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Battle of the Sexes

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The idea of the “battle of the sexes” is interesting. It implies that men and women are constantly fighting over something. The term “battle of the sexes” is not referring to the small issues that couples may have to deal with day by day. Rather, it is pointing to a current lack of equality that men and women have. A good portion of this lack of equality is inherent (for instance, only women can have babies), and some is a result of years of belief that men are more capable than women (in many cases, they are still being paid more than women for doing the same job). It is not because of the inherent differences that men and women have that there is a “battle”. No, it is because the world is sexist. Maybe not as sexist as before women were given the right to vote in America in 1919, or before Hillary Clinton was runner up to Barack Obama to be the Democratic nominee in 2008. Around the world, however, the picture for women is not near as pretty as it is in America. In America, gender equality in the workplace is a big issue, but in places like Saudi Arabia, where women are still unable to drive and open a bank account (Greenwood), discrimination against women is alive and well. While the term “battle of the sexes” may seem a bit violent or excessive on the surface, examples like this are what justify the word “battle”.

Even though gender equality is something that has taken huge steps forward in America, Dr. Wendy Jacobson of the Huffington Post claims that “the battle of the sexes isn’t over”—but for different reasons than might be expected. In her blog, she looks the division of labor within households for dual career couples, stating that the issue is less of a battle than “an all out war”. She states within her writing that women tend to push for the same workload as their partner until it essentially boils over. Of course, this is only supported by her assumption that “biologically destined and sociologically primed to carry more of the load at home” (Jacobson).

But is that correct? While the words “destined” and “primed” make her assertion seem bolder, Dr. Jacobson’s main point seems to be that women have more responsibility to take care of their child than men do. Physically, this is absolutely true: not only must a woman carry the child for almost a year, but the child is also physically dependent on its mother for a short time after birth. After that, however, why does Jacobson assume that women must carry more of the load at home? Even though she goes on to point out couples must wage this battle well, her underlying beliefs seem, well, rather sexist.



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