Update: 07/16/01

No, men and women are not equal. They are different. Speaking in very general terms, the male half of the population has a lot of admirable qualities. They also have some not so admirable ones. Women have good qualities and bad, but when taken in context to this writeup, some people believe men are better at certain ventures in life than women. Friendship can be one of these differences. From personal experience and the shared experiences of others, I have concluded that in general, men have the qualities I look for when it comes to friendship.

I never expected this node would raise such powerful responses. Apologies to those who have been offended or dumbfounded.


Values and Beliefs

Are men and women really equal? Nope. I believe guys make better friends in most cases. They tend to be more loyal, mature, and have more of a sense of humor than girls. A lot of you are probably saying, "no way, son, it's the other way around," but just let me explain.

Loyalty

Loyalty has helped me a lot through life, which sounds pretty dumb, but it's the truth. During my freshman year, I went trhough some pretty rough shit, and the only thing that helped me through it was the support of my friends and my family. They never gave up on me. I've been feeling wonderful in comparison now, and I still thank them for all the help they gave me. But they always say "yo, that's what we're here for."

Maturity

I think going through the before mentioned 'rough shit', and experiencing a different side of life because of it, I matured a lot faster than most kids who have never had to live through something similar to that. Relating to people my age is kind of hard now; they can't understand a lot of what makes me the way I am. It's pretty hard to explain.

For some reason, it's easier for me to talk with guys than it is to talk with girls. Does anyone else feel that way? Of course there are exceptions, but in general I find it to be the truth. Their attitudes are different; more laid back, straight forward, forgiving, and I believe they have more empathy as opposed to the sympathy I get from most of my friends who are girls. I'd rather be understood by someone instead of felt sorry for. So I guess you could say maturity is something I value as well.

A lot of people say girls are more mature than guys, but that's not always true. Guys just tend to balance their maturity more with a sense of humor. At least my friends do. Yeah, sometimes we sit around and play video games for hours on end, or drive around acting like idiots, but when guys want to be serious, they tend to be honest and more open-minded than girls, and therefore easier to talk to.

Obviously, my friends are one of the biggest parts of my life. Although we don't get to see each other very often when school starts, we still get together on occasional weekends when everyone is free. When we're together, no one messes with us; a couple guys over 6'5", two more who are close enough, and then me. We walk into each others' houses without knocking, know each others' parents on a first name basis, and trust each other without question.

When I hear about all the petty fights between girls who call themselves friends, I feel sorry for them and can only hope they will find more meaningful relationships with people who care more about their friendship than trivial things that will hold no relevance within a few day's time. Friends who aren't loyal to each other aren't friends at all.

A while ago, I went to Detroit to see a basketball game with a friend, his mom, and his grandmother. We stopped at a gas station on the way there so his gran could use the restroom. When she opened the door to get out of the car, it barely bumped against the car parked next to us. The guy in that car got really upset, and he started swearing at gran and calling her all sorts of names. This friend of mine got even more upset at him for talking to his grandma that way, so he stepped up to the guy and calmly said "You better not talk to my grandmother that way." The other guy looked pretty scared, cause Steve was about two feet taller than he was, if not more. Steve was risking his safety in order to stand up for his little grandma, which I thought was really sweet. The guy ended up getting back into his car and driving away.

Whether standing by friends or risking one's life for a grandma, loyalty and maturity are the most important qualities one can have.

Equal?

Where were you in 5th grade when they explained this stuff?

No, seriously, men and women are different. That does NOT make one sex 'better' than the other, as some of the above posts have indicated. Not at all.

Difference can be wonderful. I like the way things are set up, with two different sexes. It adds a lot of the flavor in life.

Men and women are different. It's always been that way. Not just physically, but in other ways as well. And the physical differences are never 'just' that. What kind of difference is there between someone who has the capability to bear life and someone who doesn't? That's big.

Men and women can be different without being unequal. An apology to all math majors out there, but it's true. It's apples and oranges. An individual person could be said to be better than another individual, but you can't generalize that statement to such a degree as to encompass the whole human race.

Men and women are human; we share many traits. But in some very important ways we are different, and the difference is beautiful. I could not imagine a world without it.

I don't think kaytay is really talking about equality in the above writeup. At least, by my definition, equality in general is whether two groups of people are treated the same by law and by society, not what characteristics they share. I certainly agree that women and men are different, whether for the reasons cited in kaytay's writeup, other behavioral reasons, or just pure anatomy -- but nonetheless they should be equal before the law. Whether they are "equal" in your choosing to be friends with one group or another isn't so much a function of what they are like, but how you see those groups and what qualities you value.

It's all a matter of experience. Being forced to grow up too soon, enduring painful times, all of it promotes development of maturity. Male or female, whatever the race, maturity is relative. Obviously if one is sheltered in life, they will be less mature if they haven't seen the true nature of it. So I firmly believe that maturity is not something that is primarily in males or females, thus not a valid judgement in relation to the equality of men and women.

Loyalty. I've seen loyalty in men and woman, and lack of it as well. I've seen men cheat on women, I've seen women cheat on men. I've seen men ditch their friends for a woman, and women ditch theirs for men. Every one of my close friends has stood by me through thick and thin, that's what true friendship is about - loyalty. Friendship is not a determining factor in relation to the equality of men and women. I have male friends and female friends and they really aren't that different in how they treat our friendships. I don't think one sex is better then the other in regards to friendship.

Humor can be found in men and women, it may be different, but amusement is amusement. Some people are more serious then others, there is nothing wrong with that. Some are more sarcastic then others, big deal. Some have wit, and some are cheesy, some are sexist and some are dry.

Everything is relative in comparing men and women. There are no set boundaries, as much as people wish to judge things as such.

Balance. Balance the self, relate to the opposite sex, instead of constantly finding differences. You might learn something about your self.

There has been much talk in this node that men and women are different. Let us face it, if you are old enough to have learned to read this, you've probably figured this out already. This simple fact is not of particular interest. What is of interest is the empirical studies into gender differences. The studies have found, not too surprisingly, that there are differences between the genders in terms ability, with men being better than women in some areas and women better than men in others. The interesting part, is that the range of difference between individuals within a gender group, is far greater than the differences between the groups. Essentially these findings show that there is more of a difference between any two women or any two men, than there is between women and men in general. If factors of socialization were eliminated from the equation, the differences in ability between the genders would shrink even further.

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