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Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Man and woman – the ideal combination

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YOU’RE a what, Gran?

A complementarian.

What’s one of those?

It’s what you are if you’re not a feminist.

What do you mean, not a feminist? Aren’t you a feminist?

Of course not. Most women aren’t. Hadn’t you realised?

I know you’ve got funny ideas. But why aren’t you a feminist? Don’t you believe that men and women are equal?

I do indeed believe that men and women are equal, but I also believe that they are different.


How on earth can they be equal but different?

What I mean is that men and women are both worth just as much. They are both equally important to society but actually they are very different.

Wow! Our sex education teacher would think you were so retro! She says that they are just the same really, with a few trivial differences.

Ah yes, trivial differences. Like being able to have babies or not, and feed them or not. Yes, just those trivial differences that mean that the human race can continue to exist or not. But it’s not only those differences; the whole body chemistry of men and women is different. So men are much stronger, better soldiers, firemen, bricklayers, warehousemen. Women are naturally better carers, softer in all sorts of ways – and that’s what attracts men. Didn’t you see the way your granddad paid attention to that woman at the checkout the other day? Ask him if the differences between men and women are trivial.

But what’s this comp . . . compli . . ?

Complementarianism.

Yes.

It’s the view that men and women are complementary, that each fills in what the other is lacking, especially when they are joined together in pairs . . . you know, married. Like your granddad and I are. In the old days the wedding service said that the husband and wife ‘shall be one flesh’, as though a completely different person were formed with the two merged into one.

I’m not going to be married. I don’t think it’s right for one person to own another.

Yes, that’s what it’s the fashion to say. You can say that freely anywhere, any time. But if you say the opposite you’ll get your head bitten off. Feminism looks at everything from the point of view of the woman as an individual, carefully totting up what it thinks women lose when they get married, and then says it’s best not to. What feminism doesn’t value are the things that women gain from marriage. It’s true that both men and women lose freedom when they get married but they gain so much more. Companionship. Protection. Jobs round the house. Support with the children, and in old age.


Theresa May was a feminist. She wore a T-shirt that said so. Do you think that Boris is going to wear one as well?

Indeed. Politicians wear T-shirts. It was Theresa May who was so keen to make a fuss about the so-called gender pay gap. I could have gone for promotion years ago but I let your grandfather do the slog so I could have more time at home. Bringing my family up was one of the greatest blessings of being married to your granddad. And feminists think I should be burning my bra in protest.

Gran . . .

Yes?

 . . . does granddad always want sex?

Now watch it, my girl!

Sorry, Gran.

You know, he always looks after me. He promised to. And I always comfort him. Daft as it seems, I think it comforts both of us. Yes, we fit together  . . . and I don’t just mean physically. Complementary.

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