Gender Wins – not Wars

Chris and Neets IGConfession: I can be a reactive person. My husband forgets the milk a couple of times turns into “Ah Chriiiis, you ALWAYS forget the milk!”. He doesn’t give me attention at a key moment (maybe I’m telling him about Tracy who doesn’t understand me at work) and he’s in the dog box for the afternoon. As you might imagine that kind of thing doesn’t do our relationship much good…

On a gender level this can also be really destructive. So until about a generation ago men were like, women, stay at home, stay away from an education or a job. Well, a lot of ladies didn’t like that. But today I hear guys feel threatened because women are like, Excuse me! Just watch me kick your butt off that corporate ladder – in these heels! This is reactive thinking. It really doesn’t get us anywhere. Instead of win-win we get war-war.

Gender_wins_stickyOr here’s a more serious example: a woman gets jailed or flogged for being raped and my first thought is, “GRRAAHRR men are so sexist!!”. Now let’s not take away from how absolutely terrible that examples is, but it’s also not true that all men are sexist. A lot of guys champion women’s causes, and it really doesn’t help to polarise men and women on this issue, but to stand together as people against gender violence.

On a personal note, I remember more than a few guy friends telling me earnestly that the cosmos would come out of sync if women started leading in more areas of society. Well, each time I reacted – with a red face, loud voice, and daggery-eyes – followed by tears in some public bathroom. Perhaps you can relate?

The problem is, after reacting I usually feel worse than if I just bite my lip and count to ten. Which is so hard for me sometimes! But reactions don’t bring balance they bring new, worse reactions, which doesn’t help me or my cause.

Last week’s post sparked some interesting debate about women in leadership, and I think it’s very important to continue the dialogue. I’m passionate about men and women working together, not fighting each other! Are you a passionate person like me? What things (gender-related or otherwise) make you mad? And how can you respond – not by swinging from one extreme to another – but by fighting for balance?

PS: for another interesting post on a similar subject check out Dr Jeckyll and Miz Hyde on Top Women for God ❤

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6 thoughts on “Gender Wins – not Wars

  1. Another similar example is the repeated incidents involving little Afghan girls getting their faces burned off with acid because they had the temerity to attend school. How dare they…
    Sadly, you’re right. I am a former infantry soldier, and I’ve had a lot of interesting discussions with various folks about the new push to get women into infantry units. The infantry is a male-dominated, meat-eating, merciless world and it engenders fierce loyalty and a sense of accomplishment in those who have spent some time there. I feel that same pride and sense of belonging myself. So when people start losing their minds over the issue a lot of their angst is a gut reaction to something they love being changed rather than a rational assessment of the actual merits of the case.
    Honestly the only way to combat that sort of thing is the same way Martin Luther King Jr. did. Only by retaining the moral high ground and not reacting negatively in return can a rational, civil dialogue be established. It takes a remarkable leader to create such a dialogue – in fact, I believe that MLK was one of the finest leaders the world will probably ever see for that reason. As one seasoned Special Forces operator once told me, “Calm breeds calm.” Only by maintaining our own bearing can we hope to control the tempo and tone of these sorts of emotionally charged issues.

    • Hi again James – another insightful comment. Yes acid burnings (or being shot in the head like Malala Yousafzai) for attending school or for any other reason makes me sick, but at least people are becoming more aware of these issues. I really liked what you say about Martin Luther King Jr… it reminds me of our (South African) national hero Nelson Mandela. My husband and I were actually talking about him the other day as an amazing example of a leader who refused to react with a backlash of revenge on people who actually deserved it, and in so doing lead South Africa into a peaceful democratic transition. Things are still far from perfect in SA today, but you have to admire his vision and strength as a leader during his term in office.

      I guess people are afraid that a balanced response to emotionally charged issues will be seen as weak… but in truth it takes a lot of strength. It takes strength to go to school when acid burning is a possible consequence, and strength to forgive and stay calm in the face of prejudice.

      Thanks for your thoughts – always a pleasure to read!

  2. I think it is more of an internal balance these days. Accepting and understanding what you believe and knowing that the world will be full of people that disagree or think a totally different way. Letting this not bother us is the first step in advancing ourselves, because worrying overly on the opinions of others is counterproductive in most daily cases.

    • Hi again OM – sorry for leaving you waiting for a reply, just got back from a week away in Mallorca. Yes you’re right that having an internal conviction about who you are really helps a girl not get her knickers in a knot when people say stupid things, or things you can’t agree with. I really need to work on that lol! Of course there are times when one needs to speak out – but as you say, I guess the trick is not worrying too much what others think. Thanks for your comment!

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