, what is a major difference between male and female abilities nowadays except for a right to wear lipstick?

I've become quite fond of the sitcom Up All Night. It portrays a relatable couple (instead of a goofy husband with a wife too good for him, like more classic TV fare) who unintentionally have a child. The husband decides to leave his shtotzy attorney gig to raise the baby while his wife sticks with her job. He is competent, able to change a diaper without hijinks, and is fond of the "Mommy & Me" group, whereas his wife is a Type A control freak who is great at her calling.
They are more alike than not, with less distinctive gender roles. Their lines are practically interchangeable. 

The family guru always said that as the time of Moshiach nears, the original "curses" would have less of a hold. Consider: It was those curses that embedded within humankind the concept of gender roles to begin with, as men had to sweat for their food and women were defined by their child-rearing. 

So I guess progress is Steven Tyler.       


MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

> what is a major difference between male and female abilities nowadays except for a right to wear lipstick

Seriously? Other than menstruation, menopause and mammograms?

Also, you can't pee standing up. We can.

Rebecca said...

Interesting article. I kind of agree with the fact that men ARE becoming more like women in many ways. I recently discovered your blog. Good job :) I like your wit and astuteness. Feel free to check mine at www.wearyourinvisiblecrown.blogspot.com It's kind of geared towards young Jewish women (late teens/twenties). It's a fashion/culture/lifestyle blog as well.

Single on the Scene said...

Just started watching this show and love it. They DO have a great relationship. Good choice of comparison

FrugalFrumFashion said...

I really hope you're right, because it seems that nowadays a wife is expected to be SuperCareerMomWoman, while her husband...well, you can't really expect a MAN to know how the pick up after himself, can you? Poor inept fellows, those members of the male species.
Yeah. Something's a bit skewed there.

Princess Lea said...

MGI: I meant in terms of gender-proscribed roles.

Rebecca: Will check it out!

Single: I just read though that they will be changing it to a single-camera show with a laugh track. BLAH! I hate it when a sitcom feels a need to tell me when I have to laugh.

FFF: I hope that things are balancing out. I PRAY.