The ‘traditional’ perception of men and women has roots in the biblical story of Adam and Eve. In Christian societies at least. Eve was created for Adam. From Adam no less. This story implies that women were created for men. This subsequently permeated social ideas in turn creating the structured gender roles that have ensured men and women behave in a particular way. It is unsurprising then that religiously diverse societies are less beholden to these gender structures.
Unburdened by these traditional restraints Women are becoming more influential in society, pursuing careers and demonstrating the fallacy that they are inferior to men. Furthermore, this change has provoked debate about what it means to be a woman. Despite the substantial introspective analysis about the evolving nature of being a woman however, there has not been an equivalent examination of what it means to be a man.
Just as women are free to pursue careers in typically male dominated industries, men can pursue roles that were deemed to be for women. Men can stay at home and look after the kids. Men can enter the nursing profession. The expectations placed upon men are changing which allows us to act and behave differently. As the assumption that men need to be infallible providers fades so too does the requirement to be stoic. We can show our flaws. We can admit failure. We can be loving. We can show that we are human.
Perhaps this is the best way to approach all relationships. Drop the assumptions and pre-conceptions. Simply treat each other as human beings.