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:
- Short skirts
- Ephemera (like in the picture, above).
The natural flow from such an analysis is:
- Huh, that explains a lot.
- #also, explains some women.
- 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?
I’ve often wondered if Jesus walking on water should move up and down with the waves or stay at a set level. Ultimately, no answer makes sense to me, but it’s still fun to think about.
It would be convenient if his feet repelled the water. This means that not only would he stand above the water, but his feel would also not get wet. Although he would be wearing sandles, the 1st century equivalent of croqs so maybe wet feet isn’t an issue.
I wonder if He was thinking about cheeseburgers or football (is that American football or English football?*) or wine while walking on water. Wine would have more to do with his environment. Maybe thinking “what if I turned this water into wine?” Nah, that would be pointless — but it could make for an interesting red carpet. I’ll guess he wasn’t even thinking about what he was walking on (or levitating over — thanks, Krishewz).
I just noticed that my last comment might actually have a subtext! I wonder what it could be.
“What affect does it have on LDS men who don’t have beer to think about?”
Duh we think about mild barley drinks. No diff.
Remember the show Sex and the City? The four women on that show would constantly talk about sex. I’ve always wondered if there are really women like that out there or is that just TV? On a related but separate subject: maybe the upcoming show “House Wives of SLC” (just announced yesterday) will enlighten us.
However, my special needs teacher of 25 years with autistic spectrum grandchildren friend would say that most men are on the spectrum from aspergers to autism. But doesn’t that make them neurotypical?
As a couples counsellor, this is kinda fine ’til you start saying it needs to be different, ie in a church setting we have different expectations and this leads to an awful lot of distressed women who think their husband should be trying to be like Jesus when it’s actually never occurred to the guy. Or requiring equal parenting, or even a little understanding.
Of course exceptions apply, and we have those in our own family where there are women unable to do the emotional heavy lifting that is frequently done by women.
I know this isn’t pretty, but it comes close to the truth as I’ve seen it over the past 25 years, otoh perhaps that is what leads to the imbalances that lead to the distress that is being expressed in the marriages that come into my consulting room. The work is in bridging the gap.
The difference between male & female thinking that my husband and I have noticed is that women are attuned to social situations, people’s feelings, and psychological aspects of their friend groups in ways that men (often) are not. This is purely due to socialization based on gender. Women are expected to be good at relationships. It’s a patriarchal idea. Men have to make money to secure a wife. Women have to secure a husband to make money. (Something along those lines–I’ve been reading Jane Austen again).
The river question is kind of a tricky one because I think it would be easy to stand on hidden rocks, but even in the open sea, I think the ankles are submerged. I have always envisioned Jesus walking just below the surface of the water. It just seems more natural with the lapping waves.
“Remember the show Sex and the City? The four women on that show would constantly talk about sex. I’ve always wondered if there are really women like that out there or is that just TV? ”
It might interest you to know that the show was written and produced by gay men.
Angela: “This is purely due to socialization based on gender.”
Is this based on some peer-reviewed research somewhere? Does it mean that socialization just didn’t work normally for those men who “are attuned to social situations, people’s feelings, and psychological aspects of their friend groups”? and those women who are not?
But if his feet repelled the water, would he simply push the water aside until he reached the sea bed.
Much like the result I have when I walk on water.
My wife is more social than I am. She holds the family together, but I seem to get equal appreciation, perhaps because I played with the girls when they were young, and taught them when they were older.
I believe that men are becoming better at fathering/work life ballance, and having more fun times with their families, as the generations progress. This may relate to the wives working more?
In Australia there are tiny groups that play gridiron (american football, played in america and canada) there are proffesional leagues for both men and women for soccor (played throughout the world), rugby league, rugby union( played in UK,France, Japan, SA, NZ, AUS. and australian rules(AUS, which has more in common with gaelic football.
“Women are expected to be good at relationships.”
I have no idea if this is primarily socialization or not. It’s a topic that i keep meaning to read up on. My interest is in the role of hormones. Testosterone has a specific influence on the brain and personality. Estrogen has a specific influence on the brain and personality. I live on a farm and breed several varieties of animals. The differences between the male / female in terms of personality and behavior when they hit sexual maturity is huge and obvious in animals. People have all those same hormones so it seems wrong to entirely discount them in the development of personality. In most of our animals, females can live happily in groups with other females (even naturally solitary animals like rabbits). Females build strong relationships with each other. Unneutered males can never live with other unneutered males. They just fight.
Does the different views of men and women confirm why patriachy is a disaster?
I think patriarchy evolved because the males of the species were typically stronger physically. ‘I’ll go hunt and you stay at the cave, have babies, keep fire going and do everything else’.
Geoff-Aus — that is the deeper discussion I was hoping for.
Though I do appreciate the humor comments too.
What if we had matriarchal blessings in addition to (or as an alternative to) patriarchal blessings? How would they differ? Would they differ? Would they have value?
Re: alice’s comment “ It might interest you to know that the show [Sex & the City] was written and produced by gay men.”
The creator was Darren Star but it was based on a New York Observer column written by Candace Bushnell. The list of writers includes both men and women.
Though gay men get a bad wrap for thinking about sex a lot, my observation is everyone thinks about sex, even if it’s just, “Thinking about sex is a sin; I shouldn’t think about it.”
I see some humor in these memes. For myself, I have thought of my brain as a flywheel — always spinning — when engaged in work (think of the physics definition of work), the brain is meaningfully and efficiently engaged — when not meaningfully and efficiently engaged in work, it is still spinning and there is no telling where it will go. It visits the arcane, the obtuse, the irrelevant, the irreverent, the silly, and so forth, until it is time again for engagement in something meaningful.
That’s me. I don’t explain it as male or female, just me.
I hope we never think of “male” thinking as a pathology or anything negative, and “female” thinking as positive — that might be a fashionable way to think, but that would be unkind — at least, that’s my thought. The natural man (encompassing both male and female) may be an enemy to God, but male and female are not an enemy to God.
Samantha wasn’t a typical woman.
Human sexuality developed over 1 megayears as hunter-gatherers in small bands. Over all that time men and women were more or less equal. However if a man died it was a tragedy of the day, if a woman died it was a tragedy of the future. The result is that most of the dangerous behavior was shifted off on to the men. Also during that time, men became socialized – able to work together.
With the advent of agriculture and the ability to gather in larger groups, the male traits allowed the patriarchy to take root with the development of governments and armies. This has lasted for 10 kiloyears, give or take.
So men are generally action prone and non-risk averse. They may even go out of their way to prove it. Also patriarchal by virtue of aggressive traits and larger muscles.
The internet has changed everything.
And I think Jesus surfed on the Sea of Galilee.
The topic is well studied and still poorly accepted and understood. While many men conform to a stereotype, and many women conform to a different steterotype, I approach if from personality types of which there are more than two; with women tending to prefer biologically related phenomenon and men doing likewise. (Most) men are from Mars and (most) women are from Venus in other words.
“Why do you think some (but not most) women think along similar lines?” Biology.
“Why do so many men think so directly or with few subtexts?” Biology. Put key in lock. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
“Does this way of thinking reflect privilege or advantage or something else about society?” Inescapably so. Men can take advantage of women, and do; women can take advantage of men, and do.
“What affect does it have on LDS men who don’t have beer to think about?” I have no idea. I think about computers, radios, how much a photon would weigh and its appearance if you were to stop one. Presumably no light would enter, it would be weightless and perfectly reflective. I think a lot about politics and when Armageddon happens if Americans will even be aware of it since the prophecy wasn’t written for Americans.
“What other observations can you make about modern society that simplifies understanding what is going on?” All humans are animals. All animals compete for resources. Knowledge is a resource. While you cannot selfishly keep all knowledge, you can certainly contaminate it with spurious non-factual information.
“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?” It cannot very well be that the water itself is providing lift; it would also be extremely slippery and if you tried to push off, the water must either push back so you can walk, or the water would be pushed away and you would not move. But apparently Jesus can move and there’s no indication that the water is pushing him; thus we see that he is geo-referenced to the Earth itself and not the water. The wager would flow under him and he would move when he wants to.