Men-Women conflict

Voice Card  -  Volume 4  -  Roger Card Number 4  -  Fri, Jan 13, 1989 9:15 AM

Most societies seem to have a series of "Unquestioned Truths" and one of these is that males, in general, are better at math and science than women while women are better at verbal manipulation than men. And secondly, males in general are stoic while females emotional, and thirdly that males, in general, control this society.

The result of these doubtfull truths is that women feel that since men have control over everything, the woman has to find a way to balance or at least minimize the male's control over her actions using the best weapons in her arsonal, verbal communication to bore down on the males supposed weakness - his stocism or lack of emotion (puting her back in the catbird seat).

Secondly, most women feel that society expects them to get married and have children and there is something wrong with them if they don't want this. Therefore in most of their encounters with males, the object of marriage (not necessarily with this particular male though) is in the back of their mind.

Most males feel society expects them to get married and in addition to be the main financial support of the couple. In addition they have this feeling that they are giving up "freedom" when they get married as well as the desirable status of being a "desired bachelor".

Now put a male and a female together, who are reasonably compatible and appear physically and financially desireable to each other. What is at the back of both of their minds? This idea of getting married. The woman is deciding that if she is going to get married is this male a safe choice. Will he furnish (as society expects him to do) all that she reasonably needs and can she exert enough control over his actions that she will feel safe and happy. The male, meanwhile is feeling that if he gets married, is this female a safe choice, will she support and help him and not demand control over his actions and the loss of his "reputed freedom."

There is the problem we are discussing. The couple is sitting around somewhere, not particularly engrossed in a project, decide to talk (the usual choice of the woman who feels that this gives her the advantage and wants to discuss her field of expertize-emotions.) Her real target, if this male is satisfactory marriage material, is to determine if he is reasonably safe, which she can determine if she can understand his emotions - the key to her control of him or at least her safe freedom from control by him.

The male, unaccustomed to discussing his personal feelings, is wary of discussing them because he feels that he will have to back up what he says with the lifelong commitment. He perfers to say, let my actions show my feelings - allowing his stoic male personality to dominate (because the female now has to let her emotions act and lose the control that the verbal exchange gives her).

The result of all of this is that she will try to talk about emotions and in particular those emotions that will or should have long lived effects. The feelings "here and now" are not quite as good because it is easy to say "That's how I felt then, This is how I feel now." He will want to discuss either the male topic, sports, in which he can feel safe, or great world shaking events which both know they cannot control and hence is a neutral subject. Occasionally he will try to make physical passes which she will often try to avoid by trying to get him to discuss the emotion behind the passes and he will attempt to distract her by more groping. And of course the one who achieves his or her goal is the "Winner(?)."

To me, all that the forgoing suggests is that when women talk to men about emotions, they should always emphasize "What do you feel NOW" and avoid any question about future feelings, and that men should understand that verbal expression of emotions is as valid as physical expression and that both should have equal time.

Once you are married, these problems usually disappear and you can go back to talking about what interests you or if this "demand of the society" doesn't carry too much weight, you can bypass most of the pressure or if you were a tomboy (or the male counterpart) that really wasn't as much a problem for you as it is for most of us.