Leonard Sax, in his book Boys Adrift, describes an interesting scenario.
When a man is obligated to her, when he is told that he is responsible to “gladden his wife’s heart,” she no longer has to be an undercover agent.
She – and he together – get to teach the world about love.
The answer is that she buries them deep inside her, and steps out to negotiate in a man’s world. When men are repeatedly told how not much is expected of them, sometimes they sink deep into the quicksand of hedonistic self-serving self-service.
I recently met a 38-year-old man who told me that in his mind the biggest tragedy would be if he had married a woman who just didn’t understand him.
Judaism – which is more into equity than equality – has no problem saying that men and women relate differently to relationships.
It also tells us that the voice of love is the one we had better make sure doesn’t get squashed, because without it life becomes a very lonely island.
They were disappointed that boys “…were being told to be strong men and take care of their wives….
Traditional gender role stereotypes were reinforced and gender was portrayed in an essentialist manner” (Boys Adrift, 203–204).
They critiqued what they felt was an unacceptable portrayal of gender: The three authors [of the research] condemned the [school]…on the grounds that it strengthened gender stereotypes…
One teacher who received particularly severe criticism was a man who dared to speak to his students – all boys – about what it means to be a productive man.
One can easily see why the image of the man as the strong caretaker and the woman as the one-being-taken-care-of risks creating a patriarchal relationship that puts women and children in the same category.