Book:  On the Meaning of Sex

Although the temperamental differences between men and women cause friction, they are also what make us attractive to each other.  We like the difference.  Mostly we laugh about it.  Human life is a much more profound affair because there are two kinds of us; but also more musical, more colorful, and much more amusing.

Then why does the difference embarrass us?  What used to be called the war between the sexes is turning into a war against the sexes – against having two sexes in the first place.

In childhood we put increasing pressure on little boys to suppress their boyishness.  If a boy hasn’t learned to sit still we don’t say he has the wiggles; we say he has a “disorder” and give him drugs.  Normal male play is considered antisocial.  You may have heard the story of the seven-year old Maryland boy who was suspended from school for two days because he chewed his strawberry breakfast pastry into the shape of a gun.  (Actually he was trying to make it into a mountain, but as he explained, "it didn't look like a mountain really, and it turned out to be a gun, kinda.")

The greater pressure comes in adulthood, when women are expected to suppress their womanliness.  If they are more interested in their children than their jobs, we don’t praise them for being good mothers; we shame them for “wasting their college degrees.”  Pharmaceutical firms search for potions to make female sexual response more like male sexual response, as though being female were a sexual dysfunction.  Now the armed forces are pushing women into combat.  (They call it accepting women in combat roles; how generous.)

Many readers will have concluded from these words that I am against women’s equality.  Why?  Because the persecutors of women teach that equality means the sexes are the same.  The same, are they?  The same as what?