Friday, December 24, 2010

Who wears the pants?

So awhile back I was blogging about a book I have been reading, called The Depression Cure, which is about adopting a lifestyle that is conducive to health and well-being, through diet, activity etc. The author compares modern day living, in the age of sedentary lifestyles, convenience and instant gratification with the very different way of life of hunter gatherers from the past.

Despite having easier, more luxurious lives nowadays in some ways (at least physically), many people are struggling with depression. Before though, despite having physically demanding lives involving finding water, hunting for food and doing what is necessary to survive, depression was very rare, if not completely unheard of. Based on the authors' studies, this is still true today with the Amish, and other hunter-gatherer tribes who still live a simpler lifestyle.

Anyway, so getting back to the point, which isn't actually about depression today. This just got me thinking.

I was thinking about how in some ways, although there are medical, technological and other excellent advancements, humans were designed to live a different lifestyle to the one that many of us do. Compare being outside, getting some sunshine and searching and hunting for food to sitting in an office ALL DAY, and not going outside. Or else being with your family and friends always, as compared to lonely people, all isolated inside their houses, disconnected in reality but trying to socialise via facebook. (I bet there are plenty of Mums out there who know what I'm saying, righhht?) What I am saying is what you have most likely already come to- that in a lot of ways, the way we live life now is kind of backwards. We are inactive, isolated, eat an excess of junk food that is of no real use to us, and let's not get started on preservatives and additives and the way our food is grown...seeing as how it's a big subject on which my knowledge is very limited! Feel free to share though.

So this was my thinking: We were designed to live in a certain way and take on certain roles so we could function at optimum capacity.

I had an epiphany today. It was pretty simple I guess, but I was thinking of what qualities I found attractive in men. Now this might be just me, but I don't think so- I like masculinity. Strong, tough, manly men. And then it occurred to me- of course I do! It's simple biology. If I am a woman looking for a suitable mate, then surely I will be attracted to someone who I will be able to successfully reproduce and ensure the continuation of our species, one who exudes masculinity. Makes sense.

Now here's where it gets interesting. Gender roles in the 21st century are a lot more flexible. In a way, anyone can do whatever they want. Women have a lot more opportunities for careers outside the home, rather than being solely the nurturer. In building a career women often take on more "male" characteristics. We want our men to be more sensitive and understanding. (I'd probably settle for even listening when I talk but meh.) We want them to plan more romantic evenings of their own accord and consider our feelings all the time. Women are becoming more like men, and men are becoming more like women.

So what do you think about men and women? Is it good to evolve, or just natural? How do you think this impacts on relationships? Do you think this is liberating or inhibiting?



  1. Check out the following link, "New men are useless morons". (Sounds a little harsh though!)

  2. I agree with everything here 100%, the thing is, this is not new. Humans as we know them today have been advancing, changing and evolving since forever.

    The change does seem to be happening really quickly, but I'm not sure this is so- merely an illusion.

    What I'm trying to say is this is 'mans' CURRENT adversity. Evolution (or natural selection) will do its thang and then there will be something new to deal with.

    The main issue here is we know what's going on enough for it to spook us. Ignorance IS Bliss, but Knowledge is Power.

    Peace out.

  3. Interesting! I agree with what you said Caitlin.

    I think traditional masculine/ feminine roles may not be necessary any more, I think it is ok for this to evolve as you suggested. I think the key to relationships working is to compliment. I drive to social events so my partner can have a few drinks, he helps me with my car. I cook, he cleans. Or something like that!

    I think the problem with the British men James May described in that article is that they think it is cute to be useless! I dont care if I am the one fixing shelves while a man cooks and cleans, I just expect that we would both have a skill set that could overlap. I wouldnt necesarily mind if that skill set was traditionally male, traditionally female or somewhere in the middle.


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