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Gender war
October 27 2003 at 11:27 PM
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"Say the words "gender war"to someone these days and likely you will get one of two reactions. Either they will look at you like you have just said something totally incomprehensible, as most people would have before the 1990s, or they will launch into a personal perspective on the battle lines, battlegrounds, and battle tactics which they have observed from personal experience. With each passing day, more people move from the first category into the second as they somehow become a casualty of this incomprehensible war.
And war it certainly has become.The older term for the essential conflicts between the interests and needs of men and women - the more benign "Battle of the Sexes" - has taken a mean and ugly turn. A wedge has been driven right down the middle of the human race which deprives the combatants of the only solace available to them in all other wars: respite from hostilities in the presence, or the arms, of someone they love.

As with any war, propaganda is being used to demonize the enemy. Men and women, who should be the most natural of allies because they have so much to offer each other that they both need, are instead seeing their interests as being mutually exclusive, not interdependent and complementary. The tragedy of this is beyond words.The tragedy is human loneliness, and the scope is almost universal.

Men, in general, have been slow to respond to all the terrible charges leveled against them. There have been many reasons for this. Foremost among these has been the difficulty which men have had in believing that so much of womankind would turn so thoroughly and viciously against them. Twenty-five years ago, no one could have predicted that the entirety of human history would be completely re-written by the time that the newborns of the day graduated from college. Or that the actions and lives of so many men, great and obscure, would be stripped of every shred of human decency and generosity and distorted into a world-wide and history long conspiracy of and by men to do nasty things to women - called "Patriarchy."

Like observers of the events leading up to each of the world wars, there were many of us who expected sanity to re-enter the dialogue at any time and the hostility and hatred to cease rather than continue to grow. In the end, we turned out to be just as foolish and nave as those who put off joining the world wars until forced to do so. By the time we realized that THEY had declared war on US, it was too late to avoid it and we were left with no choice but to fight for the basic rights and freedoms in which we believed.

This "barely civil" civil-war has fragmented our culture and balkanized interest groups in a way that will take years for us to recover - if we can recover at all. As soldiers who fought the Japanese in the early 1940s had a very difficult time later adjusting to the idea of Asians as friends and neighbors, those of us who have lived out our entire adult lives in the midst of this war will likely not be able to heal from the wounds it has caused and be able to see our former enemies as anything other than enemies."

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