Why shouldn’t men and women be equal?

I have never really asked that question before because I’ve grown up in a world where equality is the norm. People who question that norm really boggle my mind. The claim that men and women are not equal seems so absurd to me that I have never considered it seriously. But okay, let’s consider it now!

A reader put it to me that women are inferior to men “physically, emotionally and biologically.” Okay. It seems to me that “physically” is pretty much the same thing as “biologically,” but anyway, there’s no use denying that men are the stronger sex. They can run faster than women, they can lift heavy objects more easily and they can throw ball harder.

But is that a reason to consider men better than women? I mean, superior, not equal? More valuable as human beings? If it is, then logically men should also be placed in a hierarchy among themselves according to their physical prowess. The amount of money two men earn for doing the same desk job should be determined by their ability to run fast, jump high and lift heavy objects. The best athletes should hold the most influential places in our society. No? Why ever not, if physical properties are a valid argument as to why women deserve to earn less than men or have less power than men?

The thing is, men being better at sports has no other consequence on gender equality except that… men are better at sports. The value of a human being is not determined by his or her physical skills, unless we’re talking about the pecking order of high school jocks and nerds, but that doesn’t apply in the real world. Outside the world of sports (and high school), physical superiority has very little consequence on anything. Often other traits and skills are far more useful. Like people skills, for example.

And that takes us to the claim that women are “emotionally” beneath men. That’s a strange claim. For one thing, I’m not sure what is meant by someone being “emotionally” better than someone else, but if we’re talking about emotional intelligence, or people skills, women tend to more gifted than men in that area of life. On average, women are better at solving disputes and at interpreting other people’s emotions correctly and because of that, women are often better leaders than men.

If physical and psychological characteristics justified for one sex being considered better than the other, then surely women would have the upper hand in this! People skills and emotional intelligence are much more useful to the functioning of society than being good at sports, so by that logic women have a better claim at being the superior sex! However, I think it’s silly trying to determine which sex is “better.” The way I see it, we’re all people, and equally valuable as such. Just like our individual differences, the differences between the sexes give us various advantages and disadvantages in life, but that is not a sensible argument against our equal value as human beings.

About inmyinternest

A thirty-something woman, watching the world turn
This entry was posted in Culture, Equality, Feminism, Human Rights, Men, Women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Why shouldn’t men and women be equal?

  1. If this reader truly believes that women are inferior to men “physically, emotionally and biologically”, ask them why so many care assistants and other nursing staff with physically demanding jobs are female? Not only that, but women give birth and are the emotional – and often physical – backbone of a family unit. Women juggle jobs and children and cooking and housework and cleaning.

    Yes there are many things that men are better at than women because they are larger and generally stronger, but that doesn’t make them greater or better.

    If my husband didn’t treat me as an equal and didn’t give me the respect that all people – men and women – deserve, I simply wouldn’t have married him and would become crazy biker cat lady as I originally intended after my first marriage hit the rocks.

  2. True… if men are the stronger sex, shouldn’t they take the main responsibility of housework? Surely they are more qualified for the job! It doesn’t make sense to emphasize that women are weaker than men, but then expect women to do most of the housework!

    Seriously though, I was brought up to believe that housework should be shared equally between the adults who live under the same roof, and that kids take on more and more responsibility for it as they grow. Luckily my husband was brought up the same way, so housework is one thing we don’t need to fight about!

    lol… crazy biker cat lady!

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