I’m very quick to talk about women’s importance and what feels like the constant struggle for equality, obviously because I am a woman myself and i can’t talk about it from any other angle. A comment on one of my previous posts, Deported, degraded, Dutch, sparked up a load of other questions which really got me thinking. In order to do my opinions justice I’m dedicating a few posts to these topics. I’m doing this for a few reasons. Firstly, to develop an opinion on topics new to me and secondly, in order to make my view more holistic in approach. I, like many, can be quick to make a view on something at ground level but more often than not there is a need to delve deeper. Today I’m talking about the disposability of men.
Are men disposable? One word answer – NO. Three word answer – nobody is disposable.
A book I’ve been looking in to The Myth of Male Power by Warren Farrell has a lovely quote that sparked this inner thought process of mine.
“women are actually perceived as the valuable gender (especially in evolutionary terms) who need to be protected and preserved at all cost, while men (a dime a dozen in evolutionary terms) are thought of as essentially disposable”.
Women are valuable in terms of evolutionary arguments i.e. women grow the future of humanity but that can’t exactly be done solely without men. To refer to men as a ‘dime a dozen’ is a little harsh. So if you took all the men in the world and killed half of them would the worlds population continue? Yes. If you took the worlds population of women and did them same the population would still continue? Yes. It may take two to tango but sharing is caring!
I‘m no biologist so please excuse my crudeness on the biological side of this. If we’re talking about sperm men have more and make more. Women have a set number of eggs and it takes 9 months to grow a child. Now for every pregnancy cycle of a woman (9 months = 36 weeks = 252 days) one man could indeed impregnate some 252 women. Maybe even more if he’s having a good day. Does this mean we could survive with fewer men, i suppose it does. (note. a friend of mine who is currently expecting a baby after trying for many years told me that its not necessarily the quantity of the sperm but the quality. This added to the fertilely of the women in question means it may not be all that possible to impregnate 252 women in 252 days but you get what i’m trying to say right?!)
Do we care more for women’s health than men? The stats say we do. More money is put in to female cancer research than mens but women are more likely seek out medical help rather than men. Men die earlier than women. They tend to do more risky jobs but women tend to put in more “unpaid work” i.e. domestic work. Does that make either sex disposable? I don’t think so. I’ve talked about the value of beauty products aimed at men and women previously in THE GENDER-DIVIDE IN OUR WALLETS AS WELL WAS OUR WORKPLACE. There are some brilliant comments on that section too which i definitely recommend you to look at. We tackle the ‘luxury’ that is menstruation there too.
I think where this argument falters is that we are constantly looking for one gender to be on top, to be the winner and in actual fact that is where we are going wrong. Nobody is disposable every individual should be entitled to stable health, equal wealth (based on ability not gender) and equal physical, emotional and sexual rights. Life isn’t a competition based on gender but i feel that the longer the battle for women to be on a level playing field as men has simply shown just how unequal things were when so much has had to be done to get us within touching distance. More work had to be done for women because so little was done for so long.
I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy to The Myth of Male Power. Its definitely on my reading list for this summer!
Do you think men are disposable?