Sunday, August 12, 2007

Women vs. Men; Am I sexist?

I am more than definite that this will step on some toes. I just hope I don't offend you so much that you stop reading. It's just an opinion. Take it, think on it, accept or discard it and then move on. You don't have to hate me.

Your Left Hand Lives for Love. Your Right Lives for the Moment.
Your left hand says 'we.' Your right hand says 'me.'
Your left hand is your heart. Your right hand is your voice.
Your left hand rocks the cradle. Your right hand rules the world.
Your left hand sees red and thinks roses. Your right hand sees red and thinks wine.
Your left hand plays hard-to-get. Your right hand just plays hard.
Your left hand celebrates the day you were married. Your right hand celebrates the day you were born.
Your left hand says I love you. Your right hand says I love me too.

This was an ad campaign that beefed up a sales pitch that has apparently been going on since '03, but that many of us just became aware of last fall. It was created for "promoting the diamond category that celebrates a woman's desire to treat herself and acquire a diamond ring. Formerly, many women had to wait to walk down the aisle before they could display a diamond ring on any finger. Tradition dictated that diamond rings were the province of the occasions, of engagements or anniversaries."
Quoted from
(To read more on Right Hand Rings, just Google it. There's a ton of info out there.)

Initially when I saw this ad, being a media major I looked at it with a critical eye. And yes, it's a good ad, from a technical standpoint. But from my standpoint, it kind of makes my blood boil, the more I look at it.

The ad implies that love is less important than the moment, that 'we' is less important than 'me', that your heart is less important than your voice, that mothering can be compared to world-domination, and that love of another is less important than self-love.
Everything that I've grown up knowing and believing is challenged in this ad. I've always thought that there was nothing more impacting or powerful than love - whether of a man or a child or a friend. "From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks" so how can you give credit to your voice without first paying attention to your heart? I've always believed that respectable people, people who make a difference, are people who put others before them self.
But I guess people who buy right hand diamonds simply for the sake of it aren't really concerned with the things I just mentioned.

Let me get back on point.
This ad, like the movie "Mona Lisa Smile", challenges not the ability of women to buy diamonds, or to be mentally equal to men, but their role in the world.
Are women the same as men, discounting their sex organs, or do our physical differences imply that we have different mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, occupational, and familial purposes?

As an intelligent woman in college headed toward a career, I do not believe that women are much different from men mentally or occupationally...although there are some jobs, that because of the physical or authoritative nature of them are better conducted by men. Back to that later.

We all know that women and men are emotionally different. That is scientific fact. The question remains, do women's more categorically surface emotions have an affect on their jobs and their ability to lead?
My opinion is that they do.
Hate me if you want to.

As much as we - myself included - like to pretend that we are, women are simply not as physically strong as men. (Childbirth not withstanding. I credit the ability to deliver babies to our quality of endurance, not our physical strength) Take the best all-around player in the WNBA and pit her against the best player in the NBA and the man is sure to win. Put the best female soccer player against the male one and the man will win. Put the best female Olympic runner against the best male and the male is likely to win. (Here's another bone of contention...) Put a female soldier in combat against a male, neither having guns, and see who wins.
None of this is to say that women shouldn't play sports or participate in physical labor activities or be in the military or work construction, and it's not to say that we can't...simply to point out that men are better at it, more physically equipped for it. And if men are more physically equipped for physical labor, what are women more equipped for?
That's a question, not an implication.

The next two categories, religion and family, is where you are most likely to become angry with me. I reiterate. Don't be angry. Just take it with a grain of salt as an opinion that you disagree with.

Let me start by saying there are exceptions to every rule. Nothing that I am about to say is necessarily true for all situations.
My belief is that a family should consist of a strong man who serves as an authority figure, a strong woman who is submissive (inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of others, according to WordNet) to her husband, never subservient (subordinate in capacity or function; subordinate meaning of less importance or secondary, according to American Dictionary and, and children who are aware of the roles that each of their parents play. Those children must submit to their parents, especially to their father. The boys should submit until they become independent, or as the parents yield authority. The girls should submit to their fathers until they become independent or until they marry, whichever comes first. If they become independent, they are their own authority figures in the day-to-day of things, but fathers should still be consulted in major life decisions. "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife..."
Enough with the logistical break down.

I don't think the man has to be the only or even the primary bread-winner. But, I do think that money notwithstanding he retains the right to govern his home. Yes, even if his wife is paying for it. This is why my view of a good marriage is contingent on men who listen and care about their wife's opinion and contingent on the ability of people to communicate.
I don't think that women should be primary care-givers. I believe that parenting is a shared role in which both father and mother play equally crucial parts.
I don't think women should be commanding officers.
I don't think women should be head pastors. I think we are wonderful in secondary pastoral roles, but I think we should leave tending the flock as a whole to men.
I think the man is the head of the house, but as it was so eloquently put in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, "the woman is the neck and she can turn the head whichever way she wants to."

After my last post on American War inspired by the CNN/YouTube Democratic Debates, the climactic statement is...
For the aforementioned reasons, I cannot bring myself to approve of a female president.
I think Condie's role as Secretary of State is fine. I am even fine with a female vice president (provided the president doesn't die). But I don't think a woman should be Head of State, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, the leader of perhaps the most influential country in the world. I'm not for Hillary Clinton or any other woman for president.

I believe that as a woman, I was born to be the suitable helper for a man. "She was called woman, for she was taken out of man." I believe I was born to be a mother to children. I was born to nurture and love and support and lend strength. I was born to lead by example and not necessarily by title or mandate.
There are a great many other things I was born to do, but those are the ones written on my DNA. Or perhaps I should say on my chromosomes.

Next Topic: America's "moral leadership"

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