Years ago I wrote a guest post on another blog about what men are thinking about. Simply put, most men, when not focused on work, most of the time are thinking about:

  1. Short skirts
  2. Cheeseburgers
  3. Football
  4. Beer
  5. Ephemera (like in the picture, above).

The natural flow from such an analysis is:

  1. Chuckle.
  2. Huh, that explains a lot.
  3. #notallmen
  4. #also, explains some women.
  5. Why does that make sense at all?

Getting to number 5 should lead to a deeper discussion of why many men don’t have to think with longer or deeper agendas, why some women are free to think that way as well (but most women don’t) and similar things.

That kind of reflection brings it in line with a number of famous studies by economists. For example, the study of prisoner of war behavior, when they realized that American and French prisoners of war, and African-Americans in the 1940s Southern United States both had similar stereotypes of how they acted.

They realized that the behavior told them more about the environment than it did about how the people acted in a freer environment. Similar things came from other studies.

Yes, you can just take the initial statement and look at alternatives (some men think about tight sweaters, pizza, wine, basketball and sports trivia). Basically you can spend time expanding on the humor or the application of the idea. Or you can get sidetracked by #notallmen.

That is fine. But the more useful analysis is to ask why the rubric applies as broadly as it does in our society (so that shelter isn’t a real worry or concern on the list, etc.). Or why people write essays, like “Men are Simple” claiming most men are clueless as to subtext, or “The Simple Truth.”

Especially because understanding why it applies to many men also helps to understand times it does not, and why it does and does not apply.

So, what do you think?

  • Why do you think some (but not most) women think along similar lines?
  • Why do so many men think so directly or with few subtexts?
  • Does this way of thinking reflect privilege or advantage or something else about society?
  • What affect does it have on LDS men who don’t have beer to think about?
  • What other observations can you make about modern society that simplifies understanding what is going on?
  • If someone was walking on water on a river, would they stand in place or flow downstream as if they were walking on a conveyor belt?