Equality in society and the workplace is something women have been fighting, protesting, and even burning their bras for decades to obtain. While I agree there should be equal pay for equal work, an equal expectation of personal responsibility, and equal voices in decision making and voting, I do not think we, as a society, should ever
expect men and women to be 100% equal in everything.
One particular place this has come to mention is in relationships. When you take a look at currently popular dating advice sites, you will find women lamenting their status as "single." Oddly enough, the idea of a woman being unable to find someone to date or even marry is quite amusing to me. When it comes to relationships, women and men are in no way equal. In fact, women hold most of the decision power in this regard; this is Nature at her best. While most humans would object to being equated to the animal kingdom, mating in Nature is entirely at the discretion of the female; so too does this exist for homo sapiens
If we pick the cliche of going to a bar to find someone to meet, what do you typically find? Women are clustered together, away from the men, primped up to attract the attention of the men. The men, meanwhile, attempt to impress the women in various manners, whether through a display of character, fashion, or finances. Ultimately, whether a lady decides to go with a particular gent is entirely that, her decision. She will decide if he has sufficiently impressed her, made her laugh enough, if he has enough money, wears the right clothes, etc.
Now that we've oversimplified the concept of women choosing their potential mate, we look at the long-term difficulties of today's world of relationships. As well-stated in Kristine Gasbarre's article, "Dating 101: Why Am I Still Single?
, women "feel they need to be completely self-sufficient in their happiness." There's a major problem with this, though. Men are also raised with the expectation they are required to fix problems, be the provider, etc. How is a man supposed to feel involved in a relationship if he 1) does not really have a major say in who he gets to choose, 2) has to beg, do undesirable acts, and lie to remain in the relationship,"
and 3) constantly have to be concerned that he has upset or annoyed his significant other in some fashion or another?
In addition to this lack of power in the relationship, men are also not interested in the same things as women (cutesy emotional needs, excessive time commitment, and extraneous activities to "enhance" the relationship). Emotions are not something most men handle well, particularly because most of us are raised with an expectation to control our expressions and emotions, or only display "manly emotion[s]" (Shields, S.A., "Speaking from the heart: Gender and the social meaning of emotion, 2002). As for time commitment to the relationship, it's not that men don't want to put lots of time into a relationship, it's just they're too busy trying to meet the demands of the female for financial stability, increase their social standing, and generally doing whatever it takes to ensure he does not get yelled at or "nagged." Finally, the old adage of "if it's not broken, don't fix it" comes into play regarding extraneous activities, or "fluff." Most men are pragmatic and don't see a need for unnecessary additions.
Yes, that's also another oversimplification, but it serves well to illustrate the point that women are not equal in a relationship. Instead, they hold a massive amount of control and power in the relationship. Men and women operate on different levels and in different fields. Men are less likely to be concerned of emotional needs, are much more involved in "what works," and don't often need (in my opinion) "fluff." How can a relationship be built 100% equal when men and women have completely different needs?