Different but Equal: Communication between the Sexes

By Kay E. Payne | Go to book overview

1

Gender Role Development

I’m like an acorn. I have to decide if I want to grow up and be a big strong oak tree. I have to decide if I want to stand out in the wind and the rain and allow the birds to [poop] all over me. Or, if I want to let a squirrel gather me up and eat me. There is something to be said for living in the nice warm belly of a squirrel.

Anonymous

Several years ago, after safely landing in New York following a transatlantic flight from Paris, a male flight attendant announced that the flight had been their first with an all-female flight crew. A spontaneous eruption of applause filled the aircraft with cheers of astonishment and praise. The obvious evidence of broken barriers for women almost drowned out the secondary comment made by the flight attendant. He said that, although not for the first time in history, we had also had an all-male crew of flight attendants. The gender role reversal caused a continuous round of cheers and applause while the beaming flight crew walked out of the cockpit each with one arm raised high like a winning athlete crossing first over a finish line. As the passengers disembarked from the plane, one comment surprised a few people who heard someone say, “I’m sure glad they didn’t tell us women were flying the plane before we left or I would have gotten off. I don’t appreciate being deceived in this way. I may never fly with this airline again.”

A few years earlier I might have thought the same thing. Presupposing

-3-

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