are bits of writing from many sources such as personal correspondence,
posts to on-line discussion groups, notes, and occasionally even some
All of this is informal in nature, but contains some interesting and/or
Men Don't Iron
There was a
documentary series produced by the BBC called "Why Men Don't Iron" that
looked at gender differences and examined why guys have trouble with
and language-oriented things. It was pretty interesting. I guess the
at where women lack the reverse skills would be a bit unpopular, but
to be produced as well at some point. In any case, a lot of the
guys have was attributed to the fact that they have a smaller corpus
the part of the brain that connects the two halves. That seems to get
using everything together so that they can keep up with more things all
at once as well as integrating language function. They didn't do a good
job of convincing me that this was the only reason for these
but there were a lot of well-done demonstrations of problem areas for
perspective on sex
This is my
but I don't know why no one else has ever advanced this perspective
it's so obvious. To women, sex is enjoyable, but they can generally do
without it. Males certainly enjoy sex, but they also have a drive that
makes them feel they *have* to do it. This is like eating: You may
eating, but you don't do it because it's a hobby... you will experience
a hunger if you do not eat. Women generally fail to understand why men
can't just accept a simple "no." Such as drive is the case with me in a
lot of situations. Most people do things because they want to; I have
do things because I don't want the feeling of not having done them.
and chimps share about 99% of their DNA. Human males and human females
have only 97% of their DNA in common. Explains a lot.
I've got this weird dichotomy going on. I will likely never ask you
any of your problems that I don't think I can help you with. It isn't
I don't care; it's just that they're your problems, and I assume by
they are none of my business until you bring them up. This applied in
instance. It doesn't matter if we discussed something previously; I'm
not going to pry unless I have a possible solution.
Yes, I know
should factor in, but I'm totally a guy on this one. I may have some
but I'm not so good at applying it constructively. Sorry.
the counter having to tell me to go to the other side several times
I can figure out what she's saying to me
You sound like
Or any guy, for that matter. I'm really bad about not being able to
out what's going on. One gender-wide reason is a two-fold problem. Guys
already have difficulties in processing language. The reason is that
corpus callosum (the region that transmits information between the
is significantly smaller in men than in women. It is thought that men
integrate the components of language from the two sides of the brain,
they're only getting pieces of the message. A second factor is that men
lose their high-end hearing more rapidly than women do as they grow
This just happens to be the range where women are speaking, so this
matters of inter-spousal communication. Odds are it isn't that he's
you; he just didn't hear you to begin with.
the creepiest things on earth because you have absolutely no idea who
dealing with from one moment to the next. People have given personality
inventories to teenagers just a couple hours apart, and while the boys
are fairly consistent, the girls report as though they are completely
people across the course of the day. Whatever innate attraction I had
the Lolita image was killed by being around teenagers as an adult.
is better than sex... for some of us
In a recent
study, one incidental finding was that the women had no "saturation
with chocolate. They would continue eating it as long as it was
whereas the male participants eventually asked the researchers to give
it a rest.
I can't assess
veracity of these generalizations, but this was something interesting
pass through my inbox. I wonder what explanations for these
biology and neuroscience could offer:
"Equal" is not
synonymous with "the same." Men and women are created equal, but boys
girls are not born the same.
You throw a
girl a ball, and it will hit her in the nose. You throw a little boy a
ball, and he will try to catch it. Then it will hit him in the nose.
You dress your
girl in her Easter Sunday best, and she'll look just as pretty when you
finally make it to church an hour later.
You dress a
in his Easter Sunday best, and he'll somehow find every mud puddle from
your home to the church, even if you're driving there.
usually messy. Girls' rooms are usually messy, except it's a good
A baby girl
pick up a stick and look in wonderment at what nature has made. A baby
boy will pick up a stick and turn it into a gun.
with Barbie and Ken dolls, they like to dress them up and play house
them. When boys play with Barbie and Ken dolls, they like to tear off
less if their hair is unruly. If their bangs got cut a quarter-inch too
short, girls would rather lock themselves in their room for two weeks
be seen in public.
mommy's makeup and almost instinctively start painting their face. Baby
boys find mommy's makeup and almost instinctively start painting the
If a girl
burps, she will be embarrassed. If a boy accidentally burps, he will
it with a dozen fake belches.
fingernails long because they're too lazy to cut them. Girls grow their
fingernails long - not because they look nice - but because they can
them into a boy's arm.
to boys, even at an early age. At an early age, boys are attracted to
By the age of
boys will stop giving their dad kisses. By the age of 6, girls will
giving their dad kisses unless he bribes them with candy.
talk before boys do. Before boys talk, they learn how to make
Girls will cry
someone dies in a movie. Boys will cry if you turn off the VCR after
watched "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie three times in a row.
women. Boys turn into bigger boys
series on psychology, neuroscience, and sex differences that the BBC
and they compared difference in brain architecture to the behaviors
by those regions, then examined what behaviors those regions convey.
were not very good at multi-tasking in the ways that motherhood
(i.e., motherhood means *always* tending to one more more youngsters
trying to keep up with everything else in life). Aggression and lack of
attention to detail also made males a poor fit for tending delicate,
organisms. There were other things they pointed out, and they did a
job with demonstrating these things with large groups.
are from Mars...
think I'm kidding, but you ought to read that "Men are from Mars..."
I didn't think it would have anything intelligent to say, but it puts a
lot of common sense things in a concise little analogy. See, when women
express their problems, guys think they're asking for help... so they
advice, not sympathy. When guys have problems, you're not going to hear
about them until *after* he has figured them out for himself. When a
has a problem, he wants to handle it himself. If you offer to help him,
you make him feel inferior, that he can't solve his own problems. No,
exactly right, that *is* completely irrational and
just like neglecting our rational, level-headed advice for emotional
that doesn't give you a plan of attack!
there are all the same reasons that girls don't go into other math and
science field. They're just not good at it.
convinced on this point. There is a lot of research from separate-sex
classes that 1) girls learn differently and 2) girls excel when male
are removed from the picture. Explanations are constantly postulated
the latter, but the more important point is that the phenomenon is real
(i.e., it has been demonstrated on multiple occasions and in different
are some dramatic differences in gender-specific cognitive ability that
have been linked to neuroanatomy (e.g., women are better at
and processing language due, in part, to a larger, better-developed
callosum). But the brain is pretty malleable, so I'm not going to be
of female inferiority in this department until there is a physical
for that conclusion... and maybe not even then.
thing I ever saw on the subject was a series of BBC videos called "Why
Men Don't Iron." It was thorough, comprehensive, and entertaining. I
a lot out of it.
>So do I
man-like brain? Or what?
It's hard to
See, the thing is that there's a lot going on in any particular
You're rarely talking about any singular process at work. Further,
such a high variance on any measure of ability that you can only speak
in terms of population averages. It isn't like the average is really
of any one individual though.
if I sent you a link to this Gladwell article or not, but it addresses
some of these issues: http://gladwell.com/1997/1997_05_19_a_sports.htm
any studies that compare the neurological characteristics of both men
women in the same scientific/math-related occupations?
Not that I'm
of, but I would think that this is still a bit ambitious from where we
are right now. The emphasis seems to be on using fMRI to figure out
parts of the brain are active in which processes. Sometimes they find
differences and/or differential responses for things like occupation or
other factors, but that's usually an incidental finding that they
up on. For example, it was found there there were specific regions that
responded specifically and consistently to images of faces and
but nothing else. However, when presented with other classes of images
(e.g., tools, foods, cars, bugs/snakes, etc.), there tended not to be a
dramatic or specific response. But then they started thinking, hey,
if we got some mechanics and showed them cars? It turned out that the
*did* respond more strongly to cars than the rest of the population
you partitioned them into a group. Still, the response was only 20% of
that of the response to faces and places (yes, everyone though
response was weird as well). Apparently we're wired up to work with
about faces and places.
was that I was thinking as they were presenting the findings (this was
a lecture at the SFN conference a couple years ago) that I know my
would probably respond *very* strongly to images of guitars. Just after
that they did the subpopulation of mechanics.
is a hot topic for people who aren't qualified to be talking about it.
For example, the extreme leftist groups are formulating all these
about the basis of gender and what it all means... and never consult
actual biology to see if there is any validity to their ideas. Very
they're just making it up and trying to convince themselves as much as
everyone else. I actually dealt with some of these types when I was in
my M.Ed. program. They're pretty far out there and dogmatic on top of
is an evolutionary reason why less variance in women would be a good
I hadn't until
asked, but, yes. Women carry the reproductive burden. Guys are just
dispensers. A lot can be wrong with a guy and he can still produce
For example, look at Stephen Hawking. And I'm just talking about the
side of things where guys are concerned. Women have to raise their
so they have to be mentally attuned to the signals a child is giving
about his/her needs. Women who "aren't right in the head" don't get to
keep their kids. They usually end up drowning them in a bathtub (as has
been the case with probably far more mothers with post partum
than are ever reported). Guys who are like that just disappear to
Unfortunately, they passed on their genes before they split town on
a parallel here with depression. The way it manifests with women fits
classic definition: lethargy, apathy, etc. Women typically seem out of
character. By contrast, male depression is characterized by
and flying into rages... exactly the traits that epitomize maleness.
self esteem, males often will work counter to what they're feeling. For
example, when do women buy a big car to compensate for anything? You
seeing it, but males have a lot of self-esteem issues.
There is a lot
research that indicate (no surprise here!) that men will make an effort
even if they don't know the answer. In fact, this was confirmed (again)
in an interesting study: “I'll Take Gender Differences for $1000!”
Intellectual Success on “Jeopardy” in the journal "Sex Roles." It's a
article. Believe it or not, I wanted to write a version of this study,
but the author did a much better job than I could have.
Dani and I exchanged by email]
is the biggest mistake that men tend to make in relationships? How
of both of these is the failure to understand and acknowledge gender,
of self and partner. Many of the behaviors that are contentious in a
(e.g., he checks out other girls, she gets emotional, etc.) have less
do with individual character than with hardwiring. Since we are wired
differently, we're going to lack empathy if we just think in terms of,
"why do you have to do that? I wouldn't do that!" Well, of course you
you aren't a (wo)man!
men tend to be too macho or too sensitive?
To take them
rather than too "macho," the problem is more one of dishonesty to one's
"self." If a guy really is macho, then if he can be himself that way,
probably won't be any problem. However, if it's a lot of bravado,
are sure to crumble. One problem is that the male agenda is more
conflicted than that of the female version. Guys have to look for a
partner while trying to have sex with as many women as possible. Those
things are at odds, so eventually a conflict will arise.
There is a lot
research on intergender communication. If isn't just that you need to
"assertive." You have to actively talk and project yourself like a man,
cut people off mid-sentence, don't allow yourself to be cut off, and
the impression that you will physically harm someone who does
to you that you find the least bit irritating. For a start, read "Men
from Mars..." It doesn't address this adequately, but it's about how
and women interact in romantic relationships (there's a version for the
bedroom too, but that's almost too weird... I've read it too). However,
it's an easy delineator or behavior you always took for granted without
a theoretical framework. Granted, the framework supplied is a little
general and sparse on supporting research, but it is easy to acquire
is the book).
I just watched
psychology video about inter-gender communication, the areas where
and females miss cues and/or operate from different paradigms. One
conversation used to illustrate some of the points covered was between
a guy and girl where she had returned from a job interview that she
she did poorly on and was expressing exasperation at her entire job
The guy offered advice throughout the exchange, but it was clear that
girl was looking for emotional reassurance and empathy.
In the reverse
where I am the one with the problems, the stereotyped paradigm still
Advice might be helpful, I don't want emotional reassurance. I usually
know what needs to be done and there isn't much you could help with
because you don't know enough about the situation. You see the reverse
(the parallel of the staged conversation) when someone else has the
I try to offer general advise and don't spend a lot of time empathizing.
some article in a women's magazine (I must have been at the dentist)
talked about how women are too open about their lives, such as telling
everyone whether they've had a hysterectomy, etc. Who's business is
While a certain degree of openness is good to allow conversation (e.g.,
as with the topic of STD as we mentioned last time), there ought to be
of the main issues why my ex and I split up was that I really didn't
kids at the time, whereas that was her primary focus in life. We didn't
make this point of contention open to anyone outside of our
but people felt it was perfectly all right to ask about what I thought
was obviously a very personal matter. "So when are you two having
Think about what all is involved in that question:
issues (e.g., impotence, inter-sexed/infertile individuals, etc.) as
as personal finances. Maybe we have money problems? How is this any of
*your* business?! They didn't have a clue.
I don't think
would have been terribly nosey in this area before, but I'm
about it now. Dani's friend had IVF with her first kid and again for
one she's carrying now. I'm curious how she's doing, but I am really
about what I ask, and I try to offer only the most general information
so that I'm not asking about something especially personal.
On a related
I'm all for avoiding repressive "morality" in conversation about what
on in people's bedrooms, but so far I haven't figured out where's a
line. Can you talk about things you do? What about things you like if
something you don't do? Can you talk about things you did with your
Almost anything you say about your history means you're talking about
else's history as well. Where's the line?
One policy I
up with is to never answer any questions with numbers. Those always
to comparisons and competition. How many [inches, orgasms, partners,
etc.]? Even when the answer might be flattering, it depends on who your
audience is, and word is going to get around to people who will then
whole mental health stigma thing with talking about anything that
from normal. I guess the really good thing to come out of the "Prozac
is a mini-paradigm shift in which people can say, "You need help... and
let me tell you how *I* got it for myself." A lot of minor things are
addressed, which ultimately changes the landscape from "crazy" vs.
to more of a spectrum. There's no more "us" and "them." And that's a
but one thing I am kind of bad at is showing physical signs of
to people I'm not close to, and this includes other people's kids. I
talk to them, but I'm not very touchy-feely. I should point out that
completely the opposite with Dani, but with strangers or even most of
friends, I'm not too physical.
mostly) sort of expect a hug of something, but I'm usually just there
a wave or a nod. I guess I look like Rain Man to them or something, but
I usually won't initiate something unless I really feel like
them like that. I know I confused a friend a couple weeks ago because I
was leaving her place and just kind of walked out. I was more physical
with her dogs than I was with her, and she was like, "huh?" Of course,
it's doubly awkward to back up and try to make up for a missed cue. Now
I've got her wondering what she did wrong, when I'm the idiot.
In fact, I did
just this afternoon with this same friend. I hugged her when I saw her
last week, but then I didn't this time when I was leaving. I realized
late that she was sort of moving in for one, but it didn't dawn on me
after I had started to move away. I was heading for the door and I just
thought she was following me. Maybe I really am Rain Man.
I have of women is that they don't take the initiative. Guys will try
that might look insane or stupid or should have no conceivable
but sometimes these things actually turn out to be something
That's *very* important in advancing the culture. Women do the
thing. They don't end up making shows like "Jackass," but they don't
up with Nobel-worthy research or winning business strategies as often
That's a very sexist statement, I know, and I would agree that not only
is it an over-generalization, but that you could implicate culture in
equation as well. However, I think genetics is a big part of it.
You may have
recently about the president of Harvard getting in trouble for saying
to this effect. The irony isn't lost that this is one of the most
institutions in American (okay, so it isn't Berkeley), but the media
to acknowledge that his position (and mine, I guess; although I don't
specifically how similar the two are) happens to be backed up by a lot
of research. I follow a lot of that type of research, as does a female
professor at UNT that I feel pretty close to (i.e., I forward her a lot
of interesting bits of research I find that she might be interested
In her undergrad neuroscience class she starts one of the lectures on
by asking the students if they agree with a statement to the effect of
"males and females are essentially the same at birth and only differ
the influence of culture." Naturally, most raise their hands. She then
says, "Let me see if I can convince you otherwise." This actually runs
counter to her politics (and mine), but she's there to present science.
I was thinking of last time (though it wasn't clear from the context)
with ultra-feminists (just to pick one group of radicals; there are
more on the right). In their case, let me begin by saying that I
100% in equal *rights,* but not everyone is equal in terms of their
This goes for everything from upper body strength to aggression to the
ability to multi-task and so on. The issue I have is when feminists try
to, for example, lower the requirements to be a fire fighter simply to
allow women on the force. Said requirements include things like being
to carry an unconscious 200 lb. individual out of a burning building.
requirement is there for a reason and it has nothing to do with getting
anyone under their thumb. What to get rid of that rule? Guess what?
[Posted to the
Anton Wilson group on MySpace.com]
he has all but given up on the semantics component of the quest for
(read: binary) logic given how cumbersome it would be to supplant "is"
with "seems to me like..." or "may possibly represent..." and so on.
English language seems almost streamlined for this prejudice.
On a related
various philosophers have said in a number of ways that there's no such
thing as a complete answer. I sometimes try to overcompensate by
in my communications (whether written or spoken) parenthetical asides
serve as qualifiers and/or numerous examples in order to constrain
(I'm in science research) are full of this "squirmy" language. My
professor used to call them "weasel words," not because you don't want
to commit to an "is" but more out of an acknowledgment that there
"is" (oops!) no such thing as an absolute. For example, here's the
paragraph of the M.S. thesis of a labmate of mine on the effects of
on the spontaneous electrical activity of cultured neuronal networks:
used in this research had different ages, seeding dates, cell
percentage of active channels and signal-to-noise ratios. The control
experimental environment, such as pH, osmolarity and temperature, is
to reduce the intracultural and intercultural variability. However,
fluctuations are unavoidable and contribute to the variability of
responses. Errors resulting from drug mixing and concentration
also added to experimental variability. A higher stability of neuronal
network could have been achieved if the experimental variables that may
affect neuronal responses could be limited. Before improvement can be
numerous studies have to be conducted to demonstrate that networks in
are pharmacologically histiotypic. This research has contributed to
the cast of Star Wars used to say about George Lucas' early attempts at
dialog, You can type it, but you couldn't very easily speak it. Even
it's still a drag to read it. Think of all the trees and bandwidth
spared by using "is" up to this point. And now I've squandered it all
this massive missive!
RAW has some great examples and additional elaboration on the role of
in general semantics in this article:
[Posted to the
Anton Wilson group on MySpace.com]
how you took my comment.
No, I got that
were just joshing in making a valid point. I considered using a smiley,
but I'm against that on principle.
clumsy language when we try to eradicate gendered references in order
be accurate and all-inclusive. Like anyone else trying to be
correct (or at least relatively conscious), RAW won't say "chairman,"
he won't say "chairperson" either, as that would discriminate against
He resorts to "chair-entity," odd as that may sound for the present.
I keep toying
with the gender-neutral language myself, but you can only be so
with things like "if (s)he says..." where you leave things open to
but then you have to fall back on "him/her" and "his/hers" within a
sentences. Pretty soon you end up with an impossible to keep track of
with all these hypothetical entities running around in it. Ultimately,
we all just start saying "they," even when the subject of the sentence
was obviously singular (e.g., "The husband or wife can sign *their*
and we develop multiple personalities as a consequence. But that's okay
because I read somewhere that there are 27 dimensions, so it all evens
>I do think
the use of is truncation has a time and a place. And I usually only
to remove it with formal speak.
It's good to
the effort, but you will only be compelled to do so under conditions
you might get called on it. Hence we end up with a parallel to legal
("legalese") where we avoid the heavy stuff except when conditions tend
to be binding... as with contracts and other documents.
Que sera sera.
"whatever will be may not be as it appears, but we will accept it as
senses perceive it for the time being... at least until contrary
[Posted to the
Type Inventory group on MySpace.com]
of our personality types?
you than your personality type. Of course, I don't know that this is
exclusive from your MBTI, but you also have an agenda and a sense of
right for you. By that, I mean that you have goals. Is your life plan
with him? Are you heading in different directions with respect to
children, etc.? It doesn't sound like life is exactly harmonious
you two now, but if your plan diverges in the future, what's left then?
to stay together for 5 years as Shadow types?
Only you can
that, unless you want a lot of speculation from complete strangers. Ask
yourself this: What do you get out of your relationship? What would you
lose if you weren't with one another? Could get you that and more
without the baggage?
I don't know
this will be much help, but I will offer my own abbreviated history in
I'm am an
My ex-wife tested as an ENFJ, although I suspect she was more of an "I"
than she acknowledged in her responses on the questionnaire. We had a
of overlapping areas in terms of music, movies, books, etc., so we
had something to talk about. However, we had problems in the
department. I tended to ignore a lot of her flaws and try to maintain
relationship instead of confronting problem areas. Being an "Idealist,"
she focused in my imperfections (and, admittedly, I have many),
she didn't seek to address them constructively either.
we had different life goals (which is why I made this point above). For
example, I wasn't sure I wanted children, whereas that was her primary
focus for her future. Further, she wanted to settle into a job, build a
nest egg, and start a family. On the other hand, I wanted to return to
school and get several (probably too many) advanced degrees and end up
in academia... not a quick and easy plan. As is obvious from this, we
split up after a four year marriage and a total of eight and a half
I dated a few
people in the meantime, and I guess I could write volumes on why those
relationships (and the ones before my marriage) couldn't have worked
but I finally ended up with an ISFJ... my complete and utter opposite
the M-B sense. For that matter, while we share similar politics and
(i.e., a complete lack thereof), our interests don't particularly
either, yet, ironically, this is the healthiest and consistently the
relationship I have heard of, let alone been in.
we push one other to be better people, etc. We're far from perfect
I procrastinate too much; she owns cats), but we're very happy together
and when we aren't, we talk about it and try to compromise. I can't say
why we "work" exactly, but I know that a big part of it is
Over the last couple of years we have sent countless megabytes of email
to one another to talk about everything from the most superficial to
serious hot-button issues that we couldn't help but get worked up about
You touched on
problem in your post, so I optimistically submit that maybe this is the
impasse in your relationship, not the issues themselves. Men and women
communicate differently, and that's only compounded by dissimilar
types and how language and perception filters through them. If the
is deemed worth saving by you (and hopefully your guy), then start
If it isn't, start there anyway so you can at least figure out how to
I should have let my girlfriend write this. She's the empathic Feeler.
You're probably going to think this advice is too cold and
But your boyfriend won't. He'll say, "Hey, who asked you?" And then
have to point at you. Shit. Now I've only made things worse.
how women feel that they need to be "the bottom" or somehow dominated,
no matter how sure of themselves they might seem in other ways. It runs
counter to their stated agenda in other areas that women become
in the bedroom (i.e., "Take me now!"). I have been personally surprised
by this with a couple girls. For example, a friend of mine was taunting
me and acting like she wanted to play rough. I took her up on it and
her down by her arms. She immediately went limp. I thought she would
struggled, but she acted like she wanted me to jump her. She became
docile and receptive to anything else I wanted to do to her at that
even though we weren't even being overtly sexual.
girlfriend of mine used to act really tough. She was sort of the Lita
type (personality-wise) in that she could talk trash back at someone
would even pick a fight. She held grudges more like a guy does (i.e.,
antagonizing them). She was very physical and initiated things sexually
between us far more often than not. Yet when I got a hold of her, she
to the same docility as I described above. It was only if I didn't act
aggressive that she reverted to the aggressor.
There's a term
biology called lordosis, which is defined by Merriam-Webster as the
posture of some sexually receptive female mammals (as rats) in which
head and rump are raised and the back is arched downward." That's what
this reminds me of. It's the physical manifestation of the "take me"
Guys never do this. Even when they're passive, it's more like, "Serve
I mentioned earlier [though not posted here] was the idea that women
be smaller, shorter, younger, make less money, etc. than their male
I have trouble understanding why that is. I can understand the male
to me muscular, more domineering, richer, etc. because that just sounds
like basic ambition. By extension, doesn't this make women unambitious
in a broad sense?
why women are so freaked out by the sight of blood. Don't they see it
too often on a monthly basis?
or Maybe Not
[From an email
of all the men I've dated they have all told me that they loved me
the first week
it takes. It was about that long with my ex and only three days with
It could probably happen again, although I found out when I was dating
after my divorce and before I met my ex that it isn't a given. There
have to be something there. It was kind of sad because I have been in
relationships where someone was in love with me and I was just too
to pretend to reciprocate. I would even feel guilty about staying with
them at that point. With my last girlfriend right before I met Dani, it
was really awkward because she would get very physical, and I just
return it honestly. By contrast, I'm all about the PDAs with Dani,
she would be happy if we reserved that for when we were alone.
A girl I dated
about one year around the time I started college put me in an awkward
She was very nice but just plain ditzy. She would say, "Do you love me
now?" And I would be left going, "Um, I *guess.*" I was just trying to
be diplomatic about things, but she always thought I was playing it coy
or that it was some kind of game to get her to be more affectionate...
which only made matters worse.
Brei says that
fall stupider and harder That's definitely true. They aren't just
in that they'll tough it out, they also get just plain goofy. This is
on the subject of sex than love, but there was an enlightening (for me
anyway) bit in Cosmo that I read years ago that talked about how, when
a guy gets laid, the next day at work he's clear-headed and is at the
of his form. The opposite is how women are much dreamier and get that
look in their eyes.
Are From Mars...
In "Men Are
Mars..." there's a good section in there about how guys will not share
their troubles and why that is. There are some major communications
that aren't easily resolved when it comes down to one-on-one
As for male depression, guys respond violently because that's what has
worked for the last few million years. It may be an "evolved
that keeps a guy from hitting something when he is annoyed, but I don't
necessarily think it is great for him physiologically.
it was funny that high school kids (girls in particular) would see one
another all week long in class, then on Friday night at the mall, they
run into one another exactly where they would expect to, and they
and run up to one another for this huge embrace. What happened between
3:30pm when they left school and 6:30pm when they happened to cross
in front of the Gap?
I have a
friend who is very much a Thinker (e.g., she's a computer programmer
worked in neuroscience). She HATES the fact that she's a female because
she can get very emotional, especially due to PMS. She recognizes what
the emotions are, but she hates herself and women in general. Actually,
"hates" is the wrong word. She sees herself and women as flawed
and that *really* annoys her because she can't fix a problem she is
understand this. For all the criticism that males view females as sex
we (males) view ourselves the same way. We don't assume you (women)
become emotionally involved with your vibrator(s). So why is it you
automatically have an emotional connection with a guy who sees himself
as nothing more than your sex-toy?
the winner is...
There is a lot
research in the social sciences about how younger women are valued more
highly than older women. For example, there was a study in the journal
"Sex Roles" where they looked at the ages of Academy Award
for Best Actor/ess and the Supporting Actor/ess categories. The average
age of the guys was a lot higher, and there was a higher variance as
The women who were nominated (and especially the ones who won) was
lower and was constrained to a much tighter range (i.e.,
pre-menopausal). I wish I had a copy of that study. It was really
Men and women
different, and that complicates the definition of equality. For
women are okay with other women in bed, but the reverse is rarely true.
So that means that a threesome is shifted to a guy's "advantage." That
isn't equal, but it's agreeable to both parties more often than the
Also, a guy will more likely want to have multiple partners whereas
are happy with one. Thus a guy will never be content either single or
a relationship. If a woman settles down, she's content. So it isn't
when a man and woman settle down with one other even though they've
made the same commitment.
don't know if a woman can ever understand how it feels to constantly be
wanting to sleep with other people. This is absolutely no reflection on
a guy's partner. I could have a million girls and would still want
one more." I think it's worse even for me more than most guys because I
have a combination of the testosterone and the obsessiveness. Maybe
of these things will change in time. It isn't any fun for me either.
like the disruptive blasts of sound from the helmets in Vonnegut's
We're wired up
have certain attractions. My ideal woman would be older and have small
breasts, but somehow if you show me a young girl with cleavage, I'm
to gawk. I haven't figured that out. The only thing I can think of that
would be analogous would be how woman can't help but coo at babies and
want to pick them up. Strangely, no one ever feels that this is a
faculty that is out of control.
or just female
horrible hormones. I never realized how much of an impact hormones have
on the way you think until I tried a couple of different kinds of birth
control. On one of them, there were several days when I couldn't leave
my bedroom or talk to anyone. On another kind, I *hated* everyone and
all the time. Both cases were debilitating. Emotions that you can't
are debilitating. You know, you sit there and the emotions just come at
you, over and over. It's like hearing voices that you can't make go
only you're feeling them and they're emotions, and technically you're
insane, just female.
I had a lot of
with this when I was with my ex. Most of the girls I've dated have been
pretty stable, but my ex would flip out periodically... no pun
In fact, she didn't have PMS, but if she didn't get enough sleep, she
completely lose it and would be crying and accusing me of things I
do (e.g., being mean to her, thinking bad thoughts about her, etc.). I
usually tried to avoid her during those times.
The worst was
one girl I used to date who was a really sweet future kindergarten
Because she was so extreme at one end, she was frightening when she was
PMSing and went to the opposite end because she was effectively the
person from before. I literally walked out on her one night and just
home. She knew when it was PMS, but she couldn't stop herself.
The thing that
me is exactly what you're talking about: what's insane and what's
And what's the appropriate way to treat someone at a given time? I used
to just go into avoidance mode in these cases. That was the best
as far as I was concerned, but I'm wondering if it wouldn't be more
(and safer) to just lock up women few a days a month with a box of
and all the chick flicks they could stand?
that men and women are ever truly equal?
I used to be
liberal in this area (and most others), but I've slipped back to a more
traditional view. Specifically, I recognize that men and women are
(be it due to nature and/or nurture; I'm leaning nature), and one of
differences seems to be that women will naturally default to this role.
I've always been surprised by how women always want to be shorter,
physically weaker, more emotional, make less money, etc. than anyone
involved with. Why? I never got the name change with marriage thing
I wouldn't let my ex. She can thank me for that at least.
seems flawed. Why do men peak sexually when they are not yet adults?
A lot of
like this have an evolutionary basis. Here's a guess in this case: If
older guys had the virility, then they would have all the advantage
they would get harems of young and older females. By contrast, you
the male population by dividing the advantages across two age brackets.
As a result, you have a more diverse breeding population.
example: Females of many species will synchronize their
menstrual/estrus cycles. This wouldn't seem to have much of an effect
on sexual behavior
(since it only takes "two to tango"), but what happens is all the
are receptive at the same time. Now all the males have a chance. By
if there's one powerful, dominant male and there's only one or two
in heat/fertile at a given time, guess who gets her/them?
to terms with this. This is another issue where a complex framework is
the only way to go. You can't throw in the towel and say, "I'm a
sex object/mother figure as guys want to view me," but you can't
it into "Don't see me as a woman." I tend to think of each person as a
bunch of competing brain regions. You may be talking to a guy's frontal
cortex and have him thinking, "Wow, she's really smart," but his limbic
system is saying, "Whoa, baby!" (Note: the limbic system isn't very
language, and senses
[Posted to the
group on MySpace.com]
In addition to
acoustic properties there are (at least) two additional factors that
males' ability to listen to women:
1) Women tend
have more emotionally complex communication. Thus, what they are saying
will have an emotional component in addition to the linguistic
(and anyone who has been romantically involved with a female knows
two things do not necessarily line up). Males have a smaller corpus
thus they have greater difficulty integrating the meaning of messages
require processing by both hemispheres.
2) As humans
older, they preferentially lose their higher frequency hearing first,
this includes the range in which the female voice projects. Since this
loss occurs earlier in males, this discrepancy is even further
was from ABC News: