Our most primitive, basic, fundamental instinct is that the boys push it in, and the girls decide whether to keep it out. This dynamic colors everything about people. The Challenge of an enlightened society is how to be completely happy and aware as a human, without taking advantage of all the obvious weaknesses you can see in others. An unenlightened society requires everyone to behave according to specific roles, to make sure nobody is getting out of line. An enlightened society is one that discovers ways of allowing people to trust each other completely, even in the presence of acknowledged weakness. Unfortunately, this can also sometimes be accomplished by a totally uptight society. Avoiding those seems really hard sometimes, in some parts of the world.
It often helps find this balance when a society recognizes that with some weaknesses often are bundled special strengths that can only flourish if they are protected and nurtured. It is the basic desire of an enlightened society to discover and nurture the most delicately exotic strengths, in as many numbers and as much variety as the society can possibly maintain.
Notice I am describing what America was supposed to be, and not what it always keeps becoming. Somebody always has to come along and remind everyone that America is not the home of the slave holder. It is the home of the slave liberator. That is what the Colonies did. They liberated their citizens from the Monarchy. Then much too much later they liberated the slaves from the citizens... but it did finally happen. OK? People sometimes forget. These are the things that make America a great country.
Most of western Europe has gotten better at living equitable lives than the US does now. The balance is shifting badly. This is especially true in the roles between the sexes. In Europe things are more natural, and so they are more deep and complicated, and ultimately more fulfilling. In America life has been sanitized down to nothing.
But life always struggles to escape bondage. There is always hope for everyone.