I found the following link on a friend’s facebook page:
I highly recommend it: as field anthropology, as reportage from the domestic scene, and as food for thought. The thought for which this is food concerns the enduring Nature versus Nurture controversy. In particular, are the roles of men and women biologically determined, or are they socially conditioned? It is apparent to even the most politically correct that certain differences are biological. Women bear children, while men don’t. Men have, on average, much more muscle mass. But take another area. While men dominate professions such as violent crime and the design of video games, racing cars, and thermonuclear weapons, it has not been conclusively proved that this must forever be so. Do men do this because of the genetic codes they carry in their cells, or were they schooled to do so, however implicitly, at an early age? The further we move away from the obvious cases, the less clear the issue becomes. And confusion may set in at surprisingly close range, as shown by the article on the Khasi people referred to above. The unequal and subservient situation of Khasi men is so dire that one of them writes
Only mothers or mother-in-laws look after the children. Men are not even entitled to take part in family gatherings. The husband is up against a whole clan of people: his wife, his mother-in-law and his children. So all he can do is play the guitar, sing, take to drink and die young.
As Newton taught us, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. While the “equal” part probably does not apply in the human sphere, the general idea seems correct. Indeed, men of the Khasi people have organized themselves into the aptly named “Syngkhong Rympei Thymai” (SRT), a liberation movement whose goal is full equality of the sexes. Nature or Nurture? I don’t know.