On women, men and creating
I have a wild theory.
(Before I begin, I must state that that I count myself a proud feminist – defined as my belief that women should have equal social, political and economical rights – and should have the ability to make a choice about their life, and not feel guilty about it. At the same time, I do think that men and women are different – biology might be a clue – and those differences produce the many wonderful, frustrating, and at the end making our life interesting experiences. But I digress.)
My theory is that we are all, men and women, born with an equal desire to create. To make a mark on this world, produce something of our own that wouldn’t be there if not for our unique abilities. Since childhood, when we build sand castles and create imaginary worlds with our friends, into adulthood, when we work on our careers, innovate and build homes.
And perhaps, one of the answers to the lack of women at the top of professions (beyond the many male-dominated hierarchies and antiquated worldviews impending women’s progress), is that our urge to do something with our life is satisfied biologically. The magic of us, women, is that we are able to create another human. Of course, we do it with our partners, but it’s in our body that another life is nurtured. And there it is, our unique footprint – two tiny baby footprints, if I can be so corny – on the world.
Men, meanwhile, who are not of the same biological makeup, even when they become parents, continue with their quest of leaving a mark on this world. Discovering new lands, inventing new businesses, going to space. Make things.
That’s not to say it’s the main reason there are not enough female inventors or businesswomen – we are a long way from true equality, and Sheryl Sandberg and Anne-Marie Slaighter set the case for women’s progress much better than I would. There are also outliers on both sides of the equation, women successfully creating after they becomes mothers, from Marie Curie to JK Rowling, and people who don’t care to create, male or female, whether they have children or not.
Is it that old “female nurturer – male conqueror” adage? I don’t know. I think all of us, women and men, carry a bit of both in us, and the varying degrees is what makes the laws of attraction work.
But I wonder, if this biological difference manifests itself in our aspirations at different stages in life. When I look at my friends having kids, priorities for both parents change when you start a family, but it seems more significant for the mother than the dad. I might be on a limb here, but probably if you ask a mother at the end of her life, she’d have regrets – everyone does – but she will never be totally un-fulfilled. Because at the very least she gave a life, and that counts for a lot.
Does my theory stand? Does motherhood satisfy our urge of creation to a degree? I guess one day we all find out, at least for ourselves, one way or another…