Thu | Aug 17, 2017

Gordon Robinson | The impossible dream

Published:Tuesday | May 9, 2017 | 5:00 AM

Feminists don't get it and never will. Men and women are constructed differently, socialised differently, and think differently. In some instances, these differences make men more suited to certain tasks. In others, women are more suited. There's no 'equality' between men and women. Never will be. Instead of sneering at women who choose to be homemakers, feminists should be fighting for equality of recognition of lifetime roles and treatment before the law. That's all that's possible, given God's divine plan.

Thirty-one years ago, when the Ampersand (#2) was born, the Old Ball and Chain decided she would quit her excellent job that was paying her more than I earned. She insisted no domestic helper would be bringing up her children. In the early years afterwards, I suffered (silently for the most part) superciliously critical comments from professional women disguised as expressions of concern: "Me coulda neva live like Old BC," was one of the kindest.

 

LIVING LIKE OLD BC

 

But, over the years, Old BC's contribution to the moulding of a family for Jamaica's benefit makes my efforts to earn mere cash pale by comparison. 'Living like Old BC' has paid dividends. She still takes on anyone on any topic and can win the argument with logic, wit or a thump over the head with her walker. In addition, Jamaica has an investment banker, a computer programmer and a young doctor all in good jobs and all committed to doing their bit for nation building. My major input has been to ensure none of them felt any pressure to follow in their father's footsteps. Thank God, not a lawyer among them.

Instead of understanding, I expect feminist professionals to launch a verbal volley of WMDs targeting the messenger. "GR has a problem with women!" will again be the mantra. No, I don't. I've found 'feminists' have a problem with me. God bless 'em, I hope it continues. Women who strive to be men; who want to infiltrate men-only clubs (none of which list me as a member); and generally tell men what to do with their leisure time are distinctly unattractive to me. For me, nothing beats a strong, confident woman with a high-class mind who still wants to pamper her spouse and be pampered by her spouse without some warped need for competition driven by insecurity. Now THAT'S a beautiful woman.

THAT woman gets it. That woman KNOWS men are socialised differently and will act differently. She KNOWS God gave men more testosterone and women more oestrogen for a reason, and won't waste her short lifetime fighting for an equal sharing of these essential hormones. One of the most visible and reality-oriented differences between men and women is exposed by relationships, whether romantic, vocational or professional. Many women can't resist the urge to speak their minds almost involuntarily without regard to circumstances. Men understand there's no 'i' in team.

Like it or not (I don't), the most significant contributor to the genders' different socialisations is early involvement in school sports. Boys are coached, "You play for the man next to you." In the USA, where most school sports involve contact, protecting your teammate is essential as, if you don't, it could mean a life-changing, career-ending injury. Now, take volleyball (please), the No. 1 girls' schools sport, where defenders are taught not to touch shooters as they balance themselves perfectly to miss a simple shot. Yawn.

 

FINAL GAME

 

Yes, girls play hockey. Old BC once liked hockey but, on her first appearance, was struck on the shin by a stick. That was her final game. Any boy who took THAT attitude to early sporting adversity would be classified as a sissy and tortured for the rest of his school life. Boys are taught to walk it off, whether the injury is a bruise, concussion or fracture.

As a general rule, women grow up understanding free speech is protected, while men grow up valuing team loyalty above all else. So, women's reflex is to speak, oblivious to the squirming embarrassment caused to a teammate, while men tackle their buddy's opponent regardless of how drunk, impetuous and just plain wrong Buddy was to start the fight. To borrow from golfing icon Phil Mickelson, "It's how we roll!"

THIS is why women are excluded from men-only clubs. They take themselves, the sights and sounds and the urge to report too seriously for the team's good. One day, maybe they'll wake up and smell the rubbing alcohol. Until then, feminist concepts of equality are unattainable pipe dreams, no matter how many male columnists they hang, draw and quarter.

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.