3.1 The War between the Sexes, 2017

Years ago my brother and I were intently playing with some of our toys. One of our sisters was in the same room doing whatever it was girls do. Suddenly she started loudly crying. We paid little attention to her, but our dad heard her and strode quickly into the room. Without slowing down or saying anything, he spanked my brother and me. We attempted to say that we had not done anything to her, but we realized it was falling on deaf ears. We were innocent in this instance, but we did not have a very good track record. By simply crying for no reason, our sister had outsmarted three males. She quietly returned to her activities with a slight smile. We warily kept an eye on her. Growing up with sisters made us realize that while they were physically weaker, girls could be formidable opponents capable of nuisances and subtleties far superior to our blunt force tactics.

Dad spoke to me just once about women. He said, “Women are different, you have to be nice to them.” He was a man of few words so I suspect he was not just saying that it was polite to be nice to them. I think he was also saying that if you are not nice to them, then there will be consequences. Clearly my brother and I were not always nice to our sisters, and we paid a price for it even though some of the specific acts we were punished for never happened.

There is a natural tension between the sexes. This tension is a necessary part of human existence. It is what makes a relationship with a member of the opposite sex so maddening, scary, difficult, exhilarating, wonderful, effortless, and rewarding—all at once. This tension is a powerful thing for good, but, like any power, it can also be corrupted. Lying right below the tension is sex itself. If men and women had no sex drive and experienced no sexual pleasure there would be no humans. Sex powers the human race. When sex is separated from its purpose, its vast power is diverted from creating lives into destroying lives.

In nature males and females of all animals are evenly matched. Humans included. However, when the power of sex is diverted from its purpose, the natural tensions between men and women are replaced with the tactics of war: all is fair. And nothing is fair. Women try to handle sex like men do. Men take advantage of women. Men abuse women. Women respond with a vengeance.

I cannot say if my childhood experience is analogous to any of the recent accusations made by women against well-known men, but I suspect that it is for at least some of them. Human nature being what it is, there will always be a war between the sexes. Unlike a war between armies, a war between men and women can have no winners. If the balance between men and women is skewed either way, the human race is the loser.

Each of us can choose not to participate in the war. It starts with dusting off the 10 Commandments and treating others like we would like to be treated. As Dad said, “…be nice…”.

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