Female mammals are involved in grooming, feeding and affectionate play with their young. Female mammals are always smaller and more nervous than males. This anxiety keeps women at home and close to their children. Women gravitate towards men who can provide protection and lifestyle through earnings or status. Many women consider the tasks of raising children and providing a home the most important achievement of all. Family provides a continuity to the cycle of life and security for old age.
Women have value in society for three main reasons. Firstly, they are valued as a sexual asset by men. Secondly, they are valued as bearers of children. Thirdly they contribute to society by caring for children, the disabled and the elderly. Society honours men’s achievements, not because women’s contribution is not valued but, because we rely on men for defence and survival. Men rarely do this work, which is undervalued and has little status. A woman’s sexuality determines the course of her life much more than a man’s does. A man’s sexuality involves occasional pleasure. Women continue to earn less than men because of their dedication to the family.
Given women represent around half of any population, they should have no difficulty in obtaining equal rights with men. But only a minority of women want these rights and they have to fight against other women’s attitudes as much as men’s. Political activists insist that women can be just as independent and adventurous as men. Of course, they can. But few want to be. Most women are amazed to see a woman do more than cook, clean and care for a family. Any woman who works alongside men, has to be strong enough to assert herself against a majority of men. Most women are happy to settle for a more traditional role. This is natural. Against this background of timidity, men (and a few ego-centric women) are suggesting that every woman is just as motivated by sex and as adventurous as men are.
Women tend to support men’s endeavours rather than initiating their own. So men call the shots. It is this lack of initiative, their unwillingness to take risk and inability to focus one hundred percent on a selfish goal that disadvantages women. These are the characteristics that make men super-rich entrepreneurs and leaders in society. Of course, some women do achieve these goals but they are rare. The women’s liberation movement involves women negotiating with men for special treatment. This demand for special privileges only further convinces men of their superiority. Women always define themselves in male terms. They don’t set the conditions for success in such a way that men might want to emulate women.
Throughout history women have been disadvantaged (compared with men) because of their childbearing role. Once reliable contraception became available, it was proposed that women would start to live their lives as men have always done. Feminists suggested that modern women would reject the traditional female roles of marriage and child-raising. But in reality, most women still base their lives on this traditional model even when they work full-time throughout. Men remain much more independent of the family, taking on travel far from home, more challenging and risky enterprises and are consequently still able to earn more and enjoy the power that brings.
Reliable contraceptive has freed women from the obligation to have children (in the context of their relationships with men) but it has not changed women’s emotional desire to raise children and enjoy affectionate companionship. Most women continue to limit their opportunities for personal success by deciding to raise a family. A woman may be able to persuade a man to help her in this goal but ultimately she wants the control and the responsibility for ensuring that her children get the best care. Men are happy to let women have this role so that they can focus on their own talents that bring them the emotional satisfaction of personal achievement.
We all have different personalities but also different emotional responses (that make relationships more rewarding) and personal confidence (that motivates us to succeed through our own achievements). In general, men do and women talk. A man spends his life with work colleagues and other strangers. He focuses on achieving a goal such as making money. Many women are not motivated to fight and lead as men often do. Not only do they consider these male goals to be irrelevant to women’s lives, they positively prefer spending their lives focused on affectionate companionship in the home. Most women prefer sharing their lives with those they love. A woman’s relationships define her idea of quality of life.
If men and women wanted the same thing there would be no sexual politics. Men and women are at odds because they want different things. Marriage comes with its privileges and obligations. A man’s reward is regular sex. A woman’s reward is caring for those she loves. Our species has been successful reproductively because of men’s sex drive. But equally women have been willing to subjugate themselves sexually and socially to men so that they obtain the support to raise children. Women’s desire for family may not as urgent as male sex drive but it vital to successful reproduction.
A woman doesn’t want sex for the same reasons a man does. A woman enters a new relationship looking for romance and love. Sex comes as a consequence. (Allan & Barbara Pease 1999)