Nothing can change the basic fact that there are two sexes in the human family. Children are going to be born either male or female.
But how basic are the differences in the sexes? What do these differences mean? Is there a way of life that suits each better?
If you examine the living creation, you will find that there is usually a way of life that best suits each living thing. Mar shampla, do palm trees or cactus plants flourish in cold northern areas? Níl, they do best in hot climates. But the Douglas fir thrives best in cooler northern climates. Polar bears do better where it is cold, but giraffes do better where it is warm.
True, to an extent living things can adapt to changing conditions. But the farther away they get from the situation that suits them best, the more problems they will have.
There are also ‘best’ conditions in the relationship between a man and a woman. The farther they deviate from these, the more problems they will experience.
What should be recognized is that there are fundamental differences between a man and a woman that no amount of talk will change. The obvious difference is in physical appearance and in the different sexual organs. Chomh maith leis sin, the genetic code of the human family has firmly locked into it the fact that the male has the more rugged build and is stronger.
Compare, mar shampla, the records set at Olympic Games. The Olympic record for the 100-meter (about 110 yards) dash for men is 9.9 seconds, but for women it is 11.0 seconds. At this short distance, men can cross the finish line about 10 or 11 yards ahead of women. The Olympic high-jump record is over 7 feet 4 inches for men, but less than 6 feet 3 inches for women. In every comparable event, the men run and swim faster, jump higher, and throw weights farther than women.
Why do men have the greater physical strength? Because they were created with a different role to play in life than women. They would have to do the heavier work and take the lead in providing for the family and giving it protection.
Does this make women “inferior”? Is a well-proportioned woman’s body “inferior” to a well-proportioned male’s body? Is it of less value, or less useful? Which is “superior,” the oak tree or the rose? In their own way they are each valuable and desirable.
In addition to the difference in body structure and strength, women go through different physical cycles, such as menstruation and menopause. Hence, we cannot escape the truth of the matter, that there are very basic differences between men and women physically. Go deimhin, scientists can tell, without knowing in advance the sex of a person, whether a body cell belongs to a male or to a female. As one source points out: “All the cells of the body of the man differ from those of the body of the woman.”
Since there are such unalterable physical differences between men and women locked into their genetic codes, it should not seem strange that there would also be emotional or psychological differences. Rutgers University anthropologist Lionel Tiger states:
“Briefly, there is considerable evidence that differences between males and females do not result simply from male conspiracy, . . . they occur in such a wide variety of situations and cultures that the feminist explanation is inadequate in itself to help us understand them, and that there are biological bases for sexual differences which have nothing to do with oppressing females but rather with ensuring the safety of communities and the healthy growth of children. . . .
“Now we know that the intricate DNA genetic code makes it possible for the individual to inherit not only simple physical characteristics, such as size, shape and chemical makeup, but also a whole set of propensities for particular social behavior which goes with a given physiology.”
So the genetic code determines more than the physical characteristics that make the two sexes different. It also gives each sex different emotional factors that make them react differently. As a rule women have more tender qualities than men. They are more prone to be sociable, sensitive and considerate. Often they have greater patience.
Why were they created with different physical and emotional traits? Because they have different roles to play.
Where Women Excel
Nowhere is this more evident than in the woman’s role as a mother. Not only has she the physical equipment for giving birth to and feeding the baby, but she has the emotional traits to care for it.
The fact that throughout history people earth wide have seen the necessity and wisdom of having mothers care for babies surely suggests much more than just a male conspiracy. What it clearly shows is that she was created for a different role, but one that makes the woman vital to human society. How vital? Ask yourself: Where would the human family, including you, be without mothers? It would not be at all!
Chomh maith leis sin, mother love, even more than father love, is an absolute necessity for the normal development of babies. Extensive studies of babies raised in orphanages reveal that those who lacked the loving care of mothers suffered damage from which most of them never completely recovered. They were far more likely to grow up with serious emotional, mental and even physical problems.
Dr. Peter Neubauer, director of the Child Development Center in New York, says:
“The love and affection [the child] receives from his mother or a mother-figure, most critically from his birth through age 3, will determine the path of emotional development that will carry him through his life. . . .
“About all we used to say was that a mother should hold her baby while feeding him. Now we know that it is indeed the ‘petting’ (the touching), the ‘joyful faces’ (the sights) and the ‘loving words’ (the sounds), together with the smells and the tastes, that are the urgent requirements of infancy.
“It is the nonsense talk, the singing, the smiling at and the smiling back at, the cuddling, the rocking, the hoisting and the laughing that constitute ‘love and affection.’ . . .
“If something has gone wrong, it becomes increasingly difficult to repair after the age of 3."
Have you ever observed a loving mother with her baby? How obvious it is that she is the superior in giving the baby what it needs in early life! It is not that the father’s role is unimportant, but at the very early stage in the child’s life the mother’s role is the more vital one.
Satisfaction in Filling Role
When women understand and fulfill their role in the family, instead of fighting it, they can get enormous satisfaction. One woman wrote to the Ladies’ Home Journal: “We were created to be different in nature from man but not of lesser value. It is my fondest desire to be feminine, which is my natural role in life, and to encourage my spouse to be more masculine according to his nature.”
A mother wrote: “Speaking personally, my greatest satisfaction in life is the time spent with my husband and the things we do together. But that includes having the children around us, watching them grow up and taking pride in them.”
Another mother commented on the charge that women have an “identity problem.” She said she had none, but instead was viewed with great love, affection and admiration by her husband and two children. She pleaded: “Women, don’t liberate me from all this!"
An article in McCall’s magazine noted: “No matter what any man [or woman] says, the average woman who makes her world a better place for her family to live in accomplishes more than a dozen captains of industry who devote their lives to fabricating steam boilers or manufacturing automatic bacon slicers.”
ach, when a woman has a husband, father or brother who does not understand her role and her needs and who does not treat her right, then she can indeed be unhappy. Very often these are the women seeking liberation.
But just how should a man treat a woman? How, especially, should a husband treat a wife? And is having babies her main role in life?
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