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That's a Difference of Anatomy: Women can learn a lesson from men: Be yourself

People often speak of the nearly telepathic connection between twins, but what of the often-understated reciprocity among mere siblings?

Growing up, I was the younger of only two children. With just 21 months separating me from my brother, I often found him to be my closest friend and confidant.

I know that this arrangement seems downright foreign to many women, most of whom live in a world where friends — and occasionally sisters — all but replace the role of family, but I wanted to highlight a few of the benefits I’ve received simply by taking the time to listen to the man who shares my DNA.

The first lesson he taught me was that a difference in anatomy had very little to do with a difference in ability.

Countless moments of my childhood were devoted to seeing “who could do it better.” Be it rifle shooting or academics, my brother and I were in constant competition, despite the masculine manner of most of the activities.

More often than not I even managed to beat my older brother, earning myself the nickname Annie Oakley in the process. I prided myself in being able to do everything the boys did — a motivation I still apply every day.

By the time I reached my teenage years, our house was teeming with male energy. Between my brother’s increasing testosterone levels and the steady influx of his many friends, I became well-versed in the thoughts and behaviors of men.

By simple observation, I learned that most men are neither true gentlemen nor true assholes, usually falling somewhere in between the two extremes —   and ladies, trust me, that’s where we want it.

It’s unrealistic for women to assume that a man should always open the door, call first and foot the bill. I mean, would you want to constantly be doing all those things? I didn’t think so.

And while we also assert that we’d never settle down with that quintessential bad boy, we still find ourselves drawn to his brooding eyes like children to fire.

So then, the fact that most men do not belong to either of these categories should come as some relief, showing that perfect men may exist — just not in the way you imagine.

My brother, when I had the good sense to listen to him, also managed to teach me a lot about what it means to actually live life.

Men don’t hide behind makeup and superficial friendships. They aren’t constantly trying to figure out who they are; they simply are the way they are, no apologies or explanations needed.

I was always told to “put down the war paint and hurry up already,” a phrase I believe my brother stole from my father but one that had a much deeper meaning behind it.

And though I’ve never quite been able to put down all the “war paint,” I did manage to internalize his fundamental message, which was this: Be yourself, loosen up and enjoy life without fear of judgment.

In the end, I believe that the relationship between my brother and me has benefited me far more than my brotherless peers might imagine, and I suspect he feels the same way about me.

There is just something so rare about the connection — the insight you receive — that makes this sibling bond so much better than that of two sisters or two brothers.

Although I cannot be the judge of all sibling connections, and I also have never experienced their distinct feelings, I do know that the bond between my brother and I has made all the difference in how I navigate my life.

I know how to roll with the punches and live life apart from the sometimes-restricting world of females.

Men are true to themselves above most else, and ladies, I think we could all afford to take a cue from the men and loosen up, enjoy what we love and save the insecure thoughts for a rainy day.

Rachel Sayers is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. If you’re a brotherless peer, get more tips from her at

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