I wouldn’t necessarily compare the relationship between men and women to the Middle East crises, but there are bridges to build and compromises to be made. This article serves to highlight some of the key differences, some obvious, some a unique perspective, that of a man. It serves to offer insight into the male psyche, something we work very hard to protect. First, lets set some ground rules; these notes are not representative of all men so please, no affirmative action taken as a result of what you have read. Also, I do not claim to represent anyone other than myself, a man, in my mid 30’s, slightly balding (who am I kidding?) and a self proclaimed anal retentive obsessive compulsive neurotic. This serves not to betray my kind, but to offer some minor truths that can help us all get along a little better.
So to start us on our journey, acceptance is required. Our kinds, the male and female of the species are, surprise surprise different. Apparently we are from Mars and women don’t read maps. Not technically true, but who I am to argue with bestsellers? Given that we all agree we are different, it then becomes a case of trying to understand each others idiosyncracities and agreeing boundaries and behavioural compromise.
The consistent breakdown in peace talks between our kind, is in the attempt to understand each other, and our willingness to do so. The key difference, as I see it, is object vs relationship. Allow me to explain. From an early age, boys play alone with objects (trucks, cars etc) and girls play with each other (stop it). Girls relate each object with another, whilst boys compete and try to build bigger, better sandcastles. The added ingredients are influence (parental, authority figures) and experience (things that happen in each individuals life). These both shape the kind of person we become.
Men generally get a bad wrap. We have strong aspirations and a desire to be successful however we define that. Some believe this is innate. We are not strong emotionally, as this would only distract us from reaching the high bar of expectation we set for ourselves. We are somewhat selfish, but far more fragile and vulnerable that anyone would give us credit for. However we ‘relate’ vulnerability with weakness. Our goal is to provide, and to do anything less is to question this innate masculinity. Anything that stands in the way of this goal slows us down and frustrates us.
This does not excuse our actions, but it does explain them. We are all, men and women, guilty of making mistakes, some rational, some bonkers. Perhaps we should be more forgiving, perhaps we should be more understanding. Perhaps we should be more accepting of our limitations. I don’t have the answers, but I do have a high horse to remove myself from.