Quote Originally Posted by Bellasub View Post
Because women are more important to civilization. Men are meant to provide and care for the family, because they are meant to protect, die, and sacrifice for the family. In Christian marriage, men are icons of Christ and women the icon of the church... which means men, like Christ, should be willing to put themselves in danger for the sake of the women. (also why they open doors, stand, carry things, etc)

This is also anthropologically practical, as women are indeed more important to the continuation of society. Men can go forth and die with a much smaller impact to larger society, but women can only have one baby at a time (whereas men can procreate with multiple if necessary, even though not optimal)
You're confusing work and conflict. Because, as you say, males are expendable, from insects all the way up to higher mammals nature has given males extra handicaps so they can be tested to destruction to improve the breed. Some of these handicaps are exotic, like the peacock's tail or the fiddler crab's claw, but usually it's simply extra aggression so they pick fights with other males or predators. (This is why human male aggression peaks before 30; if they survive that long, they're proved fit to mate and settle down.)

But until the Agricultural Revolution, work wasn't a danger to life. A hunter might get gored or trampled by his prey, but so could a gatherer get taken by a leopard; hunter-gatherers generally lived long relatively easy lives. Agriculture introduced a life of work that wore people down till they died early, but the women who tended livestock, ground corn, cut and preserved meat and all the other tasks around the home worked as long and hard as the men in the fields. There is a whole body of peasant folk songs and tales about the husband and wife who try swapping jobs, and they all end with the man admitting that his wife's work is harder.

The glorification of men's work has less to do with practical realities and more to do with cultural politics. Men who had nothing else to feel proud of, serfs and industrial and administrative wage-slaves, needed to build up their self-worth as the master of the house, the provider for the little woman at home; and it gained traction in the suburban culture where women's work was simplified down to the basic menial tasks. But the myth that this is the natural order of things is just that, a myth.