1halffull's Blog

Sharing The Upper Hand
March 18, 2010, 12:50 am
Filed under: battle of the sexes, Change, God, Life, Respect for women

There’s so much power mongering these days.  There’s hardly a place you can go or a facet of life where you won’t find someone trying to wield power over another individual or group.

While you’d think that the supposed liberation of women over the last 40 years would have leveled the playing field between men and women, on a regular daily basis you will find that not to be true.  The reality is that many men are still hung up on dominating and controlling the women around them.  There are some who just ALWAYS have to have the upper hand.

I’m so fortunate:  My husband is not one of those men.  While he’s not a pushover, he’s also not someone who has to dominate nor always have the upper hand over me.  While he trusts in God, he doesn’t use the ‘wives must submit to their husbands’ scriptures in a way that presumes I should have very little or no say in our lives.

He works with women in his business life but never seems to feel the need to assert himself in such a way as to make them feel inferior.  Sure, he may get annoyed sometimes with their behavior, as he does with other men’s behavior, but he never takes it upon himself to denigrate them or make them feel like second class citizens.

In the church, where there can be an even greater tendency to try to put women in some supposed lowly female ‘place’, he is kind and values what the women have to say in the areas that he co-serves with them.  When he listens, he does so with an open mind and ability to help them know that he has heard and understands their point of view.  He doesn’t automatically presume that ‘because he’s a man’ he automatically knows best.  Nor does he behave in such a manner that they are made to feel as though their input doesn’t really count.  They are treated as equals whose input is incorporated into the overall plans.

I really like that about him.  He’s figured out that receiving many ideas from many people, men or women, usually gives a better quality to the discussion.  He knows that broader input builds trust and makes for better group interactions overall.

He and his cohorts don’t limit themselves by invoking some ‘men are the heads’ credo in an attempt to keep women in the pantry ‘where they belong.’  They’re actually evolved enough to be secure in who they are, without need to shout down any woman who they fear might have a better insight than they do.  They don’t insist on their way or the highway because they know this isn’t any way to navigate successfully and peacefully through the narrows of relationship building.  And isn’t that what life should really be about – relationship building?

So, the next time you think it’s all about having the upper hand, take a tip from my husband by opening your heart and mind to what the other person is really saying.  Let go of your prejudices and learn to understand that their input can be possibly even more valuable than your closed mind.  Maybe just once, open your ears and put your hands in your lap.