Women Men and Equality

Shannon Adams (shannon_adams@byu.edu)
Mon, 29 Jul 1996 14:49:13 -0700

With the subject of matriarchy goes as it is (I haven't read it all but
it seems to be rather heated) I have a few basic questions and
statements. First, does "equality" mean being able to do the exact same
thing dispite gender, or does "equality" mean not placing more value on
one gender at the expense of the other? (I come from a society that is
often accused of being male dominated but as a university educated woman
I still fail to be able to see it this way. I favor the second
definition of equality, not the first.) I believe that there are some
basic inescapable differences between men and women. I realize that
these two genders will receive different definitions from culture to
culture, but there seems to be a universal perception of difference. My
second question is: is the sexual division of labor universal? I realize
that the specific tasks assigned to a gender are not but is the concept
that certain tasks are better performed by women/men universal? The
whole discussion of power seems futile to me because just as Susan said
everyone is speaking from a cultural context. Most of the discussions
that bring up power distribution (whether they are arguing for or against
matriarchy) seem to say that the only REAL power is blatent, officially
sanctioned power (western politics for example). (I personally find
creative power a great deal more potent.) I don't know. This whole
discussion saddens me. Sometimes I wonder if the western world will ever
get over our private little hang-ups.