16 October, 2008

When Sex Doesn't Matter

I admit that there are times when my voice is not heard.  I am dismissed as "mom" if I am with my daughter.  I have been dismissed as not knowing anything because of poor vision.  I am sure that I have even, at some point, been dismissed or not heard because I am a woman.  I would guess that each woman has experienced this at some point.  It isn't about what we know or the quality of our words or thoughts, it is about our gender, our having a child, or a physical attribute. 
She is blond - she must be an airhead.  Big bust, no brains. 
A woman I went to school with didn't listen to other women.  If a woman suggested something, she would ignore the idea or create reasons why it wouldn't work.  If a man suggested the same idea, well, then... that was a different story!  It was so obvious sometimes that it became a joke.  We all knew that the way to get through to her was to have a man involved in the planning. 
As women, we can usually relate to one if not more of these situations where our gender is what is noticed over anything else.  We could be experts in our area of study and yet, for some, that wouldn't matter because our gender speaks first and foremost.  Our gender is louder than our words. 
But as women, we often forget that we do the same to men.  There are times when we discredit, dismiss, or disregard something that is said because the speaker is... male. 
There are definitely things men don't know much about unless they are specialists.  I mean, a man doesn't really have much to say about how child birth feels or cramps, or the reality of PMS.  The same can be true for women though as we don't understand the workings, I mean the real workings, of the penis.  We don't understand the prostate, its sensitivities, and the issues that can arise.  We don't know what it is to live the male experience just as they don't understand that of females.  These are things that we can't understand about one another because they are gender/sex specific.  I am sure that there are many examples on both sides, but... the reality is that most of the time, gender/sex doesn't matter. 
That's right, the sex of the person thinking thoughts and posing questions and offering ideas is less relevant than the creativity and ingenuity - the energy and vitality.  A good idea is a good idea regardless of the sex of the thinker.  Creativity is amazing whether it comes from a man or a woman.  A comment is to be valued as is constructive criticism or a question. 
A good idea; invention, creation, thought, question, notion, hypothesis, theory, or philosophy is not dependent upon the gender or sex of the thinker but on mind, knowledge and passion. 
Before we ignore, dismiss, or disregard a statement or idea from a man, maybe we should stop and remember how often we have experienced something similar.  Our ideas taken less seriously or our voice given less attention simply and only because we are women.  It is natural for women to rally around one another.  Men do it too.  But if we close our minds and our ears to the opposite sex or disregard them because of their sex, we are missing out on a valuable resource - their thoughts and ideas.   


T said...

Gosh I couldn't agree with this more.

A big AMEN on that one sister!

Thanks for posting this.

dadshouse said...

Wait - are you busty or blonde?

Haha! Just kidding :-)

This is a great post. I for one feel that my manly opinions are often ignored. Maybe because I sometimes talk about "unmanly" things like feelings of the heart and spirit.

mama llama said...

TE, the deepest relationship I've ever been involved in included a man who did everything in his power to know what was in my mind, my body, my soul. He did everything to learn, overcoming great obstacles to make this happen. He opened me to wanting to do the same for him and learning the art of reading the Other. We frequently depend on each other for advice and the point of view from the other side of the gender spectrum. It is healthy and wise.

What a wonderfully insightful post. Be well, TE.

The Exception said...

T - No problem. I have a muse that supplies me with wonderful ideas.. and this one belongs to said muse.

DH - A "man" such as yourself, should never be ignored!

(As for the busty or blond, you will have to use your imagination!)

Ms Llama - Such relationships are amazing, no? It is impossible to completely ignore the physical, but when we are appreciated and appreciate the thinking of others... it is such a wonderful feeling. I can't imagine not opening to hear all that another says.

Crazy Computer Dad said...

My voice hasn't been heard in two days and I haven't been taken seriously anywhere I have been. :-)