Today, there is a growing trend in society to treat everyone the same or equally; on the surface, this sounds fair; even a necessary change from previously popular worldviews. Unfortunately, when society tries to apply this newfound principle of treating everyone the same we run into a much bigger problem; people are not the same. It seems like an obvious fact, everyone can easily look around and see that people are different; race, gender, culture and values and so on; yet, there is a notion that to treat people fairly we must treat them the same. Society needs to accept the differences amongst people, embrace that people are created uniquely and should find uses that they can serve best. The biggest difference that is being undermined today is between men and women. The difference between men and women is vital for them to optimize each genders usefulness.
“With respect to [men’s] employment, reason sees that it has to do with things involving the intellect, or things in which the intellect predominates, most of which are occupational and are directed towards serving the public. With respect to his behavior, reason sees that his customary habits all stem from a predominance of the intellect. Consequently, the actions of his life, meant by behavior, are directed by reason – or if they are not, he wants them to appear so. A masculine exercise of reason is also visible in his every virtue.” (Conjugial Love 90)
This quote describes traits of men and what it means to be masculine, it speaks about how these traits shouldn’t be difficult to identify. From this, we can see that there are distinct masculine traits, why does this matter, we might ask. The distinction matters, for men to reach their full potential and be at their most useful, they must use the skills and traits they are proficient in.
“For there are special kinds of knowledge peculiar to clergymen, to civil officers, to their various officials, to judges, to physicians and pharmacists, to soldiers and sailors, to craftsmen and workmen, to farmers, and so on. To intellectual wisdom belong also all the fields of study to which adolescents are introduced in schools, and through which they are afterwards led into intelligence; and these studies are also called by various names, such as philosophy, physics, geometry, mechanics, chemistry, astronomy, law, political science, ethics, history, and many more, through which, as through gates, one enters into intellectual pursuits, from which comes intellectual wisdom.” (Conjugial Love 163)
This is a rather extensive list that helps illustrate distinct uses of men and it is important to keep these uses distinct and exclusive to men.
“With respect to the employment of the female, it can be seen that it has to do with things that are works of the hands and are called sewing, needlework, and other names, which serve for decoration, for her personal adornment, and for enhancing her beauty. Also, that it has to do as well with various tasks called domestic, which complement the tasks of men. Women do these things out of an inclination towards marriage, in order to become wives and so one with their husbands.” (Conjugial Love 91)
This quote describes how women are most useful when they tend towards domestic uses and supporting their husbands. “Conjugial love is implanted in every woman from creation, and together with it a love of procreating – a love which is directed to and centers on the offspring produced, and which is conveyed from women to men.” (Conjugial Love 409) Women are designed from birth to be loving, empathetic and desire to be mothers. This is beautiful, there is a use that only women can do properly, and it should be respected,
admired and a protected use distinctly for women.
Men and women can do all the same things; is often an idea that often surfaces when discussing different uses for men and women. It is true that men and women can do almost all the same uses and perhaps some men can do a feminine job better than some females or vise versa. However, the real question is: Should men and women focus on uses that are not specific to their gender? Simple answer, no. Most research proves that homes with a mom present increase the children’s academics and social accomplishments. Jobs that have a high physical demand are better suited for men because on average men are more physically capable. Again, this is not to say that women cannot be as physically capable as men; however, their talents are put to better use elsewhere. The best question to illustrate this dilemma is: why were two genders created if they
are the same? It seems ridiculous to point this distinction out as it should be obvious when phrased like that. There must be a distinction between the two genders or what is the point? It follows then that for the two distinct genders there are distinct roles they can and should fulfill.
“It is owing to this original formation that a male is born intellect-oriented and that a female is born will-oriented, or in other words, that a male is born with an affection for knowing, understanding and becoming wise, while a female is born with a love for joining herself to that affection in the male. Furthermore, because interior qualities form the exterior ones to their likeness, and the masculine form is a form of the intellect while the feminine form is a form of the love of the intellect, therefore the male has a different look, a different sound, and a different physique from the female. Namely, he has a tougher look, a rougher sound, and a stronger physique, and moreover his lower face is bearded. In general, he has a less beautiful form than the female. The two sexes also differ in behavior and manners. In short, nothing in the two sexes is the same, although there is nevertheless a capacity for conjunction in every detail. Indeed, masculinity in the male is masculine in every part, even in the least part of his body, and also in every idea of his thought, and in every bit of his affection. So, too, with femininity in the female. And because one cannot as a consequence be converted into the other, it follows that after death a male is still male, and that a female is still female.” (Conjugial Love 33)
It is amazing how much men and women differ and how many in society still try to make them conform to being
the same. Women should be proud of their differences from men and embrace that they can perform uses that are unique to their gender. Men should be proud in their differences from women and also embrace the uses they can perform that women can’t or shouldn’t. Society will benefit if people of both genders celebrate their differences by performing their distinct uses.
2 thoughts on “Men and Women Are Different”
Thanks very much for this thought-provoking article, Denali! It’s so true, in one breath we, as women in the larger society, try to make men & women as equal and even as possible, and yet – especially as New Church women – we know that each gender has its unique differences, and for good reason. I loved the way you stated it: “The best question to illustrate this dilemma is: why were two genders created if they are the same?” 😀 Such a good point! That’s a puzzlement, for sure. Thanks for this!
Thanks, Denali, for this straight-forward presentation of the Lord’s Truths.
Comments are closed.