This is a conflict with much deeper roots than most people realize. In much of the world, men and women have equal rights under the law, but true Equality is not firmly established. Our lawbooks may not see a difference, but our society still teaches gender roles that are quite repressive for both men and women. Things like the Women's Rights movement have only scratched the surface of the problem. People need to really examine where the conflict comes from, and this has been difficult as most are still stuck within the middle of it.
Our society teaches us that women are the victims while men are the victimizers. Now this is changing, but it's still inside most people's unconsciousness. Girls are taught from a young age to be wary of men. There's always stories going around about strange men luring children into their vans and doing horrible things to them. The media loves these stories and is more than happy to make sure everyone knows about them. Girls are taught to not go out alone late at night, that a mugger or a rapist could be lurking around any corner. If you look around the world, it certainly appears that women are victims and men, the victimizers, but Humans aren't naturally this way, it's how they've been taught to act by society. The current gender roles are an illusion, it's only because people believe that's just the way things are, that makes them the way they are.
The conflict between men and women is a result of dualistic thinking. Male and female are two sides of the same coin, the energies aren't separate. In illusion, people miss the connection and separate the masculine and feminine energy within themselves. Then, instead of seeing the conflict within, they project it outside and create a whole society that's divided against itself. The “battle of the sexes” can be seen as a metaphor for all dualistic thoughts, and vice versa. Seeing the energy as separate only creates conflict and inequality. In conflict, you have winners and losers, which leads to the belief that one “side” is better than another. This creates the illusion that one “side” is superior, and that “side” usually gets more than the other. This leads to more resentment and conflict between the “victimizers” and those who feel they've been “victimized”. All these illusions are tied together, they all reinforce each other, but this also means that as each one is transcended, it weakens all the others.
Our society tries to teach people they're equal, but doesn't really understand where inequality comes from. Most people believe they're free and equal, but aren't really sure what freedom and equality mean. The rules say one thing, but the actual experience is something else. Only in a broken system are rules needed to enforce equality. If everyone really understood their equality, rules wouldn't be needed at all. The rules are there because people can see the injustice in the system, and they want it to end, but they don't see that their very actions teach their children to be separate and unequal even though their words say this isn't true.
Take for instance, men and violence. Our society teaches that men are prone to violence. Now, if this were true, it would make sense to teach boys to learn a more constructive use of their energy. Instead, boys are taught to be violent. Schools and television promote violence and boys are given action movie stars and professional athletes as role models. They're conditioned into a specific gender role, and then taught that it's wrong to play that role. This only brings guilt, confusion, and repressed emotions, which in turn create more violence. And the cycle goes around and around. This drives people insane, and since they've been taught to be violent and to take out their frustrations on others, they assume the victimizer role.
Another example is women and appearance. Our society teaches that women are supposed to look pretty. Being sexually attractive is supposed to be extremely important to women. This is promoted by school and television and young girls are given supermodels and beautiful actresses as role models. They're given a specific gender role, and taught that it's wrong to play that role, that it's shallow and superficial to be so concerned with appearance. This brings guilt, confusion, and repressed emotion, which leads to things like overeating (also encouraged by society), which then leads to even more worry about appearance. This drives people insane. Women are supposed to look good to attract men, which only breeds resentment and leads to a victim role.
Now, the victim and victimizer roles aren't so clear cut. The “victim” feels resentment towards the “victimizer” and often tries to get revenge. According to society's gender roles, physical abuse is usually carried out by men, while women usually fight back with mental and emotional abuse. The “victim” tries to make the “victimizer” feel guilty and wants to inflict emotional pain. Then the “victimizer” deals with the emotional pain in the only way they've been taught, more abuse. In this, the victim/victimizer blur together, and the people involved just keep the circle going.
Religions heavily reinforce men as victimizers and women as victims. According to their superstitions, this was the case from the very beginning of mankind. Satan was the victimizer, Eve was the victim. Satan was cunning and clever, Eve was innocent and naïve. Then right after that, we get the story of Cain killing Abel, violence among men. And that's just the first chapter.
Of course teaching people certain roles is going to predispose them to that role. This doesn't prove that the role are accurate, only that society doesn't have a clue. It's insane to teach people to behave a certain way and then believe laws are going to stop people from behaving that way. This has never worked. It's shifts in consciousness that propel society forward and these are personal changes. One does not find equality outside until one finds balance within. There will always be conflict in the world until Humanity transcends their own personal conflicts. The “battle of the sexes” is only an outward manifestation of the individual's separation of their male and female aspects. True masculinity includes the feminine, as true femininity includes the masculine. They're made to complement each other, not oppose each other. The current gender roles just confuse the problem and usually assign people aspects that are neither truly feminine or masculine, just stupid.