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« Culture as Mating Ritual | Main | Elsewhere »

October 19, 2003

Women, Men and Decisions

Dear Friedrich --

Do you find that (generally speaking, lots of exceptions allowed for, etc, etc, yawn) women and men have different ways of approaching and seeing the question of making a decision? As far as I can tell, men see a decision as something 1) to be faced or avoided, 2) if faced, then dealt with, and 3) if dealt with, then moved on from. Women, on the other hand, seem to see a decision as the first step in a long process of renegotiation and revision, all of it emotionally fraught, and with every agonizing step of it to be deeply relished. For them, decisions aren't so much something to be made as emotional-conversation starters.

Wary that I might be generalizing unfairly from mere personal experience, I dug in and did extensive research -- ie., compared notes over drinks with a couple of married buds. They both nodded their agreement. And as we told our stories, we also ran into something I now think of as the "flipping a coin" syndrome. Here's how it goes.

When it comes to making a choice, we guys tend to proceed by narrowing things down to a small set of acceptable options, each one as good as the other. At that point, though, how to choose? Well, we might literally flip a coin -- something we discovered all of us do on occasion. We also discovered that, in the case of all three marriages, this practice drives our wives crazy. Why should this be?

By now we were a couple of drinks into the topic, and here's what we came up with: we suspect that women don't like the arbitrary, cast-your-fate-to-fortune aspect of flipping a coin; in their eyes, a choice shouldn't be committed to until a good, emotionally-solid (or something, god only knows what) reason has been settled on. Our wives are appalled -- morally? emotionally? esthetically? -- that, past a certain point, we truly don't care. They want us to care. But why?

That one we couldn't answer. But, conveniently enough, I just lived through an example of what we were musing about. I happen to have bought tickets to two of today's Film Festival screenings, yet I'm getting over a bad cold and don't have the energy to make it to both. A decision was needed: which screening to go to? As fate would have it, both movies sound equally promising, and both are equally inconvenient to see. So, 30 minutes ago, (and with The Wife's encouragement, I'm puzzled to note) I settled the question by flipping a coin.

Or thought I'd settled the question. Five minutes ago -- and I'm not sure how this happened, but it did -- The Wife managed to reverse that coin-flip decision. We're now going to the other screening instead. Now, this is OK with me, because I never really cared which movie we finally saw; that's why I was happy to flip the coin. So what was really going on during those 25 post-coin-flip minutes? Beats me. Was my wife scheming to get us to go to the other movie because that's the one she wanted to see all along? I don't think so.

What I do think, worldly-wise and suave fellow that I am, is that three other things were important to her. 1) Not letting go of the question until it had been given a good thrashing-out. 2) Reversing the outcome of her mortal enemy, the coin-flip. And 3) Coming up with what strikes her as a good, emotion-laden reason to see one film rather than the other -- she has decided that, because of my cold, it would be better for us to go to the later screening rather than the earlier. I, of course, can't see that it makes a difference.

Now that she's had her way -- less a matter of getting us to see the movie she wants to see than of putting us through a process she insists on putting us through -- she's full of energy. As far as I can tell, she feels like she's accomplished something important, she's charged-up with a sense of purpose, and she's gone out to get some chores done. I, typically, feel exasperated and bemused. As well as, of course, fond and charmed. But I'm exhausted too, and am still trying to recover from the experience, whatever it was.

I should add that The Wife largely agrees with my guys-are-like-this/ gals-are-like-that observations here. She's OK with them; they match her experience too. And she has been sweet enough to agree to let me post these thoughts and include her in this posting as a character. She has her own stories on the same theme. Some years ago, for instance, she did a lot of business with a couple of all-women outfits. And, as unstoppably female as The Wife is, the women she was dealing with drove her crazy: the tormented going-around-in-circles, the endlessly revised revisions, the never-ending and never-satisfied search for consensus ... "Never again," swore The Wife.

Curious to hear if your impressions jibe with mine. Curious to hear from visitors too, of course.

I'd better put this posting up while I still have the chance. I may have gotten The Wife to agree to let me post these musings -- but I also noticed that, as she headed out the door, she looked like she was reconsidering her decision ...

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at October 19, 2003




Comments

You might be interested in: Moral cognition and prosocial personality traits. by Eva E.A. Skoe , Amanda Cumberland , Nancy Eisenberg , Kristine Hansen , Judi Perry.

...moral reasoning, Gilligan (1982) has argued that women are more concerned with care and responsibility in relationships, whereas men are more concerned with justice and individual rights....

.... women were comparatively more likely to endorse care reasoning and men to endorse justice reasoning.

in North American studies women have fairly consistently been found to generate more personal or relational real-life dilemmas than men have, whereas men generate more impersonal or nonrelational ones.....

this may indicate that women prefer a care orientation because such relational real-life dilemmas tend to evoke more care-based moral judgment than do other types of dilemmas

......there may be sex differences in some areas especially germane to moral reasoning, such as empathy and prosocial behavior (i.e., voluntary actions intended to benefit another).

The idea that women are more emotionally responsive than men is implicit in both biologically and socially based theories of emotional development (Eisenberg, Fabes, & Shea, 1989).

Several writers have argued that women grow up more oriented to connection and harmony with others, whereas men come to focus more on the aggressive behaviors required to make a living in a competitive economic environment....

....sex differences may vary depending on how empathy and prosocial behavior are defined and measured.... men provide more instrumental acts of helping than do women....and women receive more such help than do men. In contrast, women appear to provide more emotional support, both in short-term and in close, long-term relationships

...females consider care-oriented, relational moral dilemmas as more salient, or more intrinsically moral, than do males

Furthermore, women viewed all dilemmas as involving more moral concerns than did men. Similarly, in a previous study, Wark and Krebs (1997) found that women rated all types of dilemmas...as more difficult to resolve than did men.

....the feminine personality defines itself in relation and connection to other people more than does the masculine personality....

Posted by: Courtney on October 19, 2003 1:13 PM



"in North American studies women have fairly consistently been found to generate more personal or relational real-life dilemmas than men have, whereas men generate more impersonal or nonrelational ones....."

(a) I'm not sure I quite understand what this is saying. Do you mean women's dilemmas are more related to relationships, and men's are more related to other things, like work decisions at their jobs? Or are you saying that women "create" ("generate") more dilemmas related to taking things too personally, whereas mem create more dilemmas by not taking them personally enough?

"....the feminine personality defines itself in relation and connection to other people more than does the masculine personality...."

(b) Well, I'd sure agree with that. No value judements.

(c) Michael's wife does not seem, however, to have made her decision based on defining herself in terms of a relationship, or based on "generating" a dilemma based on interpersonal issues. It seems to me simply to have been pragmatic and detail-oriented---taking into account Michael's cold and the practical issue of him being sick, and either getting well or staying sick. This was another fact which shouldn't have made the two choices equally good. People always say men are "big picture" and women are "detail oriented." Men's big picture thinking starts a lot of balls rolling, but it's women's attention to detail which often gets them through the goalposts. Men I've worked with think up a great presentation, but would arrive at a conference without ANY of the necessary materials because it wouldn't have occurred to them how any of the relevant stuff was going to get there. They would have considered those decisions "tedious."

(d) I've seldom seen women dither about how they feel about a guy to ANYWHERE near the same degree as men seem to dither about women. Their much vaunted decision making seems to be absent then.


Posted by: annette on October 19, 2003 1:45 PM



*grin* I snipped bits out, and yeah, it's unclear...I can send you the article if you'd like...I just thought they were interesting, related bits...

Posted by: Courtney on October 19, 2003 1:50 PM



Courtney -- Footnotes and references -- you seem to be as fond of reading about these things as I am! I don't know about you, but I'll give almost any book on the topic of the differences between the sexes a look, whether it's a pop self-help book or a work of academic theory. Been doing it for decades and I'm not tired of it yet -- great subject, one of the best, IMHO. Although now that I think of it I haven't run across any books recently that struck me as very fresh. Have you? I'm prone to thinking the diffs are based deeply in biology myself, although I've got no qualifications beyond life-experience (and a lot of reading) to assert that. How about you?

Annette -- LOL, that's all so true. Do you find that women are anything like as baffled by men as men are by women? I don't. I tend to find that women see through men almost instantly, and that the only way they trip themselves up is by reading too much into us. Too much depth, too much complexity, too many emotions -- where I think that 9/10ths of the time we guys are about as complex, inward, and hard to interpret as a labrador or a retriever.

I've often wondered why women tend to read so much into us. Any thoughts? My guess is that half of it's projection, and we all project our thing on other people, so that's to be expected. But I'm also guessing that another part of it is that women want us to be deeper and more complex than we are. (Why? Because the idea of giving yourself to a creature who isn't deep and complex isn't ... I dunno, romantic enough?) Which is sweet, of course, if a little something to contend with. And it does seem to get women into relationship trouble sometimes. For instance, I've known some guys who've done really well with women by presenting themselves as dark, tortured, inward ... Many gals just hurl themselves at these guys. So everyone's happy (and tormented and romantic) for, oh, about a month to six weeks. And then it always ends the same, with the guy's things being thrown out the window -- when the women discover that they in fact are just like any other hetero guy, oooh, they get doubly mad. What's your general pref -- guys who are straightup about what simple beasts they are, or a guy who plays deep and passionate and encourages you to project?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 19, 2003 2:15 PM



Women sometimes do this little thing called "thinking about the consequences" while men just do whatever damnasshell thing seems like a good idea at the time.

Posted by: j.c. on October 19, 2003 5:22 PM



The comments that mentioned the literature about prosocial personality traits, care orientation and moral relativity are pointing you in the seemingly fruitful direction to investigate. It might also be worthwhile looking at game theory as it relates to negotiation just to see how interaction with another person may affect the equation.

But before you do any of that, perhaps too consider your original post where after your wife had reconsidered the coin toss outcome, the only rationales you proffered were 1. irrationality, 2. irrationality, or 3. being kind to me. I suggest this because therein you note the very "care orientation" that is a large part of how women in the aggregate make decisions. Outwardly, it appears to be irrational dithering. But use some Becker-like analysis and look behind the curtain a bit. Instead, for the female decider it is the process of running the decision through the needed permutations to check the decision against who/what it might affect in order to verify her comfort level with that outcome/effect. The quick coin toss decision then is subject to change if at mental toss "n" an unwanted consequence is realized.

Posted by: Elisabeth on October 19, 2003 5:49 PM



This is a difficult subject for me right now. I've just kinda gone through the ringer with a guy who seems the opposite of what you describe...hot and cold, interested and not, serious and casual. So a man who is as simple as a labrador sounds delightful right now. (If they are as simple as a lab, whaddya make of this? He wrote me this completely adorable email just a few weeks ago, funny, flirty, affectionate, asked questions in order to prolong the dialog. He came into town this week and did not call me, but...was in town for an event that I might have gone to, and he knew I might have gone to. I didn't go). I must repeat as a mantra going forward: "If he's not as simple as a golden retriever, run away, run away..." BUT...'splain this. A guy I work with, no romantic interest (of mine) at all, early thirties, just accepted a job in another city from his girlfriend. He tells me that he wants to marry her. He has not told her that yet coz "he wants to keep her on her toes." He figures he'll ask her in about a year. The thought that she might leave in the next year coz he's dragging his feet doesn't seem to plague him at all. Is that as simple as a retriever...or just kind of a dick?

And, yes, I think women are as baffled by men as men are by women.

Posted by: annette on October 19, 2003 8:15 PM



So, that Mr Bean sketch where he's selecting which trousers to take with him on holiday, lays them all out on the bed and goes eeny-meeny-miny-moe, and then swaps the trousers around until the eeny-meeny-miny-moe ends on the right set of trousers meant absolutely nothing to you guys?

Posted by: Tracy on October 19, 2003 8:30 PM



Footnotes and references readily available!

IMHO, people tend to forget that we have lots of possibilities for gene expression (i.e., many different facets of our biology may express themselves) - because genes are 'activated' by the environment. For instance, schizophrenia, one of the most common and devastating mental illnesses, has environmental stressors as its primary factor in whether or not someone develops the illness. (terrible sentence, I'm sorry) Therefore, it's logical to think that sex differences are displayed based upon environmental factors.

I first ran across this care-orientation theory in a philosophy of education class, believe it or not. Fundamentally, it makes a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: Courtney on October 19, 2003 9:42 PM



So there are other guys who do the eenie-meenie-miny-moe trick?

The Wife wants to thank all of you for your interpretation of her actions and motives -- she says you're right on, that it was all about doing what was best given my bad cold.

Then I asked her why, instead of putting us through 30 minutes of (to me) incomprehensible emotional bewilderment, she didn't just say something simple and clear like, "Hey, maybe, given your cold, we oughta go to the later show instead." She gave me a look that I interpreted this way: "One more question like that, buddy, and it's another 30 minutes of incomprehensible emotional bewilderment for you." I tiptoed away, obviously on very thin ice.

Annette -- He showed up in town and didn't get in touch? Boot the bum -- you deserve (at the least) a guy who's eager to please, as well as trainable. As for your male work colleague, I don't know what to say. God knows that young men can both have good hearts and act like dicks. But I confess that many of the 30-or-so-and-under guys I run into these days barely seem male at all to me. They seem more like cartoon creatures who were raised on a diet of Maxim and Xboxes. (Of course, they regard me as someone who doesn't "get it.") The whole idea of behaving decently (let alone considerately or lovingly), or even wanting to, doesn't seem to come standard with this new-guy package. I feel for his girlfriend.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 19, 2003 9:52 PM



Cher Michael,
I fear that at some point in the future that, no matter her agreement now, you will find that these remarks have been included in your "Permanent Conduct Record."

Bon chance.

Posted by: vanderleun on October 19, 2003 10:46 PM



Tracy,

That Mr. Bean sketch meant to me that Mr. Bean is a woman. That's why it's funny.

Alexis

Posted by: alexis on October 20, 2003 2:51 AM



Michael

Based on two marriages, the "first step in a long process of renegotiation and revision" argument" rings oh so true to me, especially for major decisions such as house/flat buys. Once the decision has been made, I stop thinking about it; for my wife and my ex, a decision seems to be a cue for the real work to begin.

I seem to display a similar behaviour myself when it comes to aesthetic decisions, however. Asked for an opinion on a newly hung painting or a new sofa, I am often unable to come up with strong views. Only after living with it for a while do I know my own mind. Illumination then invariably comes in a flash: I glance at the thing and suddenly I know that I love it or hate it.

Perhaps the difference is the amount of logical versus emotional energy one expends. Buying a new flat involves a lot of rational calculation: cost, amenities, neighbourhood trends, etc. I do a sort of cost-benefit analysis, which takes time but is over when it's over. The actual emotional impact of living in a specific flat - like the emotional impact of having a particular painting in the dining room - is not readily apparent until I've lived with it for a while.

With a sofa (better stay away from art; this is already getting too long), the relevant considerations are almost entirely non-rational. Once you get past the cost, size and comfort, it's all feeling, and I don't have access to the feeling until I...feel it.

To risk a generalization, perhaps women focus somewhat more on the emotional/aesthetic aspects of a decision. Perhaps they're are better at the murky process of teasing out what their future feelings are going to be about something. And perhaps starting that murky process requires something that feels like a final decision to the more rational agents of the mind.

What I'm postulating as the "male approach" would thus get quicker results for decisions involving complex calculation. We do the work then get to the murky bit and flip a coin. And when aesthetics is all, we stand there dumbly grinning.

But I'm very much a verbal/narrative kind of guy. I'd be curious how a more visually oriented man - a designer or illustrator, say, someone whose daily worklife involves aesthetic decisions - would respond.

Posted by: opie on October 20, 2003 5:32 AM



Consider how the coin-toss process of decision- making appears to the marriage partner whose relationship depends on a past series of decisions.

Going out with "the guys" or going out on a courtship date with a girl was (or on the evidence, might have been) a TOSS-UP?

Going out with THIS girl or some other, a TOSS-UP?

Getting married or just hooking/shacking up, another TOSS-UP?

Intolerable!

Either the relationship is founded on shifting sands of random chance, OR the toss-up process is specious -- there is ALWAYS some inclination one way or the other, and partnership / committment can be (she hopes, is) founded solidly upon the massive accumulations of such inclinations.


Let us not disillusion our partners in this regard.

Posted by: Pouncer on October 20, 2003 8:22 AM



You all are making me feel like the odd ball in the crowd.

My husband and I never do that dithering thing about anything. When we bought our house, we made a list of what we needed and then went out and found one. When we go to a movie, we look at what's playing and go see the one that wont work on a video rental. When we buy furniture, we decide a general color--brown-- and price range and go to A SINGLE store and buy one that fits the two categories. The last time we bought a sofa it took all of 20 minutes and the longest part convincing the clerk that we wanted to pay for it right now.

The only time we have ever really done the "what do you think, I want you to be fulfilled as a person" thing was over how many kids to have. He wanted 10, all boys and only a year apart. I just kept my mouth shut because he obviously had gone temporarily insane and would come to his senses after the first one came and he hadnt slept the night thru for a month. And he did.

Posted by: Deb on October 20, 2003 9:55 AM



This may seem an extraneous observation, but it explains a lot of the world's misunderstandings.

The U.N. decides like a woman.

The U.S. (under current administration) decides like a man.

Posted by: Alan Sullivan on October 20, 2003 10:07 AM



Deb shows that women make decisions based on understanding the consequences. Probably, she and her husband rarely dither because he has the brains to just do what she says.

"Asked for an opinion on a newly hung painting or a new sofa, I am often unable to come up with strong views. Only after living with it for a while do I know my own mind. Illumination then invariably comes in a flash: I glance at the thing and suddenly I know that I love it or hate it." Opie, sweetheart, this is called "being slow" and it's nothing to be ashamed of - especially if you are merely a straight man. (Here's a tip: The phrase "in a flash" is not apt when talking about an insight arrived at after weeks, perhaps months, of "living with it.")

Posted by: j.c. on October 20, 2003 10:27 AM



Bit defensive are we, j.c.?
Forgive me dear, I don't like triumphalist nonsense. Not from the "Maxim crowd", and not from the G"rrrrrll Power" crowd either. A pox on both your houses!
I'm curios as to the type of guys you hang out with. Seems few of them have achieved speech and upright posture. Better a big fish in a small pond, right?

Posted by: Jim on October 20, 2003 12:32 PM



As long as we're on the women/men theme, did anyone else see this bit of email humor that was circulating a few weeks ago? I thought it was pretty funny; so did The Wife.

How to Shower Like a Woman; How to Shower Like a Man

How to Shower Like a Woman

1. Take off clothing and place it in sectioned laundry hamper according to lights and darks.

2. Walk to bathroom wearing long dressing gown. If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.

3. Look at your womanly physique in the mirror - make mental note to do more sit-ups

4. Get in the shower. Use face cloth, arm cloth, leg cloth, long loofah, wide loofah, and pumice stone.

5. Wash your hair once with cucumber and sage shampoo with 43 added vitamins.

6. Wash your hair again to make sure it's clean.

7. Condition your hair with grapefruit mint conditioner enhanced with natural avocado oil. Leave on hair for 15 minutes.

8. Wash your face with crushed apricot facial scrub for 10 minutes until red.

9. Wash entire rest of body with ginger nut and Jaffa cake body wash.

10. Rinse conditioner off hair.

11. Shave armpits and legs.

12. Turn off shower.

13. Squeegee off all wet surfaces in shower. Spray mold spots with Tilex.

14. Get out of shower. Dry with towel the size of a small country. Wrap hair in super absorbent towel.

15. Check entire body for zits, tweeze hairs.

16. Return to bedroom wearing long dressing gown and towel on head.

17. If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.


How To Shower Like a Man

1. Take off clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed and leave them in a pile.

2. Walk naked to the bathroom. If you see wife along the way, shake wiener at her making the 'woo-woo' sound.

3. Look at your manly physique in the mirror. Admire the size of your wiener and scratch your ass.

4. Get in the shower.

5. Wash your face

6. Wash your armpits.

7. Blow your nose in your hands and let the water rinse them off.

8. Make fart noises (real or artificial) and laugh at how loud they sound in the shower.

9. Spend majority of time washing privates and surrounding area.

10. Wash your butt, leaving butt hairs stuck on the soap.

11. Shampoo your hair.

12. Make a Shampoo Mohawk.

13. Pee.

14. Rinse off and get out of shower.

15. Partially dry off. Fail to notice water on floor because curtain was hanging out of tub the whole time.

16. Admire wiener size in mirror again.

17. Leave shower curtain open, wet mat on floor, light and fan on.

18. Return to bedroom with towel around your waist. If you pass wife, pull off towel, shake wiener at her and make the 'woo-woo' sound again.

19. Throw wet towel on bed.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on October 20, 2003 12:50 PM



Michael's posting has terminated the romance of showering together forever. Oh God...

Posted by: annette on October 20, 2003 1:49 PM



A couple of points on decision making that I don't think anyone else has addressed:

1) I will occasionally resort to a randomized decision when I can't decide on the merits of the issue. Fairly often, I will realize after the coin (or die, etc.) leaves my hand what I want the result to be. I don't then need to look at the coin. The time pressure crystallizes the decision for me.

2) George Patton is reported to have said, "A good solution applied with vigor now is better than a perfect solution applied ten minutes later." (I've seen various wordings.) This is an entirely reasonable (in fact crucial) bias in sudden and violent confrontations. In a fight-or-flight situation, either choice might be poor, but both are better than dithering.

If we assume violent situations to have provided significant evolutionary pressure disproportionately on males, we might expect exactly the sort of difference in behavior that you report.

Posted by: Doug Sundseth on October 20, 2003 7:26 PM



I don't know that the history of women has been significantly less violent than the history of men. Therefore, this evolutionary pressure would have worked on both.

Posted by: annette on October 20, 2003 7:45 PM



I am surprised that nothing was mentioned on how much peopleís views and decision making processes change with age. I am speaking primarily about the views of women who are in the 45 years of age category or higher. Some are hardly affected in that time of life (the minority), some get really ornery, and others are out of their freaking minds. I am still in shock about some of the life experiences I have had with that age group of women.

I am not trying to be inflammatory.

I had to bring up the topic around a group of men, just so I knew I wasnít the only one with these observations, and they all agreed with me. This is one of those topics you have to tip toe around if you have a mixed group of men and women. Suddenly the men get quite and women dominate the conversation almost daring a guy to have an opinion. I have not done a study on this or anything, but my observation is that men tend to think about the long term consequences when speaking there mind on this subject and then stay quite.

Posted by: ShipShape on October 20, 2003 10:06 PM



So ShipShape, what I am hearing from you is that women in the premenopausal time of their lives basically lose thier minds? And you are posting this to a comment thread that is mainly written by women and you think you arent being inflammatory? Do you have a death wish?

I am in that age range. My hormones are ping ponging up and down. I have hot flashes that make me want to go sit in a bathtub full of ice. My period, which for the last 33 years has been my monthly friend with the little red shoes, has become the Crimson Tide gushing constantly. I cant believe they only make tampons in Superdupersuper size. I wake up with night sweats and have to change the sheets a couple times a week. Things are starting to sag where they have never sagged before. I am sprouting eyebrow hair all over my chin.

And you wonder why women my age get ornery? It doesnt take rocket science to figure this one out.

Posted by: Deb on October 21, 2003 10:56 AM



As Doug says, if we want to tiptoe into a land of where all our hardwiring and most of our exhibited behavior comes from evolutionary pressures, then consider that in your average grasslands/scrub brush social animal group, men have to make only two decisions.

The first is, will that guy over there beat me up, or can I whup him? The second is, can I get away with mounting that female right now?

Females have to find food and water, watch out for (not just scream when they see but actually watch out for) predators, try to establish social bonds with other females, keep other members of the group and predators from eating their babies, avoid rape, seek out sex, etc. etc. etc. and look good while doing all of this Ė and recent research has proven conclusive that the pedicurist in proto-hominid salons expected 38-percent tips? Females had a tough life. That might explain why women worth with a larger matrix when making decisions.

Posted by: j.c. on October 21, 2003 12:16 PM



Hello Deb,

No deathwish, Just trying to make a point. Mostly that age affects the decision making process for men and women. In many cases men and women both have a difficult time interrelating and understanding the otherís perspective. What happens or is happening in the persons life at the time affects the decision making process. Sometimes people donít even try to communicate, but instead go to their friends for support but not for resolution of a conflict. The result can be relationship roles that become fixed and communication can lessen. Also, that rough time period is rough on everyone concerned. In many instances no matter what is said or done it is taken the wrong way. It is not only hard on the husband, but the kids tend to have a hard time of it. I cant speak for all family set ups, but if mom or the wife is on the rampage, no one in the house has peace. However, if Dad or the hubby is all angry, most likely he will get a stern talking to from the wife and then he goes and works on a house project or finds someplace else to be so as not to disturb the rest of the house hold. The biggest irony is that during that time period for women, they go from being the biggest advocate for harmony to sometimes the biggest cause of disharmony, and then deny it, yet another irony.

I donít agree with that simplification J.C. The living structures have become a lot more complicated since those times, if they ever really existed. It has probably been about a generation since people have said things like ďthatís womenís work.Ē

Posted by: shipshape on October 21, 2003 1:11 PM



Hello Deb,

No deathwish, Just trying to make a point. Mostly that age affects the decision making process for men and women. In many cases men and women both have a difficult time interrelating and understanding the otherís perspective. What happens or is happening in the persons life at the time affects the decision making process. Sometimes people donít even try to communicate, but instead go to their friends for support but not for resolution of a conflict. The result can be relationship roles that become fixed and communication can lessen. Also, that rough time period is rough on everyone concerned. In many instances no matter what is said or done it is taken the wrong way. It is not only hard on the husband, but the kids tend to have a hard time of it. I cant speak for all family set ups, but if mom or the wife is on the rampage, no one in the house has peace. However, if Dad or the hubby is all angry, most likely he will get a stern talking to from the wife and then he goes and works on a house project or finds someplace else to be so as not to disturb the rest of the house hold. The biggest irony is that during that time period for women, they go from being the biggest advocate for harmony to sometimes the biggest cause of disharmony, and then deny it, yet another irony.

I donít agree with that simplification J.C. The living structures have become a lot more complicated since those times, if they ever really existed. It has probably been about a generation since people have said things like ďthatís womenís work.Ē

Posted by: shipshape on October 21, 2003 1:11 PM



Keeriste Michael, what kind of Pandora's box have you opened? Must say the whole thing had me laughing hysterically.

This is what my boyfriend says to me eyes rolling "harumpf: women."

And then I give him a nasty look, sneer and roar "MEN!"

Then we just stop because what else is there to say?

One thing is true though, I believe most women really do balance about 187 things every day and are thinking all over the map:

girlfriend: get up earlier than boyrfriend. read paper, worry about global economy and international affairs. make the coffee. get on the computer, answer 15 emails or write 15 emails (both personal and work oriented). take shower (yes, from 1 to 17 except the naked part - we have big shades on the windows). wake up boyfriend, make him drink coffee. leave for work. put out 15 fires or start 15 fires, mostly put them out. leave work. grab a drink. fit in exercise. buy food for dinner. cook dinner. work more at home. do chores. worry about foreign language skills. think about new art work. complain about any broken appliance - or suggest home improvement ideas. have sex. sleep 7 hours. do it all again.

boyfriend: wake up late by girlfriend bribbing you with coffee. pee. read paper. go to computer. blog. go back to couch, read paper. go back to computer, blog. think about work. think about a shower. make some phone calls - but mostly blog. go to coffee shop for lunch with power book and write (off line). stop by library. go back home, blog. girlfriend comes home. eat dinner. do the dishes. blog. watch DVD or read magazine. have sex. sleep 11 hours. do it all again.

ah, life!

Posted by: turbokitty on October 21, 2003 10:15 PM



turbokitty's comment reminded me of an article I read somewhere about how women are becoming increasingly diagnosed with Adult Attention Deficit Behavior. The gist of it was that they arent really ADD--they just have way too much to think about now that they are working and raising families and keeping house etc.

Posted by: Deb on October 22, 2003 11:27 AM



I don't think women necessarily think about more things than men... Or if they do, it's unnecessarily.

A typical scenario:

Female: "I can't believe X happened! I just can't get over it!"
Me: "Yeah. Me either."

[Elapsed time: 2 hours]

Female: "It's like X! God I can't believe that!"
Me: "...Well, it's in the past you can't do anything about it now."

Not that being concerned with things is wrong, but I feel like women grind things into the dust as far as the amount of dwelling on them they do. There's a point beyond which you can do nothing, and continuing to dwell on something (whether it's a not-yet-made-decision ala the post's movie example, or something that occurred in the past) is more of a hindrance than anything else. I always have a million things floating around in my mind, but I prioritize. Thinking about my book doesn't help me when I'm trying to write a program with a more pressing deadline.

Posted by: . on October 22, 2003 6:28 PM



Ofcourse men can think of as many/more ideas every day that women do. I guess my point was about juggling/managing a broader spectrum of tasks that reach out further. Multi-tasking is part of our make up. Perhaps the reason that men still suceed more in certain areas or command higher salaries in the work force, etc. - is that they stay focused on single activities while women just take too much on... not sure but it's a hunch.

Also, I've been a manager a few times and I'm very good at prioritizing. I also make much faster decisions than several of the men I've worked with in the past who doddle back and forth and take an eon to make a choice. For instance, when I make up my mind that someone needs to be fired, that's it - they're done. Decision is made after weighing (yes, thoughtfully) the pros and cons. The men I have worked for in the past took years to come to that conclusion, wasting everyones' time/money and setting a bad tone at work because of it. So really, it might not be a girl-boy issue as it is a personality thing.

Posted by: turbokitty on October 23, 2003 10:59 AM



http://ostaff.typepad.com/life/2003/10/why_introverts_.html

Posted by: Courtney on October 23, 2003 11:03 AM



Very inspiring, thankyou! Good luck to you in the future. :)

Posted by: FREE PORN on May 29, 2004 7:18 PM






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