Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Adam and Hewan, 6000 Years later

Recently habesh men and women have been going at the sex blame (በላት! በይው! ኧረ በላ ት!) game at አቁማዳ. I’m unable to think of a reasonable gender perspective on my side because … I don’t believe such a thing exists. In fact, I’d like to think that the very problem which these people have been discussing exists because ….people believes it exits. You think. Therefore it is! . . . and the sooner people submit to the idea, the better for single people!

The topic is a ደባሪ recurring theme across cultures whenever differences between men and women are mentioned. One typical argument is that the sexes are genetically ‘wired’ to behave differently. To be more specific, the arguments usually follow the lines of defense for men (that men have raging hormones and insatiable desires and that when they fall off the wagon of … eh … commitment) or accusations pointing at women who should be more nurturing, e.g. willing to ‘look out’ for their man, cook and soothe, etc. (Pardon me if there’s a lack of positive spin to this genetic argument with regards to women … unless positive means something entirely different to you, in which case we’re all good).

I am in no position to argue the veracity of the above statements one way or another. Instead I have a question: ግን የምለዉ እኛ ዛ ነን ድመት? Do we have to jump to every banana or that comes our way? የደ elementary books used to say “ሰውን ሰው ያረገው ስራው ነው”. Well, ስራችን ምንድን ነው? I don’t think we’re genetically wired to build bridges, sky scrappers, tools and computers. We do it because we see the need for it. What I don’t understand is why people fail to see the same need, or fail to accept that such a need exists, when it comes to their personal lives. Since when has "I'm genetically wired to die. Therefore if I see my impending death, I will not react, regardless of whether I believe I can alter the outcome" become a valid argument? Basically people are saying, 'I feel. Therefore I am.' Ok. So do ቦቢና ውሮ. How long till reincarnation?

I don’t think we were wired to get married. I don’t think we were wired to believe in a god or in gods. I don’t think we were wired to appreciate the music we grew up hearing. A significant portion of our behaviors are picked up through a systematic conditioning process that we affectionately call ‘culture’. And culture is dynamic. It bends for the remover to remove, or for the innovator to add.

So, what’s my take on the sexes being wired differently? It’s possible, but is of no consequence. Mostly I see effects of culture all around me. If we don’t like the state of our existence, it’s our place to change it. We forge our way instead of waiting for natures write out our destinies. Relationships are not meant to please the whole world – it’s just between two people. If a need arises, in a relationship that’s worth keeping then we have to rise to meet the need. But we can’t impose on or sit back and expect from the other person. At best the issue can be resolved through discussion. At worst, somebody has to move on. Not every person likes to build bridges, paint paintings or be a politician. Not every woman likes to cook, nor every man not to cook. Perhaps they never will.

In the end, if we try to climb the wrong tree and find that we don’t like it, the problem is not the tree, but the fact that it’s the wrong tree. And that is not the tree’s fault. To be mad at the tree … is so Hewan blaming it on the snake. So thousands of years ago. Haven’t we learnt better since?

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