I have to admit that for the most part, I believe that women should have the same rights and privileges as a man. However, I understand that there are biological differences between females and males, which separate us into two unique genders. For example, I can’t play on a NFL team even though I love football, obviously I don’t have the physiological make-up that is needed (plus I am way too old). Men on the other hand are not biologically able to take on the tough task of childbirth. Even though these are two very rudimentary examples of gender differences, the bottom line is we do differ in a number of ways both physiologically and psychologically.
I was thinking about gender differences as I read Hanna Rosin’s article The Chase Ways of Female Politicians in The Wall Street Journal. The essence of the article is that women politicians will eventually become more like men when it comes to having illicit affairs. The author believes that the only reason it has not yet occurred as frequently is because women politicians are afraid of getting caught and being drummed out of office. Rosin posits that eventually powerful women are going to act just like powerful men – “vein, entitled, always looking for more.”
Reading this, I wanted to move into total denial and say no way will women ever be like Weiner or Sanford or Spitzer. After all women have been given the God given gifts of being relational and nurturing and caring about the family unit. However I know she is probably right. We are hearing more and more stories of women casting aside concerns for their family so that they can please their own desires.
I sit here shaking my head wondering what is happening to our gender when we care more about our own needs than our relationship with those we love? When our immediate pleasure is more important than the lives that will be destroyed in the wake of selfish acts, such as an affair. When we think it is okay to abandon our responsibilities, because it is now the way of the world.
As I was contemplating Rosin’s article, I thought of a Facebook acquaintence who has recently left her husband. I don’t know what all has transpired between her and her husband, nor do I need to know. I do know that she and her husband are splitting the care of their children.
Since leaving her husband, she periodically post pictures on Facebook of herself and a male friend having a great time together. I wonder if she has thought of the long-term consequences these pictures may have on her young children if they happen to see them. From studying and teaching educational psychology and human development, I have a good hunch that the children would be puzzled over why mommy likes to be with those strangers and not them. Why she seem to have so much fun with this man and her other friends, but not with them and daddy? Their likely conclusion is that mommy probably does not love them as much as she does her friends. If I had a true friendship with this young woman and we could have a thoughtful discussion, I would ask her if the possibility of her children seeing the pictures on Facebook is worth the few moments of pleasure she gets from posting them?
I am thankful that in the U.S. women have the same rights and privileges as men. However, I caution all of us to stop and remember that with rights and privileges comes a lot of responsibility. Let’s use it wisely.
What is a Think Through? it is an idiom that conveys the meaning of carefully considering possibilities and outcomes of a situation.
Today’s Think Through: In her article, Rosin sites economist Catherine Hakim who believes that sexiness and charisma acts as “erotic capital’ for women and helps them to be more successful in the marketplace. What do you think?