There can be no dispute there are two sexes, males and females. Right, let’s get the political correctness bit out of the way first. We are all different and individual. Within each sex there is very wide range of individual responses from one extreme, having greater characteristic’s of the other sex, across the norm all the way to the other scale of displaying excessive exaggerated extremes. The closer to the ‘norm’ then the greater number of individuals that display those characteristics until you reach the median point, by which most people recognise as being the characteristics of that sex as either male of female. Right, got that out of the way. Now when I talk about the characteristics of either sex, please accept that I do it in the full knowledge that there is a wide range from people that display very little to others that display extremes forms of any ‘typical’ or ‘normal, (in the sense of median)’ behaviour. There is a debate raging that sexual differentiation is nurtured. There are no underlying structural difference to be seen in male and female brains that predispose them to be one or the other. If only all our children were brought up androgynously then male or female aptitudes would meld and girls and boys would be on par across all skill sets. Irrespective of what can be measured, it simply does not stack up. Not only are we genitally differentiated, each sex has key different hormone drivers and the structural frame and muscle densities are differentiated to. There might be some scope to argue that these differences don’t kick in until around puberty so therefore let us keep our children androgynous for as long as possible. But that is absurd, these androgynous children are going to develop into fully fleshed males or female, far better that they learn to live within and exploit their sexuality as growing children than cope with the sexual realities at adolescence. The by far away majority should not be held in check just to mitigate the real angst of those few that have gender ambiguity. One enduring image I have is of a six year old girl standing on the stairs looking at herself in a full length mirror and trying out different poses and looks. No matter which route, genetic, nurture, mimicry was the driver, that is solid skill learning for adult life. So accept that ‘boys’ should want to flex their muscles and test their courage and endurance just as we should accept that ‘girls’ learn their social networking skills and try out different appearances. Yes, yes not all girls and not all boys, and some girls and some boys want to be more like the opposite sex.
The next big sticking point is equality. Along the way the message of equal opportunities for all has become coalesced into sexual equality. Now I would go out on a limb for equal opportunities, no person should be denied the opportunity to succeed in whatsoever area of life just because of their sex, race, age or other. Everyone should have an equal chance to show and prove their worth. But that is totally different to saying that girls and boys have equal aptitudes, which is where the general perception of political correctness has taken us. Clearly boys and girls are different, different frames, different hormones, different sexual desires, different sexual roles. They are different. Yes, yes, always the exceptions, noted. Rather than suppressing the differences and promoting this androgynous model of sexual equality we should instead be celebrating the differences. Let us be articulate about the attributes and skills that boys bring just as we celebrate the richness and diversity of what girls bring. At the same time as we acknowledge that there is no one right answer and no one person is better placed than another to succeed. As we all know, in the end it is not the Certificate that counts, the only thing that matters is the successful outcome. Whether wrought out of brute force and aggression or winnowed out collaboratively and subtlety is immaterial, just the outcome. Rather than promoting a fantasy view of life were men and woman see and respond to each other on ‘equal’ terms as one androgynous being to another on equal footings. Let accept and glorify in that they are sexually different. Women are different to men, men respond differently to a woman than another man, women respond differently to a man than they would to another woman. Why should those simple statements of the self-obvious fact be regarded as controversial? Sure women have been forced over the centuries into a subordinate position by the ‘dominate’ males. That is why we do need to articulate much more about the sexual differences, their skills and attributes that each sex brings to open sexual inter-relationships. It is well known that behind a strong man there is an even stronger woman! Though the man might win on the short-game arm wrestle we all recognise that woman win hand over fist in the long game, but we do need to more explicit, share a greater awareness of how each sex manoeuvres and even manipulates the other to their goals advantage. The pretence that men and women are equal and approach any negotiations on equal footings using parity of tactics help none of us. Each sex approaches dealing with the other sex from different positions, we must articulate those difference, learn to recognise them and understand how they are commonly exploited, by either sex. That is just how men and women interact, understanding and appreciating the differences is the only assurance that girls do take what opportunities they want out of life, just like the boys always have.
Despite years of goading during my adolescence about my apparent femininity, I never had any doubts about my sexual orientation, I was and am masculine through and through. It is only through those eyes that I can see and make sense of this world we share. Try as I might I cannot see them through a woman’s eyes and just assume that my perception of masculine outlooks are not too far off the masculine norm. Almost all of my other masculine desires seem to point that way. As a regular red-blooded male I struggle to see women I meet during life’s daily parade as androgynous asexual persons. My masculine eye, my core antenna out into the world, sees only whether they are game, or beyond game. Game in the sense of sexually active and potentially of sexual interest to me as a male in the widest possible sense, without any connotations of morality, opportunity or intent. Some women clearly are sexually interesting, some clearly are not sexually interesting, that is my initial sub-conscious scan results. The next parameters of sub-conscious awareness are an appreciation of their ‘fitness’, what sexual attributes do they give off, anything and everything from yes they are open to offers, to putting on an eye-catching show or presenting an alluring face to showing off a body with desirable features, that whole gamut of what makes the female so alluring to the active male. The Victorians struggled with this one and woefully failed, to hide away any sexual feminine features that might attract the male eye. All they succeeded in doing was to redirect the male eye and attention to whatever they could not conceal, in their case, the ankle became the focus for sexual arousal! Men will see the feminine form no matter how that form is disguised, is contorted to hide its features. The swell of the female bosom is fact and we men do notice. Does not matter if hidden under an asexual jacket, our eyes will pick out the swelling uplift. Rather than squash and supress the breasts under a joggers bra, we should be celebrating their wide range of natural shapes, sizes and forms. Not reverting to Madonna’s eye picks, just enjoy and be proud of their differing forms. So sat across from me at the boardroom table I will see you as female, how you present yourself will determine how I respond. If you emulate a male appearance I will respond in kind giving you the tough treatment I might to a male rival. What I cannot possibly do, even if political correctness seems to require it, is to respond to you as an asexual person. You are not, you are a person with sexuality. If you offer me ambiguity my sub-conscious will allocate you a box and I will get to respond to you accordingly. We are sexual creatures. There is no escape or disguise to avoid that fact. Rather rejoice and enjoy the difference we bring. Conversely when you look at me I cannot offer that neutered male of soft voice only seeking collaboration as required by our politically correct norms of today. I am a man and all my instincts are of combative, challenging, risky even confrontational attitudes, that is me, that is what being a man is all about. Expecting me to rein in all my instinctive reactions denies the essence my of maleness, leaving me to work with one arm tied behind my back and perplexed as to how society expects me to respond. That might be considered the price to be paid for an equal society. All I can repeat is, we are not equal, we are sexual opposites, live with it, relish the multitude of contrasts and learn how to extract the benefits.
As an off post aside that has a tenuous bearing but no other place to put it, can I just add the following. Seeing the world through males eyes it seems males antenna are fine tuned to spot near pubescent or just emergent pubescent females. It makes sense, from a male perspective, if you are competing with other males for the best females, to spot the new emergent females to get there first. So to me, it seems the natural order that we are instinctively attuned to spotting the young female. Of course having become the social animals we now are, all of those instincts have to be tightly constrained within the mores of the society we move around in. It goes some way to explain the persistent allure of the skeletal fashion model, it might even underpin why some males mistake teen boys for the androgynous pre-pubescent girl about to transform. Being the complex creatures we are that have to live in social groups and where the unwritten rules of acceptable behaviour is acquired through interaction, it might, just might offer an insight as to why some individuals get the messages mixed up. Not condoning, not excusing but we are complex so there are bound to be some who get it wrong, not because they are beastly just confused and misreading the signals. All I would plead is that openness and discussion in these difficult areas are more rewarding in the long term than quick knee-jerk condemnation.