Friday, March 9, 2012

Just eat your soup and let her talk

The above was LL Cool J's response to the question: 'Tell me about the woman in your life'.

The interviewer burst out laughing at this answer and brought the interview to a quick close at this point.
I laughed out loud too at this answer.
Because it is oh so familiar.

The opening scene of 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' sees a man brought in to the village doctor's house by his wife because he is 'deaf'. After a brief examination, the doctor works out the problem and duly fishes out a pea out of the man's ear. A pea, which it would appear he may have accidentally inserted into his ear from childhood.
Captain Corelli's Mandolin' is a war-film.
There are horrific scenes of death, betrayal and pain.
But by the end of this film, this man's only complaint is about the nagging of his wife. In the last scene of the film, he is practically begging the doctor to put the pea back in his ear because he can't take it anymore.


I don't know much about LL Cool J except that he is a rapper and actor.
I have never heard him rap but I have seen him in a sitcom or two years ago.
But like most men, he seems to have certainly figured out the key to a peaceful life :-)

My own musical hero Ludwig van had no such problems. Deafness, although of course is an unfortunate medical difficulty, could be, for the man looking for a silver lining to his raincloud, the perfect way of escaping some of life's little stresses.

What is it about women's chit-chat that men find so unbearable?
What is it about women's chit-chat that make men brave outside temperatures of minus twenty for hours at a time when they are not even smokers but need a desperate excuse to leave the frenzy of female conversation?

Even with 'masculine eyes' I cannot seem to get to the bottom of this one.

I do like one-word answers. Even to 'open questions'. I really do.  It is reassuringly familiar. In this, I am probably one of the outliers.

But I cannot live with this all the time.
This is one big reason I have female friends :-)
One of the functions of  'the herd' is to preserve sanity :-)

There is an evolutionary benefit to a quiet man of course. Out on the hunt, if the wild deer heard you, neither you nor your family would be getting any dinner that night. In fact, if the hunted were dangerous enough to become the hunter, you might not even make it home to dinner.

I get that.

When I asked the question about why men are quiet during traumatic times, in The Quiet Man, I got decent answers that satisfied my curiosity somewhat.
"Men are stoic."
"It is not worth speaking when no-one is listening."
"It is just male nature."

I get that.

I also get that most men need a certain 'quiet time' usually after a transition from one activity to another, typically the transition from work to homelife.

I get that.

But the situation I am describing is neither 'out on the hunt', nor traumatic nor an infringement of 'quiet time'.

Take dinnertime, for instance. Which is precisely the time LL Cool J is referring to.

Is it physically painful to indulge in a little chit-chat about the day's events, or the political climate, or the economic crisis?
Or any other topic?

Or during social settings where the general theme is not sport- or work-related.

Why do men clam up?

Is there a reason other than boredom?
Is boredom ever a valid reason?
Or am I just in the wrong crowd?
It is known that a woman's 'corpus callosum', the part of the brain that connects the left and right hemispheres is much more developed than a man's, even though a man's brain is bigger in mass, corrected for body surface area.
The part that deals with language skills is also better developped in women.
Hence to say that a woman is wired to communicate is in fact a biological truism.

But is there not a design fault in the system if the talker has no audience?
There would be no need for this post if men were known to be good listeners :-)
But again the number one (number two?) complaint about men is that they do not appear to listen to or hear women.
Which is odd, because the hunter has to have a keen sense of hearing, no?

Something does not quite add up.

Is there a chance of selective hearing going on, maybe?
Or is it really the case that men are not wired to hear women at all. Just each other, i.e. other men.

Is this a cruel trick of Nature that women can only communicate effectively with each other?
Or is it a design fault that God hasn't quite gotten round to fixing yet because he is procrastinating, but 'watch this space'?
Given that 'one day' to God equals a thousand years, we might be in for a long wait...

What you don't see is the woman yapping away in the background. This man is in 'tune out' mode :-)
Where do men learn how to do the 'tune out' thing? Is this part of the 'locker room' training?


Anonymous said...

About mens way of grieving and dealing with trauma. David Deida says something along the lines of for men to grow and deal with life they need to feel THROUGH emotions and for women to do the same they need to BECOME their emotions or sort of act them out. You can see this in two styles of meditation. In the classical sitting version you sit completely still and and open yourself to feeling and sensing anything that comes up without judgement while maintaining a detatched impartial observing view of it and not getting caught up in it but just let it drift like clouds on the sky. This allows whatever comes up to be felt strongly while giving it zero power to affect your center. You give up all control but still remain in total control. THis is the more masculine style of meditation but is the most commonly practiced by both genders and works well for both.

The more feminine style of meditation is to let yourself become so immersed and swept up in what you are feeling that you in a sense loose conciousness. ONe version of this is ecstatic or spontanious dance where you try to let your body dance as it wants rather than direct it to dance. When one looses ones conciousness like this and everything starts to spin one gets back a witnessing impartial detatched observer in the center of the chaos of emotion and sensation. So in both forms of meditation you get both fully felt emotions and a stoic still center but you go about getting that in diametrically opposite ways.

You can use this as an analogy for how the genders process emotions. Women need to let in a sense "act out" their emotions through displaying them and letting their bodies strongly show through body language that they feel what they feel, they need to let go into it. THis allows emotions to process through her system and so be digested and paradoxically lets her maintain or develop more of a still center even though it won`t seem like it just as someone doing spontainious dance does not seem like they have it either.

Anonymous said...

For men to grieve or process trauma it is important to seek stillness in themselves and in their surroundings so they can first establish the inner stillness and equanimity that allows their emotions to be processed fastest and without knocking him of balance.

I have been told because of womens connections between the brain halves it is difficult for women to ever shut them of and so worrying about their mental list of things that needs to be done or worried about just does not stop. What helps them is oxytocin. They need to feel understood which has as its evolutionary purpose to ensure that the she still has allies to support and protect her (amongst women and men). For men on the other hand it is possible to shut of our brains by either doing something that fills up our single tasking focusing capacity or just relaxing and mentally taking a break and just mentally chilling and being distant. Now what men actually need when they feel burdened by a problem is a slight boost in testosterone and to fix or believe he will fix his problem. THis is because it is not his number of allies but his ability to achieve that has helped men survive. He needs to take care of business. Now, rest builds testosterone in men. Stress is a huge testosterone killer and sleep is absolutely vital to keeping T up. When men get worried and talk about or think about solutions the sense of control the solutions give ups his testosterone back up after it got bumped down by the worrying.

When women talk they jump back and forth between seemingly unconnected topics. One women who writes in a webforum I frequent is such an extreme case of this that I ignore almost all of her posts because the extreme back and fourth in her posts makes it literally painful to read. Her post make my head hurt. Men on the other hand like to keep on topic and to maintain a clear focus which is the opposite. We also like the topic to have relevance as we see it.

So when women start to blabber they start to build headaches in men through jumping back and forth and confusing us because we use our focus to remain on topic. We also get slightly mentally pained by trying got figure out why this and that and the other thing is important to talk about because to us it seems so meaningless. THis whole process means that the woman, if she feels her man is listening, gets her hormone fix, oxytocin, and so gets calmed down and gets her emotions processed, while men gets the supply of their hormone fix, testosterone, thwarted by women making use loose focus and become stressed trying to keep focused and stay on point and figure out why we are talking about this or that and umpteen other things.

Anonymous said...

@ SpaceTraveller

I'll be back later to reflect on Anonymous' comments from 1630 and 1631 9 March 2012.

Until then, here's something about the main question of your topic:

Don't click the link unless you are willing to look into the abyss.


Anonymous said...

"But is there not a design fault in the system if the talker has no audience?"

Those are not men you're looking at, they are mirrors of women. If we're not listening is it because YOU'RE not listening to YOURSELF.

Anon 4:31 put it well "We also get slightly mentally pained by trying got figure out why this and that and the other thing is important to talk about because to us it seems so meaningless."

We're not listening to you because you're so ungrounded, you're not even listening to yourself to see if you make sense.

And I said we mirror each other. That's the truth. If we're not interested in women's chit chat, you're not interested in it either, but somehow that always seems to stay below the surface of consciousness.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Bill,

Thanks for the warning!
I appreciate it :-)

That link actually answers my question nicely.
So if I understand it correctly, it's kind of part of the whole 'manhood' thing to rise above the din of female banter.

OK. Fair enough. At least I know.

@ Anonymous at 7:36PM,

Thanks for your insight.
It does sound a bit harsh though, to my female mind.
Women have to censor what they will say to men?
That's tough. I tell you why. Communication, for women is not just about imparting useful information like a man would view communication. No, no, no. It's a lot to do with just 'connecting' to someone, so to this end the content of what she is saying does not really matter half the time. It's just the fact that she is talking that counts. I need a woman to confirm or refute but I am pretty sure I am right on this.

However hard your proposition to 'make sense' may be though, I am sure if we really put our minds to it, we could do it.
Any other requests while we are at it?

Just teasing...
I hear ya.
I shall try what you say and see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:36PM here.
Sorry that sounded harsh. I agree with what you said about connecting, and not having to make sense all the time. What I really want to drive home is the awareness of mirroring. If I'm not paying attention to you while you're talking, that should make you stop, go within, and see if you're really into what you're saying. That's the message I want to send.

Try it out?

Spacetraveller said...

@ Anonymous,

Yes you are right. It should be easy enough to spot that the listener's eyes are starting to glaze over, and it's time to change tactic :-)

Actually, I think most women do this, some at an earlier point in the conversation than others.
And some can talk the hind legs off a donkey :-)

I shall try it, for sure. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

This is why I have a theory that women invented language, to communicate better, including body language, and men invented writing, to communicate precisely.

Of course, this isn't my field of endeavor, so I have no evidence to back it up.

The thing to keep in the back of your mind, is that neither gender is right or wrong in their respective methods of communication, but the differences do require some analysis by the people talking. I've told how my wife and I communicate well... this requires her to keep a focus on her conversation, as I (like most men) lose the thread as soon as she detours off on a tangent. It also requires me to flesh out details that I would normally leave out, because social dynamics are simply viewed by most men as quasi-unnecessary, but still important enough to take into consideration. If I were, for example, explaining something like the Arab Spring, I MUST include the dynamics of the particular country clans and tribes and sects, as I understand them, else I run the 'risk' of her asking for clarification. Not a bad thing, but such a request implies imprecision on my part, therefore I should have included it from the start. Early in our marriage, I tended to be overly detailed, attempting to inform by sheer volume of data. She started asking questions (she is not normally much interested in world affairs, unless it is directly related to us) preceded with the caveat "without going into a huge explanation, can you tell me..."

So I adjusted the amount of detail, this way, she can ask questions on the things that pique her interest.

For her part, she has learned that I just do not care about individual people who have absolutely nothing to do with us, celebrities perhaps being the number one example. If someone was married for 70 days before filing for divorce, the amount of my caring could not fill the thimble of a fly.

Like I said in your previous post, I've known some men that cannot shut their face, and some women who almost never speak. Both are in the minority for their gender, however. The best solution, I have found, is to treat each person as an individual, with their own traits and personalities, rather than generalize by any given group. Certainly, men tend to use communication as a means of imparting useful information, and women tend to use communication to reinforce social bonds. But the two are not really all that different, as useful information also reinforces social bonds, and social bonds are the single most important reason why we impart useful information to someone... men don't tell everyone their useful info, just the ones that pre-existing bonds have qualified as needing to know.

Now that I've contradicted my individuality statement, let me also reinforce it. Yes, some women can talk the hind legs off a donkey (wonder where THAT phrase originated). So can some men, but I doubt that it's the majority of either gender. Maybe it's easier for women to chat for the sake of chatting, since the information exchange isn't the actual reason for the conversation. Maybe men find it easier to impart the information, then wait for requests of clarification, like I have learned to do. Whatever the analysis reveals, few people would argue that men and women are wired differently. It's not a competition, just a biological fact of life, and not one that should be twisted to imply that one gender is somehow superior to the other. Are men from Mars, and women from Venus?

No, we're all from Earth, so get over yourselves, men AND women. You can generalize all you want, but treating each other as individuals not only benefits those you speak with, by both respect and validation (neat how I got that in there, hm?) it also benefits YOU, by expanding the respect and/or validation you receive in return.

The Navy Corpsman

Spacetraveller said...

@ NC,

Your last paragraph is very encouraging.
Danke :-)

Anonymous said...

Re Anaonymous @1630 and 1631 9 Mar 2012

Retrosexual Code

A Retrosexual, no matter what the women insists, PAYS FOR THE DATE.

A Retrosexual opens doors for a lady. Even for the ones that fit that term only because they are female.

A Retrosexual DEALS WITH IT, be it a flat tire, break-in into your home, or a natural disaster, you DEAL WITH IT.

A Retrosexual should know how to properly kill stuff (or people) if need be. This falls under DEAL WITH IT.

A Retrosexual not only eats red meat, he often kills it himself.

A Retrosexual doesn't worry about living to be 90. It's not how long you live, but how well. If you're 90 years old and still smoking cigars and drinking, I salute you.

A Retrosexual should have at least one good wound he can brag about getting.

A Retrosexual knows how to use a basic set of tools. Retrosexuals build and fix stuff. If you can't change a light switch, install a ceiling fan, fix a broken toilet or build a tree house, learn how. If you can't hammer a nail, or drill a straight hole, practice in secret until you can - or be rightfully ridiculed. 

More to follow.

Anonymous said...

The rest of the code:

A Retrosexual teaches his children how to deal with bullies in a way that doesn't involve "examining the other child's motivation for aggressiveness".

A Retrosexual knows that owning a gun is not a sign that your are riddled with fear, or are trying to make up for a small penis. Massage and cunnilingus skills are the way to make up for a small penis, guns are TOOLS and are often essential to DEAL WITH IT. Plus it's just plain fun to shoot.

Crying. There are very few reason that a Retrosexual may cry, and none of them have to do with TV commercials, movies, or soap operas. Sports teams are sometimes a reason to cry, but the preferred method of release is swearing or throwing the remote control. Some reasons a Retrosexual can cry include (but are not limited to) death of a loved one, death of a pet (fish do NOT count as pets in this case), loss of a major body part.

A Retrosexual is allowed to seek professional help for major mental stress such as drug/alcohol addiction, death of your entire family in a freak treechipper accident, favorite sports team being moved to a different city etc. You are NOT allowed to see a shrink because Daddy didn't pay you enough attention. Daddy was busy DEALING WITH IT. When you screwed up, he DEALT with you. Cowboy up, son.

When a Retrosexual is on a crowded bus and or a commuter train, and a pregnant woman, hell, any woman gets on, that Retrosexual stands up and offers his seat to that woman, then looks around at the other so-called men still in their seats with a disgusted "you punks" look on his face. A Retrosexual will give up his seat on a bus to not only any women but any elderly person or person in military dress (except officers above 2nd Lt). NOTE: The person in military dress may turn down the offer but the Retrosexual man will ALWAYS make the offer to them and sincerely thank them for serving their country.

A Retrosexual knows how to say the Pledge of Allegiance properly, and with the correct emphasis and pronunciation. He also knows the words to the Star Spangled Banner.

A Retrosexual man is not to be reckoned with lightly. He possesses the ability to DEAL WITH IT and if you happen to be “IT” then you should watch your tone or be dealt with accordingly.

A Retrosexual man does not take advantage of lesser individuals simply because he can, but should he witness another attempting the same he’ll have little mercy on said bully.

A Retrosexual man doesn't need a contract -- a handshake is good enough. He will always stand by his word even if circumstances change or the other person deceived him.

A Retrosexual man doesn't immediately look to sue someone when he does something stupid and hurts himself. We understand that sometimes in the process of doing things we get hurt and we just DEAL WITH IT.

A Retrosexual man is personally responsible for all aspects of his life and doesn’t seek to blame others for the wrongs and injustices in his life. He DEALS WITH THEM.

A Retrosexual man is in touch with his feelings and he doesn’t feel obliged to share them with some nosy female who wants him as her emotional companion. That’s what her girlfriends are for. Leave him alone and he’ll tell you when it’s OK to interrupt...


Spacetraveller said...

Whoa Bill!

I'm speechless...
(Which is a good thing).

I'll have to go digest this one for a few days :-)

Out of interest, what is the etymology behind the word 'Retrosexual'?
I don't think I have ever heard this term before...
From what little research I have done on this, on the one hand it seems to describe a celibate man, and on the other, it is used to describe someone who is the opposite of a 'metrosexual'.

But why retro ?

Anonymous said...

@ SpaceTraveller

Retro = of things past

I learned to be a man from my father. He grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II.

He built a cabin with nothing but hand tools. Not even an electric drill or saw.

He could navigate a bomber from Idaho to Guam with a sextant, a slide rule, and his Omega watch.

He put himself thru college by carrying 80 pound sacks of coal at a steel mill.

He cared for my mother every day from the day she became disabled in1972 until she died in 1991.

Retrosexual, as opposed to metrosexual. Old school.

Returning to something that works. Because what we have is not working for anyone.


BeijaFlor said...

Oh, my dear heavens glorious God!

I have to skip past the verbosity of the previous comments and "cut to the chase."

I was one of the first to complete the Avatar® personal-enhancement course, and soon after I became an "Avatar Master" (course facilitator).

I found a difference between the "outer manifestations" of men and women, during this course; but both men and women did indeed arrive at the same essential (and course-required) mind-state, after enough and appropriate practice of the SAME exercises.

What's funny about this - to me - is that my course-work and master's work leave me, spiritually, in a completely ambiguous and ambisexual spirutual state! And my masculine impulses, as tempered and stilled as they are by my spiritual state ... well, I will leave the Potential Student to work out the possible problems and incipient outcomes of the infinite range of potential outcomes.

It's not your problem, and neither am I.

BeijaFlor said...

Retrosexual ...?

I will add this, because it's very "close to home."

When I was privileged with the opportunity to join an "informal" (but historically significant and long-standing) group of Old Pilots, and specifically a particular "Hangar" that included the Pledge Of Allegiance (to the Flag of the United States of America) as part of their Sacred Ritual ...

I bought a "Stars And Stripes" USA flag for the Pledge, and I set it up in the Appropriate Direction (I won't specify that more closely) before every meeting that I attended.

For the introduction of a couple of meetings - before I bought a flag, a staff, and a stand that would work for this devotion - my future confrères saluted the Stars&Stripes that were printed on the "blood chit" I sewed into the lining of my flight-jacket! (There's a story behind that...!)

If that renders me as a "retrosexual" ... me, a biological male who hasn't used his sexuality in these United States of America since 1985 - save for the times I've "taken myself in hand" ... then the rest of you should be ASHAMED of the "retrosexual" label!

Spacetraveller said...

@ Bill,
I see. Thanks for the clarification. I would, and I am sure many women too, would love to see that kind of man back in our world. (I have to say that on some level this man still exists but he is slightly 'disguised' in the sense that he has now figured out that he could easily be taken advantage of if people are aware of his good nature).
The problem is that some men are just not motivated anymore to be like that. The fat lady has not just started singing, apparently she has finished the concert and is on her way to the dressing room :-)

@ BeijaFlor,

Do you mean you became something of a 'hermaphrodite' after that course?
I am not sure I understand your comment.

Anonymous said...

People (I think more women then men, but not by much) talk... Twaddle. Most communication isn't about the content but the feelings of connectedness. Men, for whom communication is more of a hassle, have more difficulty just going with the flow, and thus find it irritating (at times)
To be alone... Men need to be alone when under stress to figure it out, others would be a distraction. I guess women trust others more and don't need to regain control as much.

Spacetraveller said...

@ Anonymous at 6:53AM,

"To be alone... Men need to be alone when under stress to figure it out, others would be a distraction. I guess women trust others more and don't need to regain control as much."

So, a man's silence means 'go away, don't worry about me, I am fine.'
As opposed to 'Actually, I am hurting real bad but I am afraid to tell you - come hug me and talk to me' which is what women think a man's silence says.

Nice to know :-)

Anonymous Reader said...

Communication, for women is not just about imparting useful information like a man would view communication. No, no, no. It's a lot to do with just 'connecting' to someone, so to this end the content of what she is saying does not really matter half the time.

This looks a lot like "her words do not actually mean anything, they are just sounds she makes for emotional satisfaction". Is that what you meant to say?

Spacetraveller said...

@ Anonymous Reader,

Welcome to The Sanctuary!

I am aware that I might be walking into a perfectly concealed trap here, but that's just fine :-)
Believe it or not, that's exactly what I meant to say, for half the communication of women.
Of course this cannot be ALL of a woman's communication style - she would not be able to live in this life if that were the case.

But a significant proportion of the time, she is just wanting to reach out to someone. Content is not the key here. It's really about 'connection'.
I hope another woman will chime in and tell you her own experience of this. Perhaps I don't speak for all women, or even a significant majority. But I have seen an awful lot of examples of this, in myself and many women, irrespective of demographics.
This is not of course to be disrespectful to myself or any other woman (I am really not into the self-hate thing, I can assure you!). I am just reporting an observation.
To a man's brain, it may not make sense.
But perhaps it is not meant to.
Same as a lot of things men do I shall never understand, hard as I might try.
Just to understand is all that is required sometimes.

(PS: My long-winded answer is carefully worded based on the assumption that you are male. If I had had an inkling that you were female, my answer to this question would have been much shorter and to the tune of:
Are you kidding me?)

Anonymous Reader said...

Believe it or not, that's exactly what I meant to say, for half the communication of women.

Interesting. So if the signal is half noise, and it is not at all obvious what is noise vs. what is signal, what is the point in paying any attention to any of it? Why bother?

Spacetraveller said...

@ Anonymous Reader,
See? That's a typical (and appropriate, I have to say) male response.

I never said it was logical, remember?

This is how women communicate with each other (quite effectively, I might add). It works well with other women.

But your question helps me to understand why it doesn't and wouldn't work with men!

For a start, you say it is not obvious what is signal and what is noise. I know it is not obvious to you.
As a woman, I can tell if another woman is 'giving me information' or 'connecting with me'. I don't know how. I just do. It is innate to me.
(By the way, I never have to make this distinction when I am talking to a man because with a man, he is almost always just 'giving me information'. Simple as that.
I might not always know when/if a man is trying to connect with me, though. I gather it is almost never verbal. So same as you might get lost on Planet Woman, I also get lost on Planet Man :-)

To answer your question, if you really want to help out an uninformed Blue Pill woman, just listen to everything, noise and signal and just absorb it. No response required. You can ask for clarification if you want to score extra points (shows you were listening in the first place LOL). It's not so much 'why bother' as 'why not'?

Can't say this is a walk in the park, this...
Communication style has to be one of the biggest sources of difference between the genders huh?

just visiting said...

I agree with ST. Communication is message and connection. This isn't just verbal. Easy with women, trickier when men do it. Really have to watch the cues)

Why bother listening to any of it? You could choose not to. Depends on how much contempt you have for the woman. (Because that's how it would come across.)

As a woman who has tried to bridge that gap by training myself to speak directly, I find a new problem. Men on these forums are complaining that modern women are too direct. That we aren't feminine enough with coy, circular conversation, and don't get them started on our flirting skills. So..on some subconscious level, men are looking for that "connection" part of our communication style. Speaking directly may be fine for work, but in social setting, renders us charmless to men. Apparently.

Anonymous Reader said...

So sometimes women's words mean something, and other times the words mean nothing, and it is up to others to determine if anything is being said or not, correct?

just visiting said...

Something's always being communicated. The words themselves as stand alone may not be what's being

Anonymous Reader said...

The question is this : do women's words actually mean anything, or not?

Bonus question: if something is "true" today, will it still be "true" tomorrow, or next week, or next year, or 10 years from now?

just visiting said...

Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes the words are only half the communication.

Something being true today or tomorrow. Depends on the woman. In my case, yes. In another woman's case, perhaps not.

just visiting said...

You might want to check out a post over at The Private Man. You'll have to scroll down on his past posts, but it's called Femininity - You have to take the good with the bad. The comments are quite good too.

Now, as a man going his own way, you don't have to do either. But it's an interesting take on things, and you might enjoy the read.

Spacetraveller said...

Thanks JV!

I remember that post from TPM. It made me chuckle, because I realised how much he knew about women.

This is one reason I would always advise men to learn this sort of Game - it is exactly the sort of thing one's father cannot teach one.
So Thank God for the grand dukes of The Manosphere who are fulfilling this mentor role for young men.
These men almost always learned about women late in life, and often learned the hard way.
A young man should take the free lesson from these older men - i.e. learn the easy way.
Why not?

@ AR,
To answer your bonus question, I would also answer 'yes'.
But again, women are known to 'change their mind' a lot, I am sure you know!
So much so that it is often described as 'a woman's perogative'. I have read data which links this directly to the monthly cycle.
The only reason I can answer 'yes' to your question is that I sometimes make the concerted effort not to be so capricious. But I don't always succeed LOL.
Hey, please don't shoot the messenger - I didn't make the rules.
We all have to navigate the quirks of the opposite gender, right? Unless we choose to 'get on the other bus'.

Spacetraveller said...

@ JV,

"As a woman who has tried to bridge that gap by training myself to speak directly, I find a new problem. Men on these forums are complaining that modern women are too direct. That we aren't feminine enough with coy, circular conversation, and don't get them started on our flirting skills. So..on some subconscious level, men are looking for that "connection" part of our communication style. Speaking directly may be fine for work, but in social setting, renders us charmless to men. Apparently."

Herein lies an important double-bind for women.
In trying to understand men, we run the risk of becoming too masculinised.
We have to know when to retract back into femininity-land. Not easy, but we have to know how to do it.
It's crucial!
Thanks for making this point.
Seriously, you are such an asset to this blog.

just visiting said...


Spacetraveller said...

@ JV,
U is welcome.

@ AR,
It never ceaes to amaze me how much as human beings we are driven by our biological imperatives.
Have you watched a mother 'communicate' with a baby or a very young child?
How much of that is content as you and I know it?
That's right - next to zilch.
What's more, a woman does not even need to be a mother before she gets good at this - sure, she improves with the practice once she becomes a mother.
Why do I say this?
As a teenager, babysitting for various family members or friends I already had this skill honed to a T. And I haven't lost it :-)

Yes it is annoying when a woman talks like this to a grown man. You yourself mentioned elsewhere that nagging smacks of a 'mommy/child interaction'.

I agree that women ought to tone this down a notch, and realise that certain communication styles are better than others depending on the audience.

Some women get it completely wrong - they talk to grown ups like children and children like grown ups. I know at least one woman who does this - very annoying, although I can just about tolerate her. I imagine she irritates a lot of men though...

Anonymous Reader said...

The original question is too broad. There is no context.

Do you mean one man and one woman who are married for a years, one man and one woman who happen to be in the middle of a large social gathering, one man and one woman and several children at an evening meal, one man and one woman on their first private outing, or something else?

You're the one who is supposed to be so superior at communication, at subtle details, etc., not me. So why am I explaining to you that your question cannot be answered save in the most general of terms?

Anonymous Reader said...

just visiting
Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don't. Sometimes the words are only half the communication.

The problem is, a man is obliged to take every single word out of a woman's mouth as if it has meaning. If he does not, then he is judged guilty of not taking her seriously, a major thoughtcrime. However, in many cases the sheer volume is enough to overwhelm many ordinary humans. And the irony is that women generally don't listen to men at all.

Something being true today or tomorrow. Depends on the woman. In my case, yes. In another woman's case, perhaps not.

In my experience, every single statement a woman says has an expiration date. It may be in a few seconds, it may be in a few weeks, it may be in a few decades. But sooner or later, it will cease to be true. The truth will have expired. It is true of every woman, and every thing said. It's a matter of "when", not "if".

Perhaps this reality is why pointing out the fickleness of women is such a major thoughtcrime in our feminist, matriarchal, world. Speaking the truth, as Orwell put it, becomes a revolutionary act...

Spacetraveller said...

@ AR @ 3.30PM,

Which question are you referring to? I ask several questions in the OP.

just visiting said...

@ AR

I'd agree. Speaking about the differences is a major thought crime. Guess that makes us criminals. lol.

Men and women have different evolutionary functions. It doesn't mean that we're so different that bridging the differences are impossible, but it's made harder when our "intellectual superiors" reinforce the idea that there are no differences.

Rule of thumb. If a man is upset and saying one thing but is actually upset about something else, it's because something has gone wrong with his environment.

If a woman is upset and saying one thing but is actually upset about something else, it's because something is wrong with her relationship(s).

I hate to generalize, but it helps to narrow things down.