Not too long ago, one could safely comment on gender differences without the fear of being “canceled,” condemned for not being “woke” enough, or accused of sexual discrimination. In today’s world, one must be careful as free speech can instantly become hate speech if someone, somewhere, is the least bit offended.
I’ll take that risk.
Such policing of speech reminds me of a quote by the early 20th-century writer, G.K. Chesterton, whereby he remarked that “Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” I hope that this current obsession with gender-neutral, sex-less speak will soon be out of fashion. Hopefully, common-sense will again prevail as a virtue.
Some differences between the sexes are inherently obvious. Granted, these should be considered generalizations and may only apply to most men or women. Keep in mind, differences are just that, differences, not better or worse. Ignoring them will lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication. Recognizing them leads to better relationships. But preaching them may soon get you arrested.
The Relationship Institute highlighted a few of these differences in a 2020 article titled “Differences Between Men and Women.” Here are a few of their observations:
- Girls develop the right side of the brain faster than boys: leads to talking, vocabulary, pronunciation, reading earlier, better memory.
- Boys develop the left side faster than girls: visual-spatial-logical skills, perceptual skills, better at math, problem-solving, building and figuring out puzzles.
- Girls are more interested in toys with faces than boys are; play with stuffed animals and dolls more; boys are drawn to blocks or anything that can be manipulated.
- Girls tend to talk about other people; share secrets in order to bond friendships.
- Boys talk about things and activities. What they are doing and who is best at the activity.
- Teenage girls talk about boys, clothes, and weight.
- Teenage boys talk about sports, mechanics, and the function of things.
- A man’s sense of self is defined through his ability to achieve results through success and accomplishment. Achieve goals and prove his competence and feel good about himself.
- Women value love, communication, beauty, and relationships.
- Men are more logical, analytical, rational.
- Women are more intuitive, holistic, creative, integrative.
- The most frequent complaint men have about women: Women are always trying to change them.
- The most frequent complaint women have about men: Men don’t listen.
Maybe these are obvious to most of us. Didn’t you find yourselves nodding in agreement as you read through the list? But wait, there’s more.
I offer my own anecdotal evidence. Men, we only need to walk a few steps to survey the landscape of our Master Bathrooms and closets for the empirical evidence required to validate that such differences exist.
Being married, I share space with my wife, as all couples do. My share of our closets, bathroom counters, and shower shelf is limited to about 25% of the space. Men tend to have a mere handful of essential items on the bathroom counter — tube of toothpaste, toothbrush, razor, shaving cream, hairbrush (assuming said male has hair), and deodorant. Women, on the other hand, require more closet and counter space. Why? Quick access, apparently, is necessary for basic oral care items, makeup of many shades and varieties, perfumes, brushes, cotton balls, q-tips, razors, mirrors, soaps, lotions…and don’t forget the ten different shampoos, conditioners, and soaps on the shower shelf.
I have one shampoo and a bar of soap.
A review of our closet yields much the same result. Acting as if I had just presented my closing argument to a jury of one (my wife), I closed my review confidently stating, “I rest my case.”
In the spirit of full disclosure, my wife had a rebuttal. (Keep in mind, she used to work for a lawyer.) My observational tour through our Master Bathroom resulted in a single comment by my wife. “I have my tools, you have yours.” The look upon my Queen’s face told this Knight her rebuttal was just beginning. Her “come hither” look wasn’t an invitation for romance, but an extended tour through another arena — the garage.
It was her turn to state the obvious. “How many tools are enough…twenty screwdrivers, five hammers, six power drills, eight saws, a hundred sockets for ten wrenches? And how many rolls of duct tape do you really need? Don’t forget the golf clubs. Do men need four different putters? It appears that men have accessories too, with names like DeWalt, Craftsmen, Stihl, TaylorMade, and Titleist.”
My contrite chuckle confirmed I had, once again, been playing checkers while my wife was playing chess.
Yup, her self-assured smile confirmed what I saw in her eyes – “Checkmate.”
And who says there are no differences between men and women?
Picture provided by GR Stocks on unsplash.com