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Understanding Men/Women

Trollbabe

This thread is not meant to become a hotbed of flaming and whining. I considered starting it for a long time. I am a woman, and I have trouble understanding other women. There is no shortage of men who share my dilemma.

RedheadEmber

Sometimes I have difficulties understanding people. Guess I could blame that on being an Aspie... dunno.



But yeah... guess women can be complicated. Something we used to talk about back when I went to my old school in Western Jutland, where for the last few months I seemed to more or less stick with the boys, is how when boys, when they have a fight, well... fight and then becomes friends again, whilte girls can bitch and backstap each other for days.

WolfMoonSky

My problem is that I can't even understand people, not jut having difficulties understanding them, I just can't.

women can be very complicated sometimes. Sometimes I see things happen like in class with some of the girls and our teacher. I'm like: I don't understand them but neither understand you.

Most girls I knew in real live are bitches, most girls not every girl I know. I see boys in my town who are really like jerks. trying to do and look populair and use a rough language. I"m not gonna explain all the things I see with boys and girls, if I did, then I would still be sitting here tommorow. what my point is that I think that women and men are different from girls and boys, though not very different.

Stormcatcher

Though I have experienced women to be more difficult to fathom than men, I can't help you with your problem in understanding women. All you'd get will be just another Aspie's view on people in general... Nuh_uh

Trollbabe

You're called Aspies? Smile I guess that's easier to say than Aspergian. One of my co-workers is Aspergian, and he actually makes more sense to me than some of the others. He understands that there is something different about him - not wrong, just different - and is comfortable with it. Sometimes he asks my advice on interacting with people. I wish everyone would think like he does.

Stormcatcher

@ Trollbabe: "Aspergian" sounds like a mix between a forgotten star sign, some exoterrestrian being and a cultist devoted to some Greek goddess of fertility... So Aspie suits just fine... ^^

Some will use the term "Assburger" for multinational understanding. Erm - I don't... Evilgrin

Trollbabe

Aspergians are born under the astrological sign of Asparagus.

Sky1275

Men and Women are not so different at all. Society(in America) makes everything, "men can't like pink or purple, men don't cry;ect." OR "women can't swear, this or that is not lady like;ect". So we all over think how we are suppose to react or are too affaid of "what if", to change the reaction.



Fact: men cry, gossip, backstab friends, get broken hearts...... and so on and so on.



Fact: women do all those things as well. The only difference most of the time, is how society and stereo types make us react. Instead think the old sayings "do unto others..." "treat others the way you want to be treated". Everyone is an idividual, but we are taught the same insecurities and preconceptions of ourselves and others.... Get beyond that, you will be just fine.



Example:



Why do WE all like ElfQuest? Because the elves are more open to everything. Was Cutter any less manly when opened up fully to Leetah and was willing to leave Sorrow's End in tears because he thought she was going to deny recognition? Where we mad at Leetah when she admitted she was just too damn scared to go with Cutter on the quest in the first place? Didn't we all forgive Rayek, yet again, when he was willingly getting his ass kicked by Cutter and thanked him for raising Venka. We love EQ because the characters are honest and loyal and strong..... everything I have always strived to be. If there is any person you don't understand, tell them your issues honestly. Is every woman (or man) going to have a carbon copy of your opinion, HELL no. But it will help you to get to know them and understand them better. You need to take down your wall and open up.

Trollbabe

I agree that there is a difference in how males and females are conditioned to fight. Among women, my least favorite tactic is this:



Talkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalkandtalk over your percieved opponent, don't let her get a word in edgewise, talk until you are barely able to breathe, interrupt every sentence, keep the barrage of words going until she gives up and walks away. Then you have WON! Hooray for you!

Sky1275

I agree. There are too many women who think of other women as their opponents in everything. I probably know half of them! I just pity them for living inside the box!

SailorSilvanesti

There are so many varieties of personality in either gender...it can be difficult to connect with or understand them properly.



I never understood the bitchy, pretty stereotypical girls who threw themselves at boys during school; to be fair, I also never understood the shy, socially-awkward girls either. And Boys...I needed a manual for that one...



But I think the best way to do it is, be yourself and assess those you are meeting, if you don't like them, leave.

Trollbabe

Quote:
I agree. There are too many women who think of other women as their opponents in everything.




A few years ago, there were a couple of movies made from the novels "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" and "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." The word "sisterhood" evidently sold a lot of books and movie tickets. I suspect it's because women wanted to escape to a nostalgic or fantasy world in which sisterhood was a serious life value.



Women can accomplish miracles when we work together. Women's suffrage was passed because women worked together. Some of the social ills of the nineteenth century were overcome by groups of concerned women working together. Unfortunately, we compete instead for the favor of men in power. We fail to look out for each other's children or interests.



The other position I see women taking is the victim stance. It seems that everytime we have a critique session in my writing group, at least one woman has written either a fiction or biographical piece about a girl suppressed and abused by male authority.



As I have probably said before, in a typical population, women outnumber men and outlive men. Men are physically stronger, but this difference is devalued by the availability of modern machines and utilities. Our percentage of body fat keeps us alive longer in survival situations. Mothers have sole physical custody of a child for nine months before birth, often determining where the child will be born.



Are women capable of better leadership? Whether it's psychological or cultural, women are generally less aggressive and reckless than men, which is why we pay less for auto insurance. Saleswomen may have better success than men, because of empathy and other skills associated with nurturing. In much of the industrial world, it is legal for women to receive a public education, travel from one country to another, own businesses and property, hold positions in law and medicine, and run for elected office.



I fully expect to get flamed for this, but I believe most of the problems in this world are due to the failure of women to use these advantages to our own benefit, or to help other women.

lunakat

I agree Trollbabe- women should band together and be more assertive. We give away our power.

Trollbabe

It occurs to me, we could probably be better sisters to each other, if we were willing to step out of the motherhood role. Anybody remember transactional analysis? I am short, so I am forever interacting with average-sized women who want to treat me like a child.

lunakat

What is transactional analysis?

How and why do you think letting go of the motherhood role would help? Curious.
Is it because we tend to think of motherhood as legitimizing women? Like marriage? As if your life isn't complete without it...

Trollbabe

T.A. was a popular psychology trend back in the seventies. It had to do with analyzing how people interacted with each other. It would take too long to explain here, but one type of interaction was caled "parent to child." It referred to one adult talking to another as if the other person were a child, instead of an equal.



The most common example I encounter, is being called these names, or similar ones, in a professional situation:

"Honey."

"Sweetie."

"Darling."

"Dear."

"Baby."

"Sweetheart."



My mother is dead. My own siblings don't call me these names. I really hate it when a woman starts a conversation in this context. I'm not her daughter, nor am I her lesbian lover.



Aside from the talking-down habit, it's generally tough to work with women who are stuck in the "Mommy" mode. I've got one ditzy co-worker who thinks she can solve every problem by decorating walls with cute stuff. There are others who can't think independently, because decisions are what daddies make. Their situation at home with the kids may vary from one to another, but some women just can't switch off the Mommy mode when it's time to deal with other grownups.

Trollbabe

Now that I work at home, I mostly deal with my husband and other men. So women don't confuse and exasperate me as much.

lunakat

Ok- I need to understand this. My boyfriend didn't get me a birthday gift. How basic is that? It's pretty basic, right? And he's all "I don't understand- why? Why does this matter?" Should I really have to explain that?

lunakat

And keep in mind that he just spent a week at Comicon in San Diego. Am I really that difficult to shop for? Really? I have three book cases in my house. One is full of poetry and contemporary novels. The other is literature from college. I have told him over and over again who my favorite writers are. But I get that that might be a difficult thing to shop for. The third book case is all art books and comic books. What is Comicon full of? What?

And just in case he was really confused about which comic books I like- I have a huge collection of one thing- that I told him I loved. Can anyone here on this forum guess which comic book I like the most?

He bought gifts for his niece and nephew. For his brother in law. His mom remembered to send me a card. He didn't get anything. And when I looked at him with an 'are you kidding me' expression he acted confused. How can he be confused?? About that? Is this a guy thing? Who doesn't get their girlfriend a birthday gift?

I don't believe he doesn't understand gifts- because he got them for other people that same trip. And he told me "if you wanted something you should have said something." I didn't specifically ask for anything because I wanted him to have the chance to find me something and wrap in in paper and give it as a surprise, and I figured if I asked that would limit his options. He's not a creative thinker when it comes to gifts- but he spent a week at a mall. That's what Comicon is- right? It's a big freakin temporary mall filled with comic books, art books and the people who made them. He bought himself something. He bought a huge, expensive robot toy.

And so, he's like - 'I will take you out to a nice meal and dinner. Let's go shopping. I will buy you whatever you want. What do you want to do?' Gee, I don't know. But I do know that the last thing I want to have to do is plan this sh*t for you.

So- guys out there. How the heck should I respond to this? Because so far I've been pretty freakin nice about it. Should I just be grateful that he feels bad?

Embala

I understand YOU, lunakat - not the guy.

On the other side I was told it would be wise to give a guy a *hint* - an unmistakable HINT.

lunakat

Thanks, Embala.

lunakat

Edit out- this was just a rant.

lunakat

Ok- I overreacted. He got me a really nice breakfast, flowers and we went shopping for a puppy.

lunakat

He said he didn't know what to buy and that he thought it was better to be considerate on a daily basis than give a token gift- but that he knew I wanted a dog, so he thought that was the best thing he could do.

I'm glad that he came through- because I was on the verge of some really hurt feelings. And I'm not the type to do that sort of thing.

G0lden

Being the mother of sons, I can in all seriousness tell you that you need a manual on men. It is amazing what they can forget, (or so they claim to forget). My boys were easy to raise until they hit their teens. The only positive they had is that I was not the type of mother that wavered. Discipline was just that and there was none of this wait until your father gets home. (He has never been in the picture, he choice.). I was raised by a very strong mother, who much is much like her father (my darling grandfather), say what you mean or say nothing at all. In short no pussy footing around. I'm the same way.

Then there is the flip side. I have seen young women throw themselves at men. Play petty games and so on. That's when I to say grow up please.

Of course I still find it amazing the my supervisor can completely disappear without a trace after you asked for assistance. Or you ask him about something and he looks at you like he never heard you speak before.

Oh well the sexes are different that is for sure.

But maybe a simple hint may not be enough. A two by four up the backside of the head sounds like a really good way to get their undivided attention.

Yes, I even said that to my boss once. Should have seen the look on his. He had no clue whether I was serious or not.

lunakat

My version of a hint was to leave dead flowers in a vase for a full week, point out the new Elfquest swag and say "If I were going to Comicon- this is what I would get" - or some art books- and then talk about my birthday constantly. I guess that wasn't enough. Because he was still shocked when I was disappointed he didn't get a gift- or even a card. And he actually said "if you wanted it, why didn't you say so?" Who doesn't know to get their girlfriend a birthday present? My boyfriend. He didn't mean it in any bad way- he honest to goodness just didn't realize he was supposed to do it. Amazing. Blows my mind. I still love him- but geez.

Night_Tanem

@Trollbabe, the difference between girls and guys is that guys fight. Something is wrong, the weakest gets the punch and it's over. Some African mothers will put their daughters in a room and keep them their until they hit each other. I think it would be the less barbarian way if you see how they "solve" it nowadays...

@Lunakat, I laughed at the present thing. Not because it is funny but because for me it was the other way around. I would have begged my ex to stop buying me gifts for my birthday and other occasions. See, he used to buy me appliances which one could use to be "the woman" and clean, iron... divorced him within the second year ;)
@GOlden, love the "no pussy footing around" method! We were never called sweety, love, honey... we had to do the dishes if we wanted the right to go outside (outside being at the door), we got slapped when we did something wrong. No princesses in our house. It's my fathers hands that thought me I should never accept anyone else to slap me, that I should never expect anyone to be nice for no reason.

Survival of the fittest, if one is treated like a princess I hope she'll never need to fight the big bad wolf...

G0lden

Spankings only at our home when I was young, but my mom didn't put up with any of our stunts. Chores had to done end of discussion, play was in the backyard when both of my parents were still at work. Then I got to go to my grandparents. My grandma was one more apt to hit you for no good reason. My grandpa never spanked my, nothing. I was his little one and that was the end of the subject. Of course we went there to get a chance to seriously play and get out of the city. I mean come on ten acres worth of a playground.

But again there were differences between my parents and grandparents. My parents tended to reverse roles. She'd paint a room and he'd make pumpkin bread. My grandparents had the more traditional roles. I don't recall either pair forgetting birthdays or anniversaries though. I guess it may have more to do with the day of age they were born than anything else.

lunakat

I have never pitched a fit over presents before. But I'm also really (really) low maintenance as a girlfriend. I hardly ever expect anything. But a birthday is so basic. If all he had done was get flowers and a card- I would have been happy. Or even just a card. Or maybe some chocolate... I don't know. Someone once got me a keychain and I was thrilled. My ex, on the last birthday we spent together, got me a really cute pencil case. Everyone said "A pencil case? You should have known the end was near!" But I really liked that pencil case- and I still have it. I still like it! It's the thought that counts. Giving a gift is just indicative of the fact that you cared enough to think about it.

Who wants to be an afterthought?

lunakat

@Night_Tandem. Yep- sometimes presents can be passive aggressive. Sounds like that was your ex. Or maybe he was just raised very old fashioned.

G0lden

Sometimes it is the simple things that mean the most.

lunakat

G0lden said: But maybe a simple hint may not be enough. A two by four up the backside of the head sounds like a really good way to get their undivided attention.


All my girlfriends have said that this is true of men- that they don't get hints. That you have to flat out just tell them things... even things you would think would be patently obvious. And in the end, don't take it personally that it didn't occur to them.

But honestly- I'm not sure if that flies. First of all, I've had lots of guy friends- and I haven't observed them to be cognitively impaired when it comes to understanding the nuances in many other things- video games, art, their friendships with each other, observations about life, their jobs, their cars, collectible toys, politics, humor, literature, etc.. They seem to be able to analyze. But when it comes to women- they all seem to have a blind spot that renders them suddenly incapable of thinking outside of themselves.

Is that because men and women have slight differences in their brain structures? Or is it simply because they don't put the time and effort in? Which basically comes down to: do they really, truly not understand- or do they just not care?

It would be unproductive to expect a man to change if he is incapable of it. But is it unreasonable to ask someone who is capable to step up to plate?

With my boyfriend... I think it was just that he was never taught how to give a gift. He doesn't know how to shop for other people- doesn't know what to get them- feels awkward doing it. But you know... I had that same problem too. I used to have a hard time figuring out what to get people, wasn't sure how to shop and felt awkward doing it. But I figured it out through trial and error and just by making the effort. I made an effort to think about the perspective of the person I was shopping for and guess as to what they would want. That is why giving a gift is so considerate- because it shows you have not only thought about the person- but have tried to understand them as well.

If I can do it- why can't he? Is it a personality factor? Is it just a "man" thing that women need to accept? Or is it a very subtle form of misogyny that tells men (who are capable of understanding so many different things) that they don't need to try to understand the women in their lives?

lunakat

G0lden said: Sometimes it is the simple things that mean the most.


yes

Night_Tanem

His father is a great man but in this case the son is nothing like the father.
I was with him for 5 years, payed what he couldn't all that time (almost everything) only to realize he wouldn't do the same for me. He expected me to be more "girly" and stay for another 5 years... I don't want kids, he couldn't use my biological clock as an excuse to keep me so that was that.
It's been 3 years :-O already since I got divorced still I don't feel like letting someone new in. Don't really need it either ;)