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Women Are from Venus, Men Are from Hunger




Excerpted from
Life is Not a Stress Rehearsal: Bringing Yesterday's Sane Wisdom Into Today's Insane World
By Loretta Laroche

Men Don't Ask for Directions

Of course not. If a man stops to ask for directions, the animal he's stalking will kill him. Not to mention that it is a clear indication that he is out of control and needs help. It literally forces him to make the admission, perhaps to another male, that "I'm lost." What could be farther from the male's natural desire to best all others and come out the winner? Women, on the other hand, have no qualms about asking others for help. In fact, they can't get enough of it! Women know that asking other people for help not only gets them what they need, it makes for human connection and communication which nurtures all concerned.

Women Go to the Bathroom in Groups

And why not? It's a bonding ritual-it's like staying home in the cave and working together to make the night's meal. Women like to do things together and have other women around; everything is a collaborative effort. Even peeing. It doesn't matter if a woman really needs to empty her bladder or not, she'll go to keep her friend company. Why not? Men, on the other hand, want to perform whatever their task happens to be in silence and get it over with. Why in the world would they want another man to come with them to the john? Exactly how will that help them to complete the appointed task-to empty their bladder? To a man, it's the most absurd idea in the world.

Men Don't Notice the Details

Not long ago I bought a new oriental rug for the dining room. The rug we had in there had gotten kind of frayed and old, so I bought one that was much bigger and a different color.

My husband walked over it for six months before he noticed something had changed. And from what I see, he's not all that unusual. A man can go for days and not notice that his wife has changed her hairdo, or that there's a new chair in the living room.

It makes sense: that's the stuff on the periphery. But put something in the room that is related to one of his primary drives and he'll notice it in an instant. If he's sitting in a meeting at work and his boss leans over to whisper in the ear of one of his competitors, he'll notice that. If a woman fifty feet away is not wearing a bra, he'll notice that.

Women, on the other hand, notice everything. She'll notice if the guy has parted his hair a half inch to the left, she'll notice if her girlfriend is wearing a new shade of toe-nail polish, she'll notice if someone in the office is looking a little depressed that day.

Well, of course she will. Women are programmed for detail: they compile the information and tell the stories. They are interested in the periphery. Men are interested only in the task that they have to complete.

And while we're speaking of that...

Men and Women Laugh at Different Things

It's true. Think about it:

Get a group of guys together at a ball game after a few beers. What do you hear? "Who'd you bet on? The loser?" "Remember when you had abs under that gut?" "Maybe when you get a real job you can sit up here with the big boys." They rag on one another. They all see humor in playful one-upmanship that points out the other guy's flaws.

Yes, it's usually good-natured-and no one goes off and cries in his beer. The humor is very clearly based on their common understanding that it is critically important to men to make themselves look good, often at the expense of one another. Putting the other guy down and excluding him from the inner circle is seen as funny. You couldn't catch a woolly mammoth if your life depended on it. Subtext: but of course I can.

Can you imagine for one moment a group of women making fun of one another in the same way? What are you wearing that black dress for, to cover your fat ass? Of course not. Nine times out of ten, what you'll much more likely hear is a woman making fun of herself: of course I'm wearing a Mack dress, have you seen the size of my ass?

Closely tied into this topic is the fact that:

Men Talk Themselves Up;
Women Talk Themselves Down

Get a group of guys together to talk about last week's golf game. What will you hear? Unless it's talk about the weather, more often than not you'll hear guys brag about how well they did: "best game I ever played." "You should have seen me hit right to the green on that seventeenth hole. It was beautiful."

Men like to reinforce their dominant position. Whenever they're in a position of having won, of beating out a competitor or of leading the tribe to victory, they want everyone to know it and to admire them.

Women, on the other hand, usually feel very uncomfortable in similar situations and do the opposite. If they're talking to other women about their golf game, they're much more likely to say things like "Oh, I just couldn't hit for anything that day." Or "I should never wear those golfing pants, they make my legs look fat." Why? Because women know that talking about their own insecurities will draw other women in and make them feel instinctively comfortable. Women want to bond with other women, they want to complete the circle and create an aura of mutual nurturance. They look for equanimity: how can we all feel good about one another and achieve equality?

Men also crave bonding with other men, but their natural way of trying to create closeness is by the winning of the other's respect and the clarification of where they stand in the pecking order.



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