WOMEN ARE USUALLY referred to as the weaker sex. They are usually shorter in stature, frailer in build, and more delicate in structure than men. That is why they were usually assigned lighter tasks and treated with consideration and respect. This was especially true during the age of chivalry when women were almost idolized by knights and lords. To this day they are given priority whenever protection is needed. Where there is a threat to life, women are the first to be saved.

This, however, is not the whole story. Women are known to be biologically superior to men. They live longer and in emergency situations outlast their male counterparts. In open lifeboats where survivors faced hunger, exposure and disease, women fared far better than men. Statistics also prove that they have stronger and healthier nerves than men. The male population in mental institutions is substantially larger than the female one. On learning this fact, a wag commented that this just goes to show who is driving whom crazy.

Women are generally delicate, compassionate and warm. These qualities are the mainstays of their femininity. Men, on the other hand, are stern, calculating and resolute. These are the foundation stones of their masculinity. In the symbolism of our people the husband is referred to as the "head" of the family and the wife as the "heart." When the two complement and harmonize there is happiness and peace in the home. Blessed is the nation that is made up of sound families of this kind, for it is assured of stability, tranquility, and mental health.

The difficulty arises when there is a switch in the role of the sexes. When the father is relegated to a secondary position and is deprived of authority and respect, there is usually trouble ahead.

The Bible is quite explicit in the prohibition of changing the role of the sexes. "A woman shall not have upon her the apparel of a man, and a man shall not put on a woman's garment; for all who do this, are an abomination unto the Lord thy God" (Deut. 22:5). Our teachers saw in this violation not only a serious threat to morality but also the possibility of deep psychological wounds to the individual and the group. They were convinced that when men begin to dress like women and women like men, there is the danger that men will become effeminate and women masculine, and this, in turn, will lead to the ruination of shalom bayit in the home and will gnaw away at the foundation stones of a stable and normal social order.

Modern psychology subscribes to this opinion. A number of outstanding practitioners in the field are of the opinion that one of the major causes of the present social upheaval has to do with the revolutionary change of roles of the sexes. When young men and young women are indistinguishable from one another in dress, appearance and habits, they are sure to be affected emotionally. If we wish to reestablish a sane and stable society it is essential that we reinstate the traditional roles of the male and female in the home and in the streets of our towns and cities.

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