There are so many books and articles that talk about the differences between men and women. The literatures on this topic make it appear like these differences are so profound. They propagate the idea that we cannot live in sync with each other unless we come to understand these differences. The authors focus so much on the differences that they forget about the things that bring us together. In fact, aside from the differences in sexuality, aggression, and motor performance, men and women are alike in so many ways. Here are some similarities of men and women that I have noticed.
1. We Are Not Perfect
We expect one another to be the perfect friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, lover, mother, father, brother, and sister. However, that simply is not possible. As a rather popular quote says, “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” And although we are far from being divine, we have the capacity to forgive (or forget). So maybe we should a) stop expecting too much from people, and b) understand and forgive more.
2. Stereotyping Hurts Us
I don’t think that I need to list down the different stereotypes of men and women. We are all too familiar with them. When we stereotype ourselves, we put ourselves in boxes. We unconsciously stunt our personal growth and development. Stereotyping hurts men and women alike so it is best that we stop boxing ourselves in. We need to be free to choose who and what we want to be.
3. We Need to Be Loved, Appreciated, and Accepted
We are all human beings and we all desire to be loved, appreciated, and accepted by our kin and the other people in our lives. Just because women are given the stereotype of being tender and nurturing doesn’t mean that we need to be loved and appreciated more than men. And likewise, men don’t need to make excuses for wanting to be loved and appreciated just because they are stereotyped as tough and unemotional.
4. We Need to Love Ourselves More
From the moment we become aware of our differences – between men and women, men and men, and women and women – we start to criticize ourselves. We compare ourselves to models, celebrities, and even people we personally know. We try to conform to whatever standards our cultures have of beauty and success. The more we criticize and question ourselves, the more we break down our spirit. We get to a point where we can no longer see how wonderful and beautiful we are. We definitely need to love ourselves more.
5. We Have Trust Issues
Throughout the course of our lives, we have had negative experiences with the people around us. We have experienced betrayal, broken promises, abandonment, and unmet expectations. Whether we choose to admit it or not, we all have trust issues. Every once in a while, we need reassurance from the people we put our trust in. We shouldn’t judge people who find it hard to trust. Instead, we should support or help them regain trust in people.
6. We Feel a Range of Emotions
Women are often stereotyped as emotional and men as unfeeling and insensitive creatures. But the truth is we all feel a range of emotions regardless of our gender. If we just come to accept this, maybe men won’t be so scared to show their real feelings and women won’t have to think that they feel too much.
7. We Have Goals and Ambitions
It doesn’t matter what we want to achieve and become in life. The truth is men and women all have goals and ambitions. We all want to be successful in whatever fields we choose to focus on. We should never hesitate to go for the path that satisfies our passion.
8. We Have Different Notions of Success
Men and women define success differently. For some, it’s earning a certain amount of money every month. For others, it’s reaching a level on the corporate ladder. There are people who view success as improving their skills and knowledge about their field of expertise. There are also other people who believe they are successful if they have time to do the things that matter to them. Remember that we cannot compare our success to others because we have different definitions of success.
9. We Have Our Personal Truths and Beliefs
We come from different backgrounds and cultures so it is natural that we have our personal truths and beliefs. I don’t understand why we have to condemn and discriminate people who don’t believe the same things we do.
10. We Should Have Proper Grooming
I think it’s weird how some men think it is okay to look like slobs while they expect women to look impeccable. And it is also puzzling how some women feel like not having proper grooming is equivalent to being low maintenance. No matter what people say, I believe that everyone – men and women – should have proper grooming. No one should be exempt from this no matter how macho, busy, or low maintenance they might claim to be. If you want to moisturize, exfoliate, cleanse, and do other grooming activities, feel free to look nice and clean.
11. We All Have Tear Ducts
It’s not shameful to express happiness or sadness with tears. Everyone cries and that’s a fact. We shouldn’t have to feel embarrassed if we shed tears of joy or if we bawl like babies. Men and women all have tear ducts so it’s almost impossible not to use them. Crying is not an activity that is exclusive to women. Men could use some of the therapeutic power of crying.
Despite claims that we are becoming more progressive, we are still held back by our ideas of who and what men and women should be. We still focus on our differences rather than on our similarities. I am personally frustrated and tired of how we use these differences to create a greater schism between the genders. We are more alike than we are led to believe. It is up to us to discover and embrace these similarities. Maybe then we can understand each other more.
Top image source: data.whicdn.com