They critiqued what they felt was an unacceptable portrayal of gender: The three authors [of the research] condemned the [school]…on the grounds that it strengthened gender stereotypes…
For a man who takes his religious obligations seriously, life is a pretty obligating affair. Instead of casting him as a reluctant participant in a ceremony designed to rob him of his freedom – the unspoken message of wild bachelor parties held the night before a wedding – Jewish law casts him as the proactive initiator.He commits to her, he promises to support her, he obligates himself to take care of her needs.After all, he’s a man….” Is that what a man is, someone from whom one can’t expect much?How does it affect men when we look at them like that? What are we supposed to make of the fact that for the first time in history, there are more single than married women in the United States, and – astoundingly – one in three babies in the United States is born to an unwed mother? For a woman, who came into the world in the context of a relationship – Eve was created as Adam’s wife – life is often about relationships.Leonard Sax, in his book Boys Adrift, describes an interesting scenario.
Three researchers were sent by the Ford Foundation to observe a classroom in an all-boys school with a male teacher.
No one enjoys having his or her most vulnerable self trampled upon. In Judaism, being a man is about being disciplined, focused, responsible and committed.
Judaism has a completely different view of what a man is. Gever shares the same root as the word gevurah, strength. The Torah tells us, “It is good for man to carry a burden in his youth [i.e., to get married young]” (Lamentations ).
To my mind, the biggest tragedy had already happened: here was a man who at 38 didn’t realize that the most important thing in life is not to be understood – it’s to be man enough to understand someone else!
Love requires vulnerability, but it is dangerous to make yourself vulnerable to someone who is focused not on you but on fulfilling his own needs.
Judaism – which is more into equity than equality – has no problem saying that men and women relate differently to relationships.