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I am not saying that the "feminines" qualities are inferior to the "masculine" ones, but that the roles allocation of qualities would make it difficult for women to challenge the power structure, or even feel like doing so in many instances.

Okay, understood, and agreed. But do you think the allocation is truly "on purpose"? A conscious, deliberate keeping-'em-down thing?

[quote:51f5b1b75d]I have met a few 'brutally insensitive' girls whether their physical appearance gave you a hint of what was inside or not.[/quote:51f5b1b75d]

Of course; sex isn't destiny, gender roles aren't destiny - or shouldn't be. Still, I feel our beloved stereotypes aren't totally arbitrary. Shallow and harmful, yes, exaggerated, "tyrannified" - but not invented just to maintain a power structure. I'm sure they've been used for that purpose, though... and they are used to attack that structure... how often have you heard that women make better managers, do better in school, hold up better under stress, are better at multitasking, better at this, better at that - because of their "feminine qualities"? And yet it seems sometimes girls are perpetually urged to join the boys club. Augh, it's all such a mess and I really lack the overview to do much more than lash out in confusion.. I haven't exactly studied this; I'm always just "intuiting.")

[quote:51f5b1b75d]among his people men are dicreet, they never laugh in public: they are more mature than "childish" females.[/quote:51f5b1b75d]

Showing affection and happiness in public does seem well within western 'girly' feminine stereotypes as well... men don't usually hug or hold hands.

[quote:51f5b1b75d]I'm not sure, though, that heterosexuality is what forces this on us rather that the very long habit of a gender dependant power structure.[/quote:51f5b1b75d]

I'm not sure either. But I'm using the term "heterosexual" loosely here - merely in the sense of people desiring that in the other that they aren't themselves.

It does seem to me that love, sensuality, romance, sex help cement the differences "suggested" by biology... face, build, voice, genitals... everything seems to be designed to play off the other, to highlight itself in contrast, complementary in looks, in bed, in behaviour, skills -- or just in daily life, as an underlying expectation.

And I think it's easy to let that get in the way of looking at people individually.

[quote:51f5b1b75d]I've met a cross dresser and no real female could have competed with him in how closely he fit the American female icon. If anything his apperance drove deeper in me the notion that the role isn't the person, no matter how hard we try to fit. [/quote:51f5b1b75d]

That's what I meant when I digressed from gender to looks... seems you can now get away with m2f crossdressing - but not if you don't look convincing, or exciting, or glamourous, or otherwise appealing. Liberated as it might be, it's still conforming to an either-or system. We've just replaced chromosomes with looks as the entry qualification.