There is an abundance of information out there, from books to articles to research pieces that focus on the differences between genders, even going so far as to dedicate a whole book suggesting we’re from different planets.
But does this all mean that rather than seeing everyone across both genders as individuals with unique personalities we are viewing males and females as simply two separate entities and ultimately then as a consequences making huge sweeping generalisations about them as a whole, rather than seeing the individual for who they really are?
Is it fair then to attribute our relationship issues and problems down to the much publicised view that women are from Venus and men are from Mars?
Is it ok to accept without question that certain traits and behaviours are acceptable – and maybe even inevitable because men and women are from fundamentally different places – even planets?!
Maybe we should come back down to earth and start to understand that we’re more alike than we care to admit. There is actually much overlap between girls and guys than we’re taught to admit or appreciate.
Aside from the few obvious differences (the blokes are definitely more hairy and boast more questionable body parts!) there are actually many similarities between us and it is worth acknowledging these shared traits so we can stop all this stereotyping and pursue our lives, and especially our relationships, with the unique recognition and honesty they deserve;
It’s really not just us girls who like a natter or a good old gossip with our mates. It’s not just us ladies who like to dissect and discuss our day over dinner with our partner. And it’s not just us who can chat inanely whilst passing the time of a long and arduous car journey. Equally, it is not just guys who can clam up when faced with an emotional confrontation. It isn’t only men who can be the quiet silent types and it isn’t bloke only territory to be the indecipherable and unreadable sort. All of the above behaviours are not constrained by gender and men and women can exhibit any of these and even all of these on a daily basis!
Sure, it is us girls who carry the reputation as being the ones who spend hours getting ready, perfecting our appearance before we leave the house BUT can we be aware that guys are actually just as guilty of this preening behaviour too. It’s not a gender specific trait that we all like to put effort into looking good and present our best possible self to the world and why should it be?!
Girls should not be the only ones permitted to be sensitive souls who are easily wounded, guys are not as thick skinned as they often like to make out. Rather than being something specific to women, it is simply human nature to feel the need to feel loved and accepted by our nearest and dearest. Guys are often equally as sensitive as girls, especially when it comes to relationships. It’s not only the girls who are left feeling emotionally bruised if a partner is behaving insensitively, guys can feel the pain just as much as we can. Worth noting if we want to have a successful relationship with a guy.
We tend to associate more aggressive behaviour with men but us girls can exhibit just as much aggression in many aspects of our lives. We share the same desire to succeed and this can be often translated as aggression, be it in the workplace or our relationships. Of course anger related aggression is a negative behaviour rand one for which there is no excuse, but there are many instances where aggression can come hand in hand with passion and the need to get ahead – something apparent in professionals sports men and women or those people holding high powered positions in business.
One of the most common gender stereotyping is boys don’t cry – well, let us tell you categorically that they do! Believe it or not even those real mens’ men have tear ducts too. Women are stereotyped as emotional and men as unfeeling but this is not the case. That’s why we need to readdress the balance of this typecasting in order that guys don’t feel constrained by how they’re expected to behave when facing times of upset. There is nothing shameful about crying and as us girls all well know, crying can be hugely therapeutic.
A universally shared characteristic is our struggle for achieving perfection across all aspects of our life, from our professional life to our personal life. Guys and girls alike are united in this behaviour and it can never be assigned to one gender or another. It is normal for us all to want to get the best out of life and be the best person we can be, both for ourselves and for our relationships.
One of the most important things for both men and women to remember is that the key to a successful relationship is to feel comfortable in our own skin. We need to feel we can be who we want to be and not feel claustrophobic stuck in the little gender specific boxes society puts us in. If a guy wants to cry he should be able to do so freely and without judgement and similarly if a girl wants to aggressively pursue a high powered career she should be allowed to do so without feeling guilty.
When it comes to the domestic arena the gender pigeonholing is overwhelming! Us girls are literally born and raised to become domestic goddesses but when we actually take pause for thought it’s undeniable that throughout society some of the leading personalities in what we’d consider to be the domestic arena are actually blokes, from top chefs, world leading interior designers and globally successful fashion designers. Perhaps something to bear in mind when we’re buying little girls play kitchens and little boys their builders benches.