Ignoring Traditional Gender Roles Will Ruin Your Life
Men and women are not interchangeable.
On Twitter, there’s a woman named H. Pearl Davis who does sort of a “female champion of males” schtick. At least I assume it’s schtick, but who really knows these days, right? She managed to set off a Twitter-wide firestorm with this tweet:
She aptly followed up with a number of tweets defending her position:
Naturally, this produced lots of snarky comments and debate because her tweet, while not literally correct, torpedoed a dearly held, but untrue belief many people in our society have. That being…
“Men and women are essentially interchangeable and if there’s any difference, it’s that women may be a little better.”
So, let’s get to the “not literally correct” part first because it’s important to get that out of the way.
Men and women are complimentary. It’s Yin and Yang.
Throughout history until recent decades, Yang worked, fought, protected, and provided order, strength, and leadership. He was valued for his physical prowess, status, wealth, skills, and masculinity. Yin had the children, took care of them, managed the home, and provided compassion, nurturing, and care. She was valued for her beauty and femininity.
Not only can Yin and Yang not reproduce without each other, but a great deal of what makes life worth living is tied up in the other. It’s technically true that a man-only world could maintain the infrastructure of society orders of magnitude better than a woman-only society, but what would the point of continuing to exist without women be for another few decades? Let that sweet meteor of… uh… gender death, I guess? Let it hit us all at the same time.
Now, here’s the rub. In modern society, we no longer have the same rigid rules humans did throughout most of history. Careers are just as accessible to women as men. Men don’t feel as much pressure to be masculine, in part because so many formerly masculine tasks can now be farmed out to other men. Women are in many cases, actively discouraged from being feminine. If you don’t believe me and you’re a woman, go on a website like Twitter or Facebook and talk about how much you love taking care of your man and your house. Making him a sandwich, cleaning the house, taking care of the house and legions of swarming harpies will go out of their minds on your timeline.
What they’ll advocate instead is something like, “Get a career,” be a “boss babe” and “Have it all.” Meanwhile, the increasingly competitive nature of the modern world has led a lot of men to give up without a fight. Their attitude is, “Why work so hard to make something of myself when I can never measure up to the cream of the crop? Why not just distract and relax myself into oblivion instead? I won’t get what I want, but at least it’ll be easy and tolerable.”
Granted, there are a lot of different factors at play, but it’s interesting to note that these changes don’t seem to be making people happier. Certainly, there’s data that shows this:
But since there are so many factors at play, it’s also worth asking about some particular groups that embody these particular changes in our society. Do feminists strike you as happy people? Incels? The “I don’t know what my gender or my sexuality is today” gender-bender crowd? Do women seem to yearn for more masculine men or are they searching for feminized “feminist allies?” Have you ever heard of “hoeflation?”
Now, you might think this is the part where you’re going to get told that everyone should go back to the rigid archetypes of the past. Women, quit your jobs, put on an apron, get barefoot in the kitchen, and start baking pies for your man. Men, go change the oil in your car, chop some wood, hunt an animal down, kill it, skin it, and take it home for your woman to prepare while preparing to fend off a Comanche attack. The truth is that it’s not possible to go back because the horse is out of the barn, the cat is out of the bag, and we don’t have a time machine.
That being said, men and women have consistently filled these roles in society not just for decades, not just for centuries, but for millennia. There’s a reason for that. It’s not arbitrary. It’s not some meaningless social construct. It’s a result of different incentives. Of physical AND MENTAL differences between the genders. Like it or not, just like all the other animals out there, men and women have programming that has been expressed through the way that we’ve behaved since the beginning of recorded history:
Does anyone really think they’re going to turn away from human nature and abandon the roles their ancestors have played for thousands of generations without paying a huge price for it?
You may say, “Sure! Because the world has changed! We’re smarter and better than our ancestors!”
Are we really? We certainly have more advanced technology. Taller buildings. Better entertainment. But 99% of us wouldn’t last a month in their world. We’d starve to death, be eaten by tigers, or get stoned to death for witchcraft after telling villagers that we should be the ones in charge because we’re from the future. Yes, we may know how to drive a car or operate a computer while they wouldn’t know those things, but who would be more in touch with the earth? Their bodies? Their instincts? Their natural inclinations? Us or them? Clearly, it would be them. You might think we’re morally superior to them, but even that’s doubtful. Morals go in and out of style and both our ancestors and future generations are likely to regard things we’re doing with the same level of repulsion that we hold for slavers or soldiers that thought it was normal and fun to rape women in cities they conquered.
We do know more than our ancestors, but that has just made us arrogant and given us a false sense of security about the foolish things we do and believe.
Also, consider the incentives we have in our society.
Is there any man who regrets being masculine? No, because masculine men are more attractive to women and get more respect from other men. Men who produce, accumulate wealth, have high status, are tough, muscular, and confident will have the best mates, will be treated with the most deference by other men, and will generally feel better about themselves. No guy is sorry that he became a millionaire or that he can do reps with 225 pounds on the bench press. The same goes for the most feminine, attractive women.
The king of male social media is arguably Mr. Beast. He has 162 million YouTube subscribers because he does things like help 1,000 deaf people hear or films himself being buried alive for 50 hours. The king of female social media is Kim Kardashian. She has 361 million Instagram followers. She has become a household name, TV star, and make-up billionaire primarily on the strength of being very attractive and having lots of pictures taken of herself wearing stylish outfits that highlight her large, shapely ass.
So, what if you’re a woman and you decide, “I’m going in a different direction! I’m going to work my way up the corporate ladder instead!” Then, it’s like, “Oh, you’re VP of marketing at Bank of America?” Men pursue jobs with status like that because women like it and because they want to be able to support a family. Men don’t care if a woman holds that position. To most men, a happily married mom who does a great job of taking care of her husband and her three kids is more impressive than 99.999% of the career women that have ever lived, and guess what? If it came right down to it and they had no other choice, almost all of the exceptions like Margaret Thatcher or JK Rowling would pick their children over their careers.
Again, that doesn’t mean we need to go back to the fifties, but it does mean we need to acknowledge that men and women are actually built differently – and not just physically.
Men are more willing to face danger and are comfortable with violence. They’re more willing to do extremely unpleasant jobs for status or pay. Men tend to pursue high-status jobs with an intensity few women can match because men are much more heavily rewarded for having those jobs than women. Women are better at reading subtle body language and signals from other people. They tend to be better in situations that require nurturing and compassion. Women can have babies, something no man can ever do.
That doesn’t mean you have to be strictly limited by your gender. It’s okay for a man not to be a prototypical manly man in every area or for a woman to fall short of the feminine ideal. There are incredible female martial artists. There are male body language experts. There are female soldiers. There are male flight attendants. Exceptions always exist, but the more you try to convince yourself to swim against the current of long-held human experience, the more you risk being swept away into a disastrous life.
The world is always changing, but at your core, you’re not that different from your ancestors from 1,000 years ago. Neither is your son, your daughter, your wife, or the other men and women you’re going to run into. Never lose sight of what those long-held ideals for your gender are and give them a healthy level of respect in the way you live for your own sake. Human nature is not so easy to rewrite and people who buy into the modern conceit that it is often realize later on in life that view was a trap that it’s too late to escape.