Cool. So what are these?
Perhaps it’s an unfair question in the sense that postive human characteristics can’t be hijacked by one or another gender.
But I really find it unsatisfying to think that there is nothing to strive for (vis a vis ‘goodness’) unique to my gender.
I’m hugely annoyed with the idea that the only difference between a good woman and a good man might be that that the woman can bring life into the world and the man cannot. And getting naked with other guys and banging on drums in the woods doesn’t resonate with me.
Might we be looking for a sort of ‘weighted average’ of combined virtues that society (eeks, here comes that word:) should value more in men than women? That get’s us around the ‘unique’ issue, which seems to be a dead end, yet perhaps allows for a uniqie identity. For instance, I personally feel that part of being a man is to be able and willing in the last result to provide for my family should my mate be unable/unwilling (perhaps due to childrearing?). Same with defense. I am delighted to have a woman who is brave, strong and capable of earning to help support our family. However, if everything went to shit, I feel it’s MY responsibility as the man to stand in front of the bullet or work three jobs etc. Doesn’t mean that she couldn’t do the same, but I would not think less of her as a ‘woman’ if she couldn’t. Whereas I would think less of myself as a man.
Having said all that, where would this leave a brave man spending his life battling from a wheelchair or facing some other horrible disability? Less of man? I would think the opposite.
Could it be something to do therefore with the willingness to always fight the important battles (be they physical, economic or disabilities) and sacrifice oneself for the comfort and nourishment of partner and offspring? But then, what does that do for single dudes?!