Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gender and Communication

I heard a couple of friends of mine who are women in their twenties talking about their boyfriends not being "trained yet". This whole concept may be intended to be quaint but I find it basically offensive in principal. As if men were animals destined to servitude.

Maybe I just shouldn't hang out with any woman in her "I am finding myself, so I hate men" days.

I understand some women may at times feel the need to iterate claims to self worth into their lover's minds. Women don't want injustices imposed upon them assumptively as if that were the natural order of things.

I am a Man. I know we were all women until that awesome gene was activated with its significant cascading effects. I sometimes feel I need to remind women that men are human beings with blood coursing through their veins. Our bodies have an organ that is analogous to each and every organ in the female body even though physically men and women are gloriously different in some naturally intriguing ways.

I see so much ignorance and poorly formed communication between men and women. It is as if each exchange is 90% presumption, 9% what mom or dad taught and about 1% real understanding. Sometimes when I speak with a woman I get a sense that she thinks she "knows men" and that I am just the same in every way and that nothing I say matters and won't change her preconceived notions. I don't doubt this is like the experience some woman may have communicating with men.

Women often ask: "What are you thinking?" My male answer is "Well a lot." With some things, I can't put any of it into words either because it is so abstract, sublime or internalized. Maybe it's my narrow corpus callosum that keeps me from putting the verbs with the notions. At least it cannot be done quickly. Maybe I just don't feel the need to explain my thoughts on command to anyone or maybe I am just relaxing and trying not to form thoughts that can be shared. Maybe I am thinking things I think you will not find acceptable and because I want to keep you in my life I know not to talk about all my notions. Maybe I don't function like your girlfriend's do so I don't have a bonding token at hand at every or any moment.

The mean little misogynist in me sometimes has contempt for women's packaged emotions. They seem cliché to me sometimes because they are so readily verbalized like little products on a shelf. I am empathetic and sensible enough to abstract myself from my subjectivity long enough to see that women likewise find my approach to emotions lacking because of how not-readily-sharable it is.

What should not be disputed is that we are all human beings and all have thoughts and feelings, all have a heart and soul, and morally equal worth.

As for women "training" their men, For God's sake just treat me with the same respect you feel you deserve and you can expect me to treat you with that same respect.


Pete Dunn said...

I tend to reject blanket assumptions based on gender too.

I think it is important to be careful not label all women as having those assumptions, even if that is not the intent (and I don't believe that it is, BTW).

Oh, and I've met the misogynist in you... he's not little :)

Seriously though. Women piss me off and I have no idea how to get along with them. It makes me want to sleep with all of them just to prove to them (I mean, myself) how much I don't hate them.

annie said...

Ohhhhh yeah.

I don't like hearing women refer to the "training" of men. Rubs me the wrong way.

And I'm a woman.