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.