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Friday, 23 March 2018

Men vs Women - Who has it easier?

Trick question; I don’t think men or women have their lives easier or non-easier. Some things both are at an advantage and disadvantage on, and they all depend on the person; their wealth, social class, what country they live in, their educational background, etc. But for the sake of this post, generalisations will be made because it’s impossible to measure every single person in the world.
Ok, so some areas where women have it harder:

Menstruation and giving birth. However, periods aren’t that big a deal – you get used to them, and some birth control stops them, and if you get bad cramps there are medications you can take. I think some girls whinge a bit about the hardships of periods but once you're used to them they're not that bad. Moreover, the average woman is only going to give birth maybe once or twice in her lifetime, if at all, and after the first one you already know what to expect regarding the pain.

Being more ‘emotional.’ Women are generally more emotional than men because of our hormonal cycle and brain wiring, and experience depression more than men, although men are more likely to commit suicide. Historically women have been kept out of politics for fear of being too 'emotional' and 'irrational' to handle big decisions. Being emotional isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it's meant that men have been the ones in power because they're naturally more resilient and apt to making decisions. NOW OF COURSE there are plenty of emotionally resilient women and emotionally unstable men; I think Thatcher was probably too emotionless. Being kind, sensitive and caring are great traits and men also exhibit them, and there are plenty of female politicians and lawyers and business women doing professions that traditionally require logic over emotion and creativity. (Why is it male artists and writers are often stereotyped to be gay?)

Higher statistics of getting raped or sexually assaulted, as well as cat-called on the street and groped in clubs. That is a fact no one can deny. In India and Middle Eastern countries, rates of female gang rape is appalling, and rapists tend to get away with it or blame the woman for being out late at night. Because women are physically weaker than men, we're more vulnerable and at a physiological disadvantage if attacked or assaulted by a man. Unfortunately this is a biological state that we can't change, however women can learn ways to defend themselves or avoid dangerous situations.

Women in high powered jobs will often have to make the ‘career vs motherhood’ decision depending on how flexible their career is. Their boss may not want to hire them or assume they may leave their job to have children. This is a difficult but a realistic fact. Women should pursue careers (if they want to), but if you want to have a family as well you are going to have to decide how to balance things out; taking time off and letting your partner do all the work whilst you stay home with the children. This isn’t sexism, its reality. Contrarily, the man could instead stay home with the children, however as later mentioned society tends to frown upon 'house-husbands.'

Sexuality. Young girls are taught to not 'give up their virginity' by parents, teachers and general society, but then boys want girls who put out, and then if a girl does put out she's considered a slut by the same guys who have sex with her...bloody hell. It seems that when it comes to being female regarding sex there's no winning; if you don't have sex your boyfriend can pressure you into it, if you do you'll get ostracised later by being called a whore for simply enjoying your sexuality, and whilst a man can have many partners and get congratulated for it, a woman is looked down upon for it and in some cultures viewed as 'dirty' or 'unclean.'

Third-World Treatment. In non-western continents like Africa, Asia and South America, young girls are expected to do all of the house work whilst the boys can laze around doing nothing, or they get to do fun stuff like shoot stones at birds. Sure I'm exaggerating a little, and one does wonder to what extent it's 'oppression of women' or 'difference in gender roles.' However, something repeatedly ignored by Western feminists is the treatment of women under Sharia Law. Sharia Law in Islam condones the treatment of women as second-class citizens to men, forcing them to wear hijabs and not allowing them to go out without a man. A woman can get raped or beaten up by her husband and is not supposed to complain about it. It's no coincidence that the most dangerous countries in the world to be a woman are ones that have a large Islamic influence.

And now where men have it harder:

Men have historically been expected to do all of the work. All of the ‘heavy lifting’ professions – security, construction, warfare, engineering, mechanics, repair work and manual labour, building, delivering – men have always and still are doing more of this. Men spend longer hours at work and are less likely to take days off which is where the 'pay gap' hails from. Naturally this is because men are physically stronger than women. It also means that if a man wants to stay at home with his children while his wife works, society looks down on him and sees him as ‘lazy’ because he’s the man and is supposed to be ‘in charge' and 'provide.' Once again we're back to biological programming of men being the providers, but if asked, how many guys would actually like to be able to relax while their wife did all the work?

Likewise, men are expected to provide financially, which is another heavy burden on them. Nowadays a lot of women (including myself) would prefer to split the bill, but rarely will you have the woman offering to pay for everything – it’s more likely the man is expected to or offers to.
(I think this should be more of a question of economics; if one person is wealthier than the other or has a full-time job whilst the other is a student or unemployed or works a low paid job, than it makes economic sense for the other person to pay more when dating. I do think that long-term its healthier for a couple to split finances if both are earning their own income).

Emotional repression. As mentioned, it's a biological fact that women are more emotional than men, however simultaneously because of this its ignored that men also have feelings and do need to express them. It's similar to stating that its a biological fact that men have a higher sex drive than women, however ignores the fact that women also need and love sex. Both genders feel the same things, we just feel and express them in different contexts and levels. And at the end of the day, it all comes back to the individual - my sex drive is probably higher than that of some guys.

Gay men are more frowned upon than gay women. Women tend to be freer with each other – kissing, hugging, complimenting etc – and most people don’t really care, again because we're the more 'emotional' sex so it's allowed. But if men did that with other men their sexuality would be questioned. No one minds that much if a woman is a tomboy, but if a guy is ‘effeminate’ suddenly he’s a sissy and a pussy and a faggot. That's pretty disrespectful also to women, as it’s almost assuming the worst insult for a man is to be compared to a woman.

The overall point is that when looking at both genders, things are difficult on both sides. It really depends on your point of view and where in the world you live. They’ll be no peace between the genders if all we do is pit each other against one another. Better to find the middle ground: life sucks no matter what you have downstairs.

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I'm Zarina Macha, an author, blogger, and musician from London. I write about stuff on the internet 'cos having opinions is fun -- if you want to join the games, please note your thoughts below. All thoughts welcome, even if they're mean (just no spam links please -- can't tell you what a liability those are to remove).
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