Adam Robinson tells a tale of perceived norms
Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 01:05
I was recently driving through the woods with a female friend of mine when an apparently dry patch of dirt turned out to be hiding a mud pit, which stuck us there for three hours.
When the tow truck finally came, its driver informed me that I should be the one behind the wheel when he pulled us out, the implication being that a woman could not be trusted to do that job.
If he was not impressed by my refusal to comply with what I considered to be an outdated request, it surely did not aid my masculine reputation when I proved to be of no help when he got his truck stuck as well.
It is moments like these –stuck in the woods, far from civilization, with a less-than-pleased tow truck driver –that make you wonder if you’ve chosen the right time to strike a blow for gender equality.
But the truth of the matter is that I was not a better driver simply because I was a man, and to assume that creates a norm which I do not fit into.
Patriarchy, the appropriate name for a society organized around male dominance, is intolerant of diversity in both men and women.
It prescribes a role for you from the day you were born based on your sex, and is the foundation for the emotional and physical abuse many women suffer at the hands of men whose domination and aggressiveness are seen as socially acceptable.
Please don’t misunderstand me.
If you are a man with mechanical skills or physical prowess, by all means, use those talents.
But it is time we all realize that some men are not dominant, and some men like women who are, and some men like men.
Rejecting gender equality weakens our personal relationships and endangers our ability to tolerate one another, regardless of sex, gender, orientation, or ability.