The Difference Between Strength in Men and Women

I knew this was going to happen.  At some point, someone will take comments about men and think I am making some comment about women.  In this case, I got an email this morning I wanted to share with you.  It’s presented as I received it, with no editing for spelling or grammar.

Such misogynistic bullshit.  Women can be strong to you know.  Its not just for men jackass.

*Sigh*

4015776665_bc7690f453_oFirst, take a moment to decipher that if you need to.  Such a horrible abuse of the English language.

Now, let’s get to the meat of the argument.  Can women be strong?

Of course.  There are plenty of strong women out there.  I’ve even talked about one of them at one point.  I even pointed out that the example I used there was far stronger than I am.

There are two things I’m going to say about strength and women.  The first is the biological fact that men on average are stronger than women.  While there are female athletes stronger than the average man, those are outliers.  Given an equal amount of similar training and similar physical health, the man will lift more weight.  Period.

Now, there’s something else that needs to be discussed.

While the email’s author is right that women can be strong, that doesn’t matter.  I argue that for women, it’s a choice.  For men, being strong is an obligation.

Once upon a time, a self-described “empowered” woman quipped to me that she wanted a man around for two things.  One was killing spiders, but the other was opening jars.

This joke–and it was a joke, I’m sure–actually hinted at the truth.  Men are expected to be strong.  We’re the ones our single female friends get to move their sofas and refrigerators, after all.

At least, that’s how it used to be.

Males coming up now aren’t understanding this expectation.  The fact that they don’t is particularly troubling, and it’s a good chunk of why I spend so much time talking about being as strong as you can be.  It’s my hope that some of the upcoming generations will heed my call.

Women, however, are under no such obligation.  If a woman is physically weak, so what?  Few expect a woman to handle an upright freezer up a few steps, or to move an antique dining room set.  It’s simply not something women are generally expected to do.

If they can, then great.  A lot of men love that in a woman.  I’m one of them, to be honest.  Yet that doesn’t make it a requirement of femininity.

So, for our grammar-impaired critic, the issue isn’t that women can’t be strong.  It’s that women are free to determine whether they want to be or not.

Men?  Men need to be strong.  If they don’t want to be, then tough.  Then they’re not really interested in being men.

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