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Gender Differences Don't Have to Be Obstacles to a Good Relationship

Updated on July 7, 2013

Preface

I never would have guess that in 2012, we would still need to talk about gender differences but here we are. It's only my opinion but I think there is still a problem with men and women understanding each other and respecting the things that make them different. And, I happen to think that if we could find that respect and understanding, things would be a lot better between us.

There are distinctive differences in our genders for a reason and those differences can be our greatest strength, if we just understand them. So, let's talk about them.

A little background

My interest in the issue of male and female roles began many years ago when I began to realize that my own spiritual beliefs were derived from many philosophies. In my desire to better understand the concept of “God”, I delved into a variety of spiritual belief systems. Although raised in a Christian home, I never fully accepted the bullying that is prevalent in many Christian churches. Fear-based religion just never made sense to me. Please understand that I have never questioned the existence of God but I couldn't wrap my brain around what God really was. I couldn't squeeze the concept of God into a box. I couldn't give it (God) shape or texture or gender or race. I couldn't describe God, so I began my quest to learn more.

Today, I am most comfortable with the concepts of Native American spirituality. It resonates in my core better than any other religion I have studied. It is simple and straightforward but the primary reasons I am drawn to it are:

  • At its core is earth stewardship and respect for all living things.
  • The Creator has given us a beautiful world in which to exist and we have a responsibility to care for it.
  • The foundation of Native American spirituality is being responsible for one’s actions and their impact on the next seven generations.
  • In practice, it is deeply rooted in ceremony which forces one to set aside the daily worries and pray.
  • In practice it is a religion that honors the different Creator (God) given gifts of men, women, children, and even the affirmed and, recognizing that we are each unique and an integral part of the circle of life.

What I know is that the Creator (God) is bigger than my capacity to understand. Therefore, I just simply believe.


Opinion

In my opinion, many of the problems in our society today stem from a culture that has lost sight of the unique gifts of each gender. Our lifestyle has spawned at least two generations of men and women who compete with each other rather than walking side by side in unity and strength for the good of the family and, our world. At some point in time men and women began looking at each other as competition rather than as a compliment to each other. Instead of honoring their differences, they allowed that competition to divide them. We are weaker as a people as a result.

So let’s talk about the primary gifts given by the Creator to each gender and see if we can open a dialogue that leads to a greater understanding and ultimately, a better world. Before I begin, let’s be clear. No gender is less strong or less important than the other.

The Gift Given To Women

What could be more sacred than to bring new life into the world? It is the highest honor and it was given to women, not men, by the Creator (God). Bringing forth new life is like preparing a garden. Life begins with a natural preparation that takes place each month when a women’s body prepares her womb by the cleansing power of her moon time (menstrual period). But a long time ago women began to see this time as a curse; a time when the natural cycle interferes with the rhythm of her lifestyle. It became something to be controlled by medicine or ignored with the modern conveniences of devices that absorb the flow and then allow it to be discarded like any other piece of trash.

In traditional societies, women who were on their moon (menstrual period), were considered to be so powerful that they were not allowed to prepare food, take care of the family, or participate in ceremonies. A woman’s moon was a sacrifice. It was the price she paid for the gift of being able to bring life into the world. And, its power was considered so strong that it would steal power from the most sacred things around her. During her moon, a woman was often taken to a special lodge where she was allowed to sit in prayer while the cleansing took place and her blood returned to Mother Earth. It was a ceremony of cleansing and restoration. While the woman was in the moon lodge, other women would pamper and groom her; allowing her to concentrate on her prayers. It was a time of rest and honoring the sacred.

The Gift Given To Men

We all know that women cannot make new life alone. The Creator (God) made men and women as compliments to each other so for men to participate in the creation of life, men were given sperm. It did not come without a price though. Men too must make a sacrifice in honor of the gift of his role in bringing life into the world. Thus, man was given strength and a ceremony, the sweat lodge ceremony. In the sweat lodge, men would sacrifice through the pores of his skin (sweating) to honor his ability to contribute to bringing new life into being. As a man sacrificed his sweat and prayers his body was cleansed and he became stronger in mind, body, and spirit; more able to provide for his family. This was a man’s role to protect and provide for his family and spiritually, for the next seven generations.

Fast Forward to Today

So how can we apply these traditional beliefs today to make us a better society and to ensure a better world for the next seven generations? If we changed nothing but our attitudes it would be a good start.

Women who see their moon (menstrual period) as a curse, will respond psychologically to her moon in a negative way and may not even be aware. But those around her often are. I have seen and experienced the difference that takes place when a woman changes her attitude and begins to honor her moon cycle as the gift it is – a sacred gift. When a woman takes time during her moon to pamper herself, get more rest, eat healthier, and pray more, her energy changes and in many cases, her cycle will be altered as well. A woman who normally bleeds heavily may see her flow become much lighter. The cramps that she might normally experience may disappear or at least become less painful or last for a shorter time. She will begin to feel more feminine and more powerful and less interested in competing with men because she is confident and complete in her spirit.

Men, who begin to understand the importance of their role in bringing life into the world oftentimes, become more masculine, just in the knowledge. A man, who will sacrifice through some ceremony or prayer, will grow in his confidence and self-worth and will become a better partner or husband. The ceremony may be a 5 mile run or an hour in the woods. It may be a support group of other men. The choice is his but it is crucial to set aside some time for prayer and to honor the gift. A man who does this will be a better father. He will be a better provider and ultimately, a better man. He will understand and respect himself as one who has a responsibility to the future generations and will no longer feel that he has something to prove to other men or, women. Who he has become will be evident to all around him. He has honored the gift and made a sacrifice in gratitude.

Why is it important?

We lead by example. Our children mimic us. If a child is brought up in an environment of competitiveness between his parents, he will repeat that in his own relationships. A young girl who hears her mother complain or go to bed sick every month when her moon comes will repeat it. And then, another generation will carry on a negative behavior that could have been turned in a more positive and healthy direction.

The point is...

Women, we don’t have to be like men. We don’t have to be like each other. We are perfectly beautiful as we are. We don’t have to do men’s work to prove we’re strong. We prove that in childbirth. We don’t have to have the biggest house or the most expensive clothes to be successful. We are successful when our child’s temperature is back to normal because we were up all night doing sponge baths. We don’t have to feel bad when our moon comes. We just need to whisper “thank you for this gift” and then eat a chocolate or take a bubble bath. We are incredible beings who have the strength and courage to push life from within us and the tenderness to kiss away a boo-boo. We have the capacity to be bright, articulate, funny, and a force to be reckoned with. There is no competition that can threaten us. We were given the ultimate gift. Appreciate and honor it!

Men, you don’t need to feel superior or inferior to women. You are different but equal. The Creator made sure of it. You have a different job to do. Do it well. Provide for your family. Be an example to your children. Be loyal and supportive of their mother and let the children see you cry. There is no shame in tears. Teach them compassion by being compassionate. Teach them to face a challenge with confidence, not with arrogance. You are just as responsible for the children as your wife. She could not have done it with you. Own it.

We are equal partners in this thing called life.

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Comments

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  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you toknowinfo! I have felt passionately about this for many years and honestly do think it is part of what is wrong in our society today. Both men and women are awesome creations who need each other. Thanks for visiting!

  • toknowinfo profile image

    toknowinfo 4 years ago

    This is a wonderful hub and I totally agree with what you have written. I have always viewed the differences of men and women from an evolutionary point. I think we have maternal instincts that men just are not born with and can't learn. We were created differently for a purpose by nature. Thanks for sharing this article. I am glad you wrote it.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    hey, I'm thrilled to be there. It's actually pretty great.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Oh, lordy goshen, now you're making me feel older than I am!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna - cronehood is good! :-)

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Great hub, Linda. Men and women are indeed different. We would not have been created anatomically different if our portals weren't meant to serve specific physical functions. Perhaps women have been expected, thus allowed to be more emotional than men as the result. However, taking away the physical functions unique to each, we are the same in spirit and soul. That is what has been lost. Actually, I don't think it's ever been discovered because women have been and are stilled suppressed by society. Our differences make us unique; make life interesting. Our similarities are what need to be recognized.

    Great thoughts, Linda!

    P.S. I don't know what it says about me, but I'm glad the moon in my life is now something to be viewed and not felt! tee hee!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Carol7777, you brought a giggle to my world today. I so agree that men should be different emotionally. lol

    Thanks so much for your kind remark. I had thought about this hub for so long and am glad that it is finally written and receiving such nice comments.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    Beautifully written with great thought. Men are so different and competing is futile. I am glad they are different emotionally.. two in the house like me..not soooo good.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks Mhatter99! I agree about the 1+1=2. I do hope that others find this one valuable. I believe every word I wrote. Thanks for your faithfulness in reading my hubs. It means a lot.

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    This is such a valuable hub! As I'm sure you are aware, when it come to men and women 1+1 rarley equal 2. But for those luck couples who see and understand the potentials the union is endless.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Junko - you are a good man! I agree with you about taking care of the gifts you are given and they will be returned to you. Thanks for being here.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    rcrumble, you are such fun! All the men in my life have an overactive glad in the neck, I think. The story of what you helped your wife accomplish is so touching. My Dad did the same thing for my Mom so I am especially fond of your story. You are absolutely correct about the economy. It sad that more families can't chose to have one parent stay at home until the kids are a bit older. My Mom was a stay-at-home Mom and although we didn't have a lot, we had the one two best things - supervision and love. Thank you so much for reading my hub and sharing your story.

  • junko profile image

    junko 4 years ago

    My children and their childre are the only people on earth that would not be on earth if I died at birth. They are truly God's Gift to my wife and I. I believe that if you take good care of God's Gift you will be Cared for physically and spiritually.

  • rcrumple profile image

    Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

    Linda -

    I figure as soon as I get done writing, the fury and wrath will follow. I tend to open the door, at times. lol

    Personally, I love your hub! It's not because it put either men or women "in their place", but because it demonstrates each have a place to call home should they decide to visit. Unfortunately, our society has become so dependent upon the two income household, that many of the factors men faced for years are now facing women. A person tends to become what they learn from. Again, many of the business practices of today originated decades ago... by men. It's only natural for a woman to follow suit.

    When I married my wife, she was the typical, stay at home, delicate little woman. I knew that if something happened to me, she would need a whole lot more "toughness" to survive, and worked to help her develop in that area. No, I didn't try to mold or remake her (as some might accuse), I only wanted her to be able to handle life and all it threw at her without having to depend on marrying the first guy that came around to survive. She recognizes how much stronger she is and feels good about her strengths. Her confidence level has grown tremendously, and she can take on the world at the drop of a hat. Yet, she's still my wife, and the love of my life.

    Besides, there's only one area where a man was ever superior to a woman, anyway. Men are born with a little gland in the back of our necks that allow us to decide if a TV program is any good in 1/122 of a second! That's why we demand control of the TV remote! lol Loved your hub! Great Job!

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you Faith. I'm ready for them if they come. lol

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    Linda,

    I really do not know why any darts would come your way dear one, as Bill has stated here. This is a very beautifully expressed write, as we are all very different and unique, as He has made us so. And to me, that is what makes this so lovely. Well, I am sure you know how to put on that full armor of God just in case, but I do not believe it will be necessary at all. No fear dear!

    God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh Bill, have you simplified to the point that you have forgotten the feminist movement? Or, the boys at the pub who boast of beating their little women into submission. Or, the crowd in the board room, both men and women, who all think they've got more than the other? lol They're still out there and I am sure I will hear from them. But I believe every word I've written so....let em' bring it on.

    You and Faith have fed my soul so I'm so much better than ok. Thank you!!!!

    Wishing you sunny skies and peace too!

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I'm not sure why you would receive criticism for this hub; I thought it was beautiful, especially your last paragraph. Lovely job with a great parallel track about the Native American culture and belief system.

    We are different; we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I love the message here, Linda! Well done!

    Have a great weekend my friend!

    bill

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oh Faith, I have been thinking about this one for a long time and wanted so badly to do it well. Thank you so much for your lovely comments and support of this one. I'm waiting for the darts to be thrown. You however, have made my day. Blessings to you too!

  • Faith Reaper profile image

    Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

    What an outstanding hub you have written dear one!!! I agree with all of it. Warning, this may cause one's thoughts to be provoked. Excellent, excellent on so many levels. Yes, own it! We are all beautiful, as we are all made in His image, but He did create us men and women, differently, for a reason. Voted Way Up to the Heavens, except funny. God bless you. In His Love, Faith Reaper