Is it Really a Man's World?

Is it Really a Man's World?

I have written a few times on He Said/She Said Wednesdays about my desire for women to act more like men in some regards. In the way women treat friendships, for instance, they could learn a few things from men. On the other hand, I have also expressed my belief that in order for women to feel truly fulfilled, they must embrace their God-given role as women.

There are benefits to being a man. There are benefits to being a woman. One sex is suppose to be gentle, submissive, and maternal. One sex is suppose to be tough, assertive, and somewhat stoic.

I, for one, would never give up being a woman. I like all the perks and there are many. But is it fair to say that one sex has it easier than another? Many people, including many women, would argue that it is a male-dominated world. Men ruled then and they rule now.

Despite all the advancement of the feminist movement and women’s liberation, I wonder : Is it really a man’s world?

I could list off a million ways in which men “rule,” so to speak. They make more money. They hold more executive level jobs.  They dominate in sports, medicine, Wall Street, and business in general.

However, the salary gap between men and women is the lowest in history. 15 companies in the Fortune 500 are headed by women. Women are, at least in the business world, gaining ground.

But is economic equality between men and women the marker? If men and women were “equal” in business, would we cease hearing feminists complaining that it is a male-dominated world?

Womanhood offers major benefits, as well. Sure, we, along with children, can exit the sinking the boat and crashed airplane first, but there is more. Women are responsible for much of what is marketed and sold today, from clothes, to cars, to appliances, to homes. Women are the shoppers that make the economic world go round, even if much of the money they spend is a man’s.

Among women, there is a also a group, full of influence and power. They are called moms. Moms have proven to be force to be reckoned with. From a consumer perspective, moms are powerhouses. They decide much of what the American family will buy from cheese to college supplies.

In more recent years, politicians have begun to pay attention to moms as well, courting them on issues that are important to moms, like healthcare and education.

But are consumer and political influence alone, enough to say one sex has all the power? What about male and female influence within the church? If my posts on women in ministry are any indication, then it is maybe a mixed bag.  Although historically the church has been a male-dominated arena, more and more women today are seeking to serve and are granted permission to serve–in the American church at least.

What about the issue of sex, as well? Sex plays a huge role in society, either for good or for harm. Women today, despite feminists’ attempts otherwise, still use sex as a powerful force for influence and even as a weapon. Sex still sells, so to speak, and it is predominately women selling it. Men are rarely traipsed over the hood of a car or wearing a tight bathing suit (thankfully) while attempting to sell you a pair of shoes.

Women are still marketed as sex objects in commercials, television,and film. Men, not so much. And we all know that an actress with a pretty face and a nice body can be catapulted to stardom based on those two assets alone.

Some women would argue that women are still exploited in American culture, because of their portrayal as sex objects. But other women would argue that women are actually wielding the power, choosing to be seen as sex symbols, thereby determining their own fate.

I’m not posing this question because I have an answer. I think the relationship between men and women is a fascinating one and is ever-changing, either for good or for bad. If I had to answer the question myself, I would probably say that on the surface–on paper–it is a man’s world. But just below the surface–in practice–it is very much a woman’s world.

The truth, however, is that both men and women are equally important in God’s Kingdom. Both are necessary and vital as a representation of the Church and God’s very character and nature. I love men, but I also love being a woman. Do I wish the world was kinder to women? Yes, I do. I am a servant of Christ though, and that means I serve a God who does value women, even when the rest of the world may not always.

What do you think? Is it really a man’s world? Or is it a woman’s world? What is your evidence for either?

This post is from the archives

19 thoughts on “Is it Really a Man's World?”

  1. Nicole,
    Great post! It’s good to think of these things. Here’s something to consider. I now am living in an Arab, Islamic country. The state is run by men, men wield huge power here, and women are often allowed to be treated much more harshly than men are, especially compared to our Western society.

    Yet, on the other hand, it’s really the women who run things here. The males hold their mothers up to supreme respect…traditionally, here in the UAE, some would not even tell others their mother’s name, for it would demean her and “exploit” her. They hide themselves behind veils because they are to be respected and treated for who they ARE, not what they look like. To offend a woman here could land you in HUGE trouble with the authorities. Behind the scenes, women really run the show. It is said, of course, that to convince the mothers of something (in the school system where I work) is to convince the whole education system. No one will disagree with a mother.

    In an era of dealing with Islam’s views on women and how that fits into our American society, it’s something interesting to consider. :)

    1. Josh, that is such an interesting perspective you add and fascinating to think about. As much as most Arab nations are male-dominated, women play such an important behind-the-scenes role.

      America, although to a much lesser extent, is somewhat the same way. I love too that you point out mothers there where you are. No one wants to go up against a mom. She always wins!

  2. Interesting post!

    You said… “Sex still sells, so to speak, and it is predominately women selling it. Men are rarely traipsed over the hood of a car or wearing a tight bathing suit (thankfully) while attempting to sell you a pair of shoes.”

    Just curious… do you think that women are empowered by choosing to use their bodies as sex objects? Considering that men are largely in the positions that choose whether to use a sex-based advertising campaign, is it the man or woman who is empowered?

    Some would argue that, in the case of sexual appeal advertisement, the executive (generally male) is selling the woman’s body, not just the product she’s wearing. What are your thoughts?

    I think this discussion is so interesting because there are so many different facets to the topic and viewpoints that come into play. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    1. Great questions Ashleigh. Well, i said in the post that women who sell themselves, I think often times justify their position by falsely believing that they are “in control” when in fact, as you point out–it is really the men doing the selling that are “in control.”

      Women who use sex as a weapon I think often sell themselves the lie that what they are doing is empowering women since it is on their terms, so to speak, when actually nothing could be further from the truth.

      And yes, to answer your second question, I guess on some scale that a man selling an ad that objectifies a woman’s body, is the same as selling her body. Her body is just as much part of the product being sold in many cases.

      Again,great question..what are your thoughts?

  3. Nicole,

    You asked:
    “What do you think? Is it really a man’s world? Or is it a woman’s world? What is your evidence for either?”

    It’s neither a man’s or woman’s world.

    Not to sound all Biblical and religious, (Eeek!), but The World, as an entity, belongs to Satan. The earth, of course, belongs to our Father, but He has given The World, ie, flesh and blood dealings, to Satan. Because of this, I do not see it as a man’s or woman’s world. Seriously. Not trying to be funny here.

    I had a very lengthy response all typed out here. I read it. Then re-read it. Then I decided to let it go.

    To answer your question more practically, it is a man’s world simply because men are physically stronger, and we don’t “feel things” like a woman does. We think and have very little emotion.

    From the get-go we were designed to be The Alpha, the warrior, the fighter, the ravisher, the father, the guardian, the hunter, the killer, and the leader.

    My two cents.

    I’m not saying I agree or disagree with my above assessment. It is merely how I see things.

    1. And furthermore….

      Why is it that women tend to believe that to be a “strong woman”, you need to be a…witch. *ahem*

      I mean, seriously. It is more than possible to be that strong woman and be a woman of God and of godly strength, right? Does a woman have to be annoying to be noticed? Does she have to clamor for equality through killing the unborn or telling other, younger women it’s okay to let boys use you as their personal sperm-donation stations, simply because everyone else is doing it?

      THAT’S feminism? Yeesh. No wonder these chicks are still single. What man would want to marry that?

        1. Josh,

          I must tell you that I don’t joke. As a matter of fact, when I was in first grade, the teacher would ask me, “Why aren’t you outside with the rest of the kids right now? It’s recess.”

          I would calmly answer, “Cuz I don’t play.”

          So, no, Josh. I was being serious about what I said. Not a joke. Nope.

  4. The “feminist movement” as we knew it in the 60’s and 70’s isn’t what it used to be. It’s much calmer today. The grassroots movement has morphed into an ideology that organically believes women ARE equal with men in every sense of the idea. The fact that men are physically more empowered and women are emotionally more empowered is merely a matter-of-fact that all of us have to contend with on a daily basis.

    To point fingers and make the accusation that women are attempting to “get their way by means of being witches” I find absolutely deplorable speech and the writer must have unresolved issues with the women in his own life, even if he will not admit to it, or even will go so far as to deny it. To categorize women who strive for equality in this world as “witches” simply because they yearn for true equality in the business world is simply irrational and uneducated. Then to bump it off on Satan as the scape goat, well, again, I find that as deplorable because even the Bible says that mankind will always look for someone other than himself to push the blame upon.

    Fact is, society has neglected to understand, and own up to, the true value and needs of their female contributors. Women have so much more to offer to the world than mere physical strength. Males have, throughout history, brought us to war after countless war, when women would have chosen to reach real peace through alternative methods of negotiation, offerings and sharing of resources. Physical strength has not proved to be the end all to world progress and peace. Satan cannot be blamed for the totality of these actions and the repercussions thereof.

    As far as women “moving up the ladder” by means of “selling sex”, I strongly disapprove of this means of gaining wealth. I understand what they are attempting to accomplish, but I disapprove of the method. There is no shortcut to real and true monetary wealth without backfire. Yes, unfortunately the corporate business world, made up largely of the male species, has made it extremely difficult for the female species to advance. But with the amount of mental intelligence women have been blessed with, along with emotional quotient, only the sky is the limit, no man can limit women for any eternal length of time. Women have the courage, strength and endurance…after all, the female species are the species given the job of bearing children into the world, women can surely endure climbing a corporate ladder. And…women can accomplish this task with the cool, calm grace they have been given.

  5. This is an interesting topic. Lately, I feel women (and especially moms) are viewed as stronger in our society. Just look at commercials. Yes, you have your commercials that depict women as sex objects, but most commercials give the impression that women know better than men. I can’t count how many commercials show a man doing something (like clean up a mess) and a woman swoops in with the right cleaner/paper towel, etc) and she looks at him like “Oh you poor helpless man, not knowing how to do this properly). When men are depicted as strong, it is usually more like the “macho” stereotype of a beer-guzzling, sports loving oaf that depends on his wife to feed all his friends. These commercials are quite demeaning and it’s demeaning the character of a man, not just their physical appearance. I think that’s worse!

    As for the difference in how women are doing professionally: I see there being two reasons. 1) Women are more likely to choose a profession that is more flexible or she has more flexible hours so that she can perform her duties as a mom. This makes it difficult to get ahead in the world of business (I can personally attest to longer hours than the 9 to 5…if you have to pick up your kids right after work you will say no to more projects which means the person that says yes more often will more likely than not get a promotion. 2) Women do not ask for more money. They generally do not like to negotiate their salary. Men are risk-takers by nature so they will ask for the higher salary or greater benefits before accepting a job whereas women tend to be risk averse and afraid they will lose the job offer if they ask for more so they take what they can get.

    Yes, women buy most everything in our society, but we also pay higher prices for things that are “feminized.” A great example of this is shaving cream. Men pay $1.29 for a can of barbasol whereas women pay at least $3.59 for women’s shaving cream. Buying cars or using a mechanic is even worse. But a woman can educate herself and pay less, but most women don’t, at least for those big ticket items. In these cases, it’s our own darn fault that we pay more for these things, especially if we are the shoppers.

  6. It’s a man’s world as long as both the men that make policy and the women that make policy care primarily about the “man’s world.” Our society doesn’t support women’s traditional roles. Men that do anything traditionally feminine get made fun of. Feminists care more about how many woman CEO’s there are than whether we have decent maternity leave or childcare options. What we need in this society is to stop talking about men vs. women in the man’s paradigm and start all caring about the woman’s paradigm, even before we’re moms or if we’re not moms.

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