By: Dr Pauline Crawford, International Speaker & Facilitator
If we accept that men and women are different, in terms of an overall gender culture, how do we start to understand the intrinsic differences within each gender? More than that, how do we measure the impact that these differences are having today as women alter, and in some instances all but abandon their historically designated roles as mother, wife and homemaker? Are changes coming due primarily due to generational variations, cultural pressures or sexual overlays? Is it because of religion or ethnicity? Interestingly, all of those things would, in my opinion, potentially lead to explosive and undesirable outcomes.
In my experience, in most parts of the world, men and women want to be successful, but for different reasons. It is critical to raise the awareness surrounding gender differences not just in nature, behavior, talents and skills, but with regard to desires and visions for each gender. Ask women what they mean by success and more often than not they will site personal values first – e.g. family, health and peace – rather than personal wealth and recognition.
Taking a look at the shifts occurring throughout the business world – men and women confronting the obvious biases held by each – I looked back on my own journey to help establish a point of reference. I started by tracing the core DNA of Gender Dynamics© through observations I had made and noted regarding the variables that come into play when men and women interact. I realized that there were men who exhibited very masculine characteristics (I began referring to them as MM), and there were men who freely exhibited characteristics that would normally be regarded as feminine (I classified this group as FM). There were women, obviously, who displayed highly feminine traits (I denoted these women as FF) and there were other women who displayed some traits that appeared more masculine in nature (and I characterized them as MF). Here at last I found my true nature. My tom-boy essence came to rest as a grown up mature woman. The overlay that I have created can help us understand such diverse factors as generation shifts, cultural divergence, religious codes, sexual distinctions and preferences as well as the rapid changes occurring in the global community where men and women have got in a tangled mis-understanding and dis-regard. It must be noted, at this point, that my codification of the above traits are in no way indicative of one’s sexual orientation.
In summary, I can confidently say my own research shows there are some core similarities among all men, and likewise among all women, stemming from our biological essence, and across whatever age, culture, sexual preference we are or where in this world we are brought up. To elucidate: men are the hunter/gatherers, think in boxes, one at a time… and part of their biological function is to impregnate women. Women are the center of the family are biologically geared to nurture and care for their family and surroundings. Whatever choices men and women make to expand their life in the creation of their wealth, the woman, if she chooses, will always bear the baby and take on the major family care role. It’s in our hormones and even when women are more masculine minded MF, as I am, and we strive for a career without regret, the emotional maternal core will raise it’s gentle head. Some men may take the home-father role but they are still not nearly a majority influence. Even Y Generation couples who are more evenly sharing their lives in employment, income and social activities, still leave more of the caring duties to the woman. It’s natural, it’s nature. It now lines up against a natural urge for women to be in business, to be independent and successful as much as any man and still have a man in her life who she can partner on life’s journey. We want it all! I believe that the world needs to recognize and applaud core gender differences and the influence these have on our lives especially when women go forth into a men’s world or both genders champion ‘gender equality’ without regard for our biological make-up.
What biology cannot be held accountable for is all the evolved bias and quite myriad stressful differences and blind-spots that exist and have existed between men and women for centuries. I’m talking about the differences that are at the epicenter of the ongoing debate raging between genders. The record clearly shows that men and women struggle with innate bias, imposed stereotypes, invoking human rights issues … disputes nearly as old as time itself. One of my objectives has been to provide a lens through which to examine and evaluate the domestic and professional shifts and conflicts between men and women in any situation. I have been able to do this and, as changes continue to occur and disrupt the ebb and flow of society, I continue to refine it. I will reveal the map in my next blog.