A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post to get people’s thoughts on Masculinity and Femininity.

In it, I posed four questions.  Here are my answers (taken from the comment I just left on my own blog post):

1. Where do you think people get their understanding of manhood and womanhood?  Where did you?

I think most of my understanding of manhood and womanhood came from: i) my parents; ii) watching TV and social culture; iii) how God relates and talks to men and women in the Bible

2. What do you think is a major difference (or two) – aside from the obvious biological ones – between men and women?

I think there is a MYRIAD of differences between men and women, both less obvious biological/physiological differences, like the effect of testosterone on the brain from birth, and many psychological differences.  Men and women are often VERY different.  There is a lot of intra-gender variability, though, which means that within a gender, you’ll have a range of characteristics, some of which you might typically associate with the other gender (e.g. men who are a lot more “in touch” with feelings and emotions), but even in those cases, I still think even those characteristics are still influenced by their gender.  There are a lot of social differences, too, and sometimes they make a lot of sense.  For example, traditionally, men in societies are expected to be the primary financial providers of their family, and also provide physical protection.  That’s not just a cultural “bias” – it makes sense sociologically, because child bearing alone makes it more difficult for a young mother to fulfill the role of primary provider, and genetic differences make it more difficult for a woman to provide physical protection (i.e. because of smaller size, height, muscle-to-weight ratio, etc.).

3. Who should “lead” in a romantic relationship?  (Feel free to briefly describe what you mean by “leading”)

Who should lead in a romantic relationship?  I think while both the man and woman should be taking initiative in having the healthiest relationship possible, I think the man should feel a certain kind of responsibility to lead more in certain ways.  I think this is what most women will attest to being what they’d prefer, as well, at least in the areas of knowing that he is pursuing her, for example in asking her out to begin with, and knowing that he is thinking ahead as to where the relationship is going for the both of them, etc.  Opening doors for her isn’t just some archaic cultural pratice – it can be a way of expressing love and care, that he is wanting to do whatever he can to make her feel cared for, secure in the relationship, and appreciated.  Again, I think it’s worth reiterating that I think the woman can take initiative towards building the relationship, too, but I think it’s just… different.

4. A man and a woman are walking down the street one late evening and are confronted by a mugger with a knife. The woman is well-trained in martial arts and can easily disarm the mugger. Should the guy still step in? Why or why not?

I don’t think there’s a clear-cut answer, but I think the two friends (or whatever their relationship is) should be thinking about what is most practical.  For the man, though, I think he should be for whatever option is the safest for the both of them, albeit with priority going towards her safety, and he should do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.  So if that means him taking his chances with the assailant while she has a chance to escape and get help, or if that means that he doesn’t put up a fight and they just hand over what the mugger wants, or if it means he lets her do the heroic thing and take the assailant down, it’s fine.  Whatever’s best for her and/or the both of them.

Those are my thoughts.  I hope you agree with them and think they are the best ideas you’ve ever heard 😉 ha ha