We Are Equal, Yet Different

December 5, 2017

With feminism being pushed today and equal rights being enforced between the genders, people can forget how different males and females are. Not only are we different in our physical traits, but the genders also are distinctive in how our minds work, as presented in Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.” Men and women are both human beings that are equal, yet our brains are hardwired differently. The brains of the genders contrast in dealing with stress, performing tasks, and even relationships.


As read in the story “A Doll’s House,” Nora takes the role of taking care of her husband Torvald who has become sick with an illness and is unable to work, which Torvald is unaware of. So, because of Nora’s husband not being able to work and being ill she takes it in her own hands and begins making money to cure Torvald’s illness without him knowing, which brought her plenty of stress, but as Nora was stressed she but was under control and Torvald, eventually finds out and becomes devastated. Nora when talking with her long-time friend says that when working she enjoyed working saying “Ah, I was tired so often, dead tired. But still it was wonderful fun, sitting and working like that, earning money,” (Ibsen 893). Even at this time where times would have seemed stressful for any individual. This is because the minds of men and women are literally hardwired differently. The mind of a man and woman are so different we cope with stress differently (Hensley). According to “10 Big Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Brains,” men will deal with stress usually with a fight or flight response meaning that when a stressful situation comes they disconnect from their emotions and act (Hensley). As for women, they tend to use a Tend and Befriend response, where they take care of themselves and form more bonds with people. In the story “A Doll’s House” this is how Nora responds to a stressful situation, rather than for a man where they will just respond and just worry about getting the problem solved.


Another way men and women minds differentiate is in performing task. In my research, women tend to be great at multi-tasking because the way their brains are structured. A woman uses more gray matter than a man in action processing tasks. “For men, they have more of a tunnel vision where they are focused on task at hand rather than a whole bunch at once” (Jantz). Due to this fact many can see how women can cook, clean, and take care of children all at the same time and men work at their jobs most of the day putting food on the table (Jantz). Just like in Doll’s House when Mrs. Linde took care of her brothers, mother, and she managed a store all at once saying “My mother was still alive, but bedridden and helpless and I had two younger brothers to look after. So, I had to scrape up a living with a little shop and a little teaching.” (Ibsen 890). This showed how much a woman can do at once rather than men who are better with focusing on one specific thing. Men and women minds are opposite of each other even with getting task done because of the way the way the genders brains are structured because we are opposite genders.


Furthermore, males and female’s minds differ in terms of relationships. Men because of the way they are designed tend to have difficulties understanding emotions which in return make it difficult to communicate with women in a relationship. Women on the other hand, can communicate through emotions, empathy, and nonverbal cues because of the way women were designed. For example, in the story “A Doll’s House”, Nora treats her husband with upmost respect and takes care of her children well, because she has the ability as a woman, to do so. As for Torvald he treats with wife in a way where he is the superior and is not very emotionally aware of how he treats Nora, calling her special names like a squirrel and lark, that somewhat teases her, and Nora does not appreciate it (Ibsen 881). This shows that men usually have trouble knowing how another person may feel as well as not pay attention n to their own emotions, especially during this time-period where there were gender roles. However, men having a hard time coping with emotions is not fully because the way they were made, society plays a role in this problem as well. Just because men have a hard time dealing with emotions does not mean they are unable to. Men and women minds are made differently so we can favor one another and procreate. The role the brain plays on relationships between men and women makes it where men and women have different abilities because the way their minds function diversely.


A man and woman’s mind oppose in plenty of ways from the actual structure of the brain to how each gender thinks. Men and women cope with stress, perform tasks, and perceive relationships in a different way. However, just because one gender could do better than another area doesn’t mean they are better than the other. We all have strengths and weaknesses as an individual, but we can use our strengths to empower us. So, men and women being complete opposites is great for the world especially for how our minds are hardwired because we have different needs as a gender and abilities, we can complement each other. Therefore, in this world we live in today that says men and women are the same, I argue that it is not true because according to our biological bodies and minds we are not the same. Men can do some things that women cannot, and women can do things that men cannot. It is simply because we are opposite genders with different abilities and wants which is why our minds are complete opposites as well.






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