The battles in our culture wars often mystify me. The testosterone v. estrogen title Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, besides being non-chivalrous by putting men first, sums up one culture war where battles are often fought. What mystifies me is that I think there’s nothing to fight about. I’m a unisex kind of guy—I open doors for anyone, although I’m getting to the age where anyone under fifty should open the door for me. That age also means that people should offer me a seat on the train or bus, but I’ll often go the other way just to be nice. Mom called it being a gentleman.
While race has little to do with the feminine and masculine mystique, Rodney King’s question echoes here too: “Why can’t we just get along?” Respect for fellow human beings should be a habit, independent of race or ethnicity, religious preferences (or lack thereof), sexual orientation, most political beliefs (where guns and knives aren’t used to proselytize), and gender. That’s the creed my parents practiced, and I have never considered changing it.
So, let’s talk about some of my other related personal beliefs. I believe women are better grounded in reality for the most part, quick-reacting but less emotional about most issues, not afraid of showing their emotions when it’s appropriate, and often more intelligent and often better at using their smarts than men. I’m also the first to admit that I benefitted from men being in control in my old day-job, but I commiserated with female scientists, programmers, and technicians as they struggled to rise in that testosterone-rich environment, and I have always enjoyed working with women of all ages.