I am a college student and consider myself a feminist. The other day, a young man started a debate with me about feminist ideals, and looking back, I am dissappointed that I didn't have a more articuate argument. He specifically asked, "name one thing that women can do better than men" and said that "men can do many things better than women, but the opposite is not true." What would you say to a statement like this? Or can you direct me to some literature that would help me better defend feminist theory?
I have actually had many conversations just like the ones that you had. One example that I have found that works -- or seems to at least make a dent of impact -- is that when women first starting running the marathon, which was about 25 years ago, the time difference between the first man and the first woman was over 1 hour. Within those 25 years, the difference has shrunk to almost 12 minutes.
What this proves to me is that if women are given equal access, they can accomplish what men can -- it's just that we aren't always given equal access. And the point isn't that every women be as strong as every man, but that each individual stregth be valued. For instance, when women first became fire fighters, they didn't think that women would be good because they wre less likely to through people over their shoulders. Turns out that isn't the best way to rescue anyone from a fire anyway -- so that proved that each way was valued and men even learned to do it "the female way."
I hope that helps,