My hammer has a role. I use it to hammer nails into wood and take them out. I could use it as a lever to pull a sheet of wood off a wall, but I don’t. I don’t because sometimes this ruins the handle. Instead, I use my crowbar. My knife has a role. I use it to cut rope, paper, tape on boxes, and straight lines into wood. I’ve seen knives used as screw drivers but after they are used that way they don’t cut a straight line into wood. When I think about my tools, I don’t think my hammer is better than my knife. I think it is important to have them both to be successful at what is being accomplished.
People are like tools. We all have things we are good at, and sometimes, if we are lucky, better at than anyone else. Just like there are a lot of different hammers there are a lot of different men. Just like there are a lot of different knives there are a lot of different women. Men and women are not the same. They look similar and they work together well, but they are not the same. A hammer is not a knife and a man is not a woman. They are different. Just like I can use a knife as a screw driver, a man can nurture and rear a child. Just like a hammer, a woman can be an effective instrument in war. Personally, I prefer that children have soft gentle kindness as an example of how to treat people in their lives as a primary influence from their role models. I also want my children to develop that hard survival core that allows them to survive in all situations by removing themselves emotionally and executing practically. However, I prefer this influence to take up less of their time. As a man, I recognize that the survival imperative promoted by testosterone is useful but not always desirable, just as the social imperative promoted by estrogen is essential but not always practical. I do not place a moral construct around this. If anything, I recognize it as a universal truth, that all animals and plants strive to survive in an environment where resources are limited.
When men are demonized for being who they are, not the assholes that abuse others, but the ones that are inept but still clumsily trying, we are moralizing the hammer. Men want to be loved, be admired, and propagate. Some may not be good at the competition, lacking knowledge of how to ask or to approach women for what they may both desire. If they are clumsy, are they an atrocity? Is there really a moral value being placed on asking? Have we come to a place in history where we refuse to use the hammer because of the moral implication of the blunt nature of the tool that makes it effective?
There are many men and women who are assholes. They promote themselves at the expense of others. They use inordinate power to take what they can get. They make villains of an entire category of humanity for not dancing correctly to the music they are playing. The vast majority of all us are inept at the sophisticated protocols required to broach a need. We lack the sophistication to overcome the barriers to entry in order to meet our need for solace, love, kindness, a relationship, and yes sex and the need to propagate.
The rules of engagement between men and women are a slippery slope with vast implications. If you write the rule book without agreement from both participating sides, then you can expect discord. Men must be able to approach, to try, and women must be able to deny or accept without resentment for the attempt or condemnation for making her own decision.
Man bashing is ridiculous. Deifying women is ridiculous. We are all humans, like the hammer and the knife, useful tools in the belt of mankind, equal in our value.