Allow me to personalize the male and female natures as Manhood and Womanhood. I wish to describe traditional America before the 1960s.
Womanhood capitalized on male dominance instead of tearing it down. She supported Manhood’s dominance of society (what people do), while she took over dominance of the culture (why people do it).
Womanhood’s goal: One reliable man to help fulfill her dreams for nesting, nurturing, and nestling with loved ones. She sought stable marriage and family. She convinced Manhood to provide the wherewithal and do the hard labor. In return, she rewarded his husbanding and fathering.
She gained status and added personal stature by making herself very different and highly unique. She capitalized on gender differences and exploited the female nature. Her character was shaped around feminine mystique, female modesty, moral standards, marriage, monogamy, manners, virginity, virtual virginity, soft-heartedness inside and hard-headedness outside of marriage, and whatever else would distinguish her from Manhood.
She taught daughters to mature first, love next, leave sex to marriage, and uplift manliness and masculinity as the way to fulfill female hopes and dreams.
In the process she earned Manhood’s unconditional respect for the female sex. The benefits grew through the decades. Womanhood changed cultural values and the social and domestic environments in such ways that the genders respected the opposite sex more than their own (e.g., my generation).
Womanhood developed American life into a family game. She emphasized separate but equal genders with cooperative rather than competing roles. In her eyes, good character and virtuous actions overwhelmed looks, interests, and words.
For over a century, Manhood was preoccupied on the job with technological and economic advancements. He dominated workplace and society. Gradually adopting wifely-inspired and family-friendly values, however, Manhood gradually yielded dominance of home and culture.
Family dominance was a toss up, but mostly it had the appearance of husband as head, wife as neck, and children as no more than adult-hopefuls. Womanhood accepted and parlayed this truism: Perceptions are reality, and whatever appears to be, is.
Manhood bought into the lifelong married life sought by Womanhood. Family responsibility guided husbands in the workplace and society. With laws, wealth, and leadership, husbands shaped America to his wife’s vision of family-centeredness.
Mutual respect grew as husbands implemented feminine values in society. Husbands in the workplace made America more family friendly. The beginning of the end, however, arose in the 1960s.
[More on old school America appears in posts 263, 238, 218, and 204 below. Scroll down or search by the number with dot and space following it.]