Musings From A Musical Mind

The Great Gender Myth

We are all guilty of doing this. We assume. We tell bad jokes concerning it. We make judgment calls.  I call it – “The Great Gender Myth”

For example: Men do this regarding women all the time. Let’s face it – the only example that men have of woman – is their Mother – and/or their sister and most obviously – their wife. Not that there is anything wrong with these particular examples – but while it is maybe all that man has to base his opinion on – it may be WAY OFF!

My Father-in-law is a great example of this. His mother was Norwegian – thus devoid of most any emotion and was all about “duty” and “appearances”. She was a school teacher – ran a strict household with 3 sons – not “touchy feely” at all. Next – he married a voluptuous “blond” – who was the polar opposite of his mother. She was and is warm and caring – the off the charts “sanguine” personality.

Then came me. When I was introduced into this family some 30 years ago now, I don’t think my future Father-in-law knew what to do with me (still doesn’t). I did NOT fit into his “mold” for how woman should be or how they should act. I was raised to be very independent – not afraid to speak my mind – didn’t live in any man’s shadow. I was and still am – a deep soul who loves a “heavy debate” about life and spiritual issues and can hold my own against any man or woman for that matter!  Every time I would accomplish something difficult – whether it was learning a new computer program – or directing another theater production – he would always have that look on his face that I can read very well now – astonishment and pride, One time many years ago we were discussing something and he made some “crack” about how women are – and I looked right at him and said, ” well I’m a woman – and I’m not like that” or some such thing. It has become the joke in our family that I am most definitely NOT like most woman!  I LOVE a good book – can win at Chess against most any man – and love word games like Scrabble.  I’m also a good cook – love a good cry and I’m very “girly” so it seems I am a “mystery” to most men.

Woman do this about men too.  We only have our own father and brothers as an example growing up – and again most obviously our boyfriend or husband as we are older.  I would say that my father and husband are polar opposites as well.  My father the methodical music professor who believes that everything is better if you just “get your work done” – is a driven and passionate man – full of conviction and “duty” – it was the way he was raised – and there was not very much emotion from the family who raised him – or his biological parents.  My husband couldn’t be more opposite in terms of the family in which he was raised.  His mother just oozed of emotion and warmth and as a result Greg is VERY warm and friendly – not afraid to show emotion – and hugged and kissed our kids and me ALL THE TIME.  But I would say that Greg is much more patient and easy-going than my father is.  Greg doesn’t like to read – only when he HAS to.  He hates to “write” and put himself “out there”.  Too embarrassing.  He’s very private – does not like games or “deep” thinking and conversations – and it was always frustrating to have people “probe” into his inner most thoughts.  He’d rather keep it more surface and keep his feelings more to himself and be guarded.

I had these two examples – so I assumed all men either are very private and driven – or warm and more surface.  I have since found that was a myth.  I have a few guys friends that have blown that myth clear away!  I enjoy discussions with them about God and life in general – enjoy reading their writings and thoughts – and am encouraged, knowing that like-minded people are NOT just of a certain sex.

What myth do you have about men and woman?  Have you met people in your life that have “blown it away”?  Do you see uniqueness in every man and woman, knowing that God made them that way for a reason?  Do you value the people in your life that bring a different awareness that things like intelligence and passion are not gender limited?

Look around you – enjoy the people in your life that God has given you today.  And be encouraged!  God has a wonderful sense of humor and just when you thought you were absolutely right about your own “myth” – you’ll be surprised!  And they may be put in your path to challenge you and bless your life.

God Bless

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Comments on: "The Great Gender Myth" (6)

  1. I like this post; it has a lot of truth in it. However, I must say that it is a stellar example of people’s increasing need to deny categorizations and honest generalizations.
    Not all women/all men are the same. We all vary on scales of sensitivity, emotional strength, intellectual acumen, etc etc etc. Yet parallels can be drawn through a significant amount of people.
    You acknowledge this when you say that you are “very different from other ‘females'”. The simple fact of you being different suggests that there are others who share some “same-ness” that you lack. Even the idea that we are all unique, as JT suggests, unites us under one category.

    Generalizations can be helpful and empowering or detrimental…like walls, which limit and protect. I believe that the trick is to allow for flexibility and realize that even IF someone does fit the mold, there is more to them than the categories that they belong to.

  2. We like to try and keep people and their roles in our preconceived boxes, don’t we? Sometimes we do it through humor, as you point out. Sometimes we do it through prejudice. I am continually amazed at how people defy all our categories. We each really are individually and uniquely made by our Creator. Recognizing that and honoring that is the challenge, isn’t it? I am so amazed at how different my four kids are from one another. My two sons are so different from one another and my two daughters are very different from one another. Learning how God has “wired” them for life is the challenge of parenting – but it is also part of the joy and fun too. This is an important point in all of our relationships, Cindy. Thanks for bringing this up for discussion and consideration.

    • Thanks Ron – my children are so different from each other too – Ashlee has never been dainty or really feminine – but she likes “girly” things – and is different from a lot of young woman – speaks her mind and is VERY black and white! My son Shawn is very musical and also a GREAT athlete! How can you be both and still be a great guy? Well he’s proof that you CAN!! I’m constantly amazed at how I am very different from other “females” in regard to thinking on some subjects – but make NO mistake – I am VERY female!!

  3. I have come to believe that it is dangerous to put people in little boxes, especially these days. God didn’t make cookie cutter people and, while He did create ways to discern truth, He didn’t intend for us to deal with each other based on any set system of classification.

    Each person is a unique creature of God and should be related to in that manner. I’m not what the world would classify as a typical anything and I have yet to encounter anyone who is.

    Each of God’s children is a unique individual all his own and in that way we learn from each other and treasure each other in the things we are able to contribute to one another precisely BECAUSE we are unique!

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