June 4, 2013

Gender difference is more than skin-deep

As if you didn't know this!  But seriously this is a very basic issue of a lack of understanding or misunderstanding that is at the root of much of the problems our societies face. As the basic unit of society, the family is what makes society; weak and fragmented families auger for a weak and fragmented society. 

Why do these family issues arise we all ask? It’s because marriages break and even in many cases that don’t, many endure in such anxiety that it seems criminal to bear such misery. Islam of course has such a wonderful leeway given to allay the turmoil and seek other ways. But within many cultures in our world, families keep on living the life of agony just because society would baulk at family break-ups. But why are these cases of unbridgeable difference? Some would say that nothing is really unbridgeable if we step back and observe what's going on. The one in the crowd can only see the way of the crowd. We just need to step back to take time to observe with some detachment. 

Men and women are not just physically different but mentally different too. The physical we can't do much about it and perhaps we don't want to tamper with it either. But the mental dimension is where the real issue is. Actually all our issues in life arise from the mental condition -- the "we are what we think" paradigm. It is said that women are right brained which means they are more the imagining and feeling type whereas men are left brained and thus the logical and set in their logical ways type. Both these have to result in a compromise if life is to go on in harmory. To the degree that it does not indicates the mismatch or the inability to accommodate each other. How was it that the courting days saw harmony and then overtime many marriages became situations of suffering? Yes, somewhere that accommodating spirit had died. The novelty, infatuation or love that was must have evaporated.

But salvage is always possible -- when we can know this differing types of minds we live with and attempt to observe how our inner selves have developed over time to envelope us in cultural sensibilities such as male chauvinism, labeling, stereotyping, cast-bound pigeon-holing, etc that have come to characterize how we and society see ourselves. In this bound up and opinionated mindset, our gender differences will continue to keep us in misery unabated. We can build bridges unto ourselves for sure! --- by attempting to do so not across physical boundaries but across the mental. 

Society can improve only with better stronger families and that can happen only when spouse bridge those differences by learning to respect each other.

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