Talking about gender differences (and similarities!) is always a tricky topic. This is a topic with a great deal of mystery, and I want to speak my thoughts with an attitude of humility, knowing that I’ll never quite get it “right”.
I think that our goal as men and women should not be to try to live up to some prescribed standard of what a man or woman is “supposed” to be, but rather to look inside our hearts and get to know who we actually are. If a man hears that men are supposed to be “strong”, and then attempts to live out what he believes “strength” is supposed to look like, he’ll inevitably end up as a caricature of true strength. The same is true for a woman attempting to self-consciously live out traits that are supposedly “feminine”.
Nevertheless, I think there’s value (and beauty!) in discussing and thinking about this stuff. It’s a topic that I find endlessly fascinating!
(Warning!: I’m going to get into some 8th grade level “sex-ed” type talk. Adults only! But I’m not worried about it because I’m pretty sure all of my readers are adults anyway. Let’s be for real: It’d have to be a pretty unique 12 year old who wouldn’t quickly get bored with my blog.)
The quote from last week’s post suggests that the way men and women look physically is not “merely” physical; it’s actually reflected in our souls. In short, men are “convex” and women are “concave”.
But let’s forget the “soul” part for a moment, and focus just on the physical, and see if we can glean anything from that.
Here’s the raw data of how life begins: The man enters the woman; the woman draws and receives the man. On a much smaller level, the same thing happens again: The sperm enters the woman, finds the egg, and, again, enters. The egg draws and receives the sperm, and new life is conceived. That summary of things is pretty hard to argue with. But what does it mean?
I was once at a retreat where the leaders said when trying to understand your response to a situation, it can be helpful to say, “The story I tell myself about this is __________.” In other words, it can be helpful to notice that your interpretation of things isn’t necessarily what’s actually happening. If I see a man pierce a crying child with a sharp object, maybe the story I tell myself is, “He’s trying to hurt that child.” But the truth may be that I’m in a doctor’s office, the man is a doctor, and the sharp object is a syringe with medicine that the child needs to survive.
“The story I tell myself about sex is…”
With that thought as a backdrop, it is fascinating to notice the variety of stories that people tell themselves about sex. To illustrate this, I’ll focus just on the “story” of the sperm and the egg and do some simple searching about the web. Let’s see what stories come up!
For my next few posts, I’ll share several short and hilarious youtube videos that tell a variety of stories of what sex, reproduction, and male-female relationships might “mean”.
(p.s.: This is not to say I recommend looking around on youtube for videos about this sort of thing. Be responsible for yourselves and your decisions people!)
Get ready! This is going to be fun!