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I swear I'm not trying to pick a fight, but does anybody ever wonder why some characteristics such as : courage, (physical and/or moral) strength, fortitude, honesty, tenacity, loyalty, etc.. are generally atributed to males while females see themselves characterized as soft, tender, nurturing, diplomatic (?hypocritical?), pretty, shy, etc... :?: :?:

When I look at the people around me, I don't really wonder that. Men are bigger, rougher, and stronger on average. Biologically. And these immediately visible traits are easily mistaken for basic nature.

It's as though we lived in a comic book where only the crude, greedy trolls have warts, and ample body hair signifies strength or a particularly "masculine" personality rather than genetic chance.

Sometimes they're positive qualities (valour, chivalry...) and sometimes they're not (brutality, insensitivity...).... either way, within equals wthout.

I believe what we look like shapes us a lot more than we want to admit, not just in a broader gender role sense but within these roles as well... it influences what we're treated as, teaches us what we "are", what we can get away with. Popular culture einforces this, tradition reinforces this...

I don't know if there's a deliberate, oppressive agenda at work now - perhaps it is; it does at times look like that in the works of certain philosophers or [anti]sex[ist] activists, of either & any gender...

...but I'd still say it's all born of plain human self-perpetuating shallowness.

The problem I see isn't that not everyone's the same, that men and women aren't the same (and I don't think they are), but that one cluster of traits is allegedly superior, or that it constitutes a behavioural obligation -- be like this, be like that. Be what you look like. Be a good little comic book character.

Seems just being people isn't so easy when there's such a heterosexual dynamic seeing, demanding, desiring, getting off on complements, opposites, contrasts...

Sometimes there's a plot twist and a weakness turns out to be a strength. Science destroys itself and fairies reign supreme. Right now it doesn't really look like being male was particularly fashionable (like Wordgazer said.) But that too will see a backlash, eventually... just like anything "green" or "hippie" is seeing one.

What doesn't change: people who go too far contradicting their appearance - they will always be seen as clowns.

[quote:daf6b677e5]Would it be that, when you don't want to see your rule challenged you make sure that the ones you oppress the most do not think they possess the qualities required to challenge you? After all isn't what was tried with the centuries long spreading of the obviously factice notion that all "blacks" were lazy and dumb?[/quote:daf6b677e5]

Well, lazy and dumb are bad qualities. None of the "gender" traits you mentioned are bad... There's nothing inferior about being diplomatic, pretty, nurturing. That's all quite laudable, isn't it? I could even see how they'd make women the revered, wise focal point of a society and its direction-givers, and men an auxiliary subspecies of frontline grunts and dirty-work-doers. So I think you can be sexist in any direction you want.