Gender Wars: Truce from the Male

Women are a necessity. They possess grace. They have wit and humor. They have an alternative perspective. Women are essential.

I don’t just mean in a marital sense. I mean in any relationship, whether as a mother, daughter, boss, co-worker, friend, best friend, acquaintance, superhero, or songstress.

Coming into manhood at the magical age of eighteen, I discovered Tori Amos. Shortly after that, I discovered Bikini Kill, Joan Jett, the Indigo Girls, Alanis Morissette, Sleater-Kinney, the Dixie Chicks, Ani DiFranco, and Terri Clark. Recently I’ve discovered Lorde, Peaches, Jess Klein, and Pussy Riot.

Some of these artists’ songs could be seen as “girl power,” while some would say that they are anti-man. Though some of the lyrical content was controversial, I never really felt threatened by songs about shooting down unwanted advances, vigilante justice against rapists, or even equal rights for women.

I felt that these songs showed something stirring within women. Maybe the lyrics were a push-back against the degrading songs about women that I grew up with, mostly within the lyrical content of 1990’s rap and 1980’s heavy metal. Maybe these songs were needed, to show that women can’t—and shouldn’t—always be “in their place.”

Your input and output is important, ladies. The man who thinks the female side of our species isn’t important should read a book or two.

In many cultures, the woman dominates the clan—the woman calls the shots. Current examples would be the in north-east India, parts of Costa Rica, in West Sumatra, the Ede villages of Vietnam, the Akans in Ghana, the Mosuo near the Tibetan border, the Native American Hopis, and the Chambri of Papua New Guinea. Not that women should always be on top (no pun intended), but in some areas of life, it has worked out well for civilization.

However, it does take the right woman, in the right sort of climate, just as it does with men being able to lead and be led.

We men can do women a service: end the war.

  • We can help uplift our female counterpart by not putting her down.
  • We can raise her confidence with more than a slick compliment.
  • We can elevate the leader to her position if she is qualified.
  • We can praise her not for her looks or aroma, but for her convictions and compassion.

But first, we need to be not so proud. Just as a brown-eyed individual is no more important than a blue-eyed person, neither is a man more important than a woman. We are all needed. We are all equal. Since the suspicions are strong against us men, let us first be the ones to fly the white flag.

But it isn’t a surrender; it’s a joining of arms.

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