Saturday, March 11, 2006

Men and Women

The time has come yet again to do the Great Culling of the Blogroll. My blogroll is getting very bulky and some need to go. Some of them I don't really read anymore while some others are no longer active. Which is a shame. I don't like to see a blog die like that.

What can you do, it happens.

If I'm not too lazy, I might edit my links list too. I no longer go to some of those links and I have new ones that I do go to.

I might do these while I'm off work next week. Might.

Anyway, there's things in the paper that I've noticed lately that are thought provoking. Like this article from NST. And this one, which is a rebuttal of sorts.

Basically, a survey was conducted among 200 female professionals who are between 25 and 40 and their attitudes towards marriage. According to the survey, 80% of them prefer to marry after 30 or not at all.

Firstly, this might be alarming to some people, but I'm not surprised at all. Anyway, who has the right to decided on being married other than the person themself right? So there's no problem here.

Some might bring up the biological clock issue. On this, it's hard for me to say since I don't really need to worry about that. If this was considered, the question becomes what is more important, marrying because of want or because of necessity?

I've never agreed on people marrying because they are pushed into it or because of a perceived need. Things can go horribly, horribly wrong with these kinds of marriages. Having said that, marriages out of want can also end badly. But at least, the responsibility will lie in the two people involved, not with their parents or their families or peers or whatever.

I don't agree with people marrying because "it was about time". But I'm no expert here and if it works for some people, more power to them. It might work, who knows? I wouldn't know.

A regular reader would notice that I've written about this before and my opinions haven't changed.

But this isn't about that actually. It's about something else.

To anyone took the time to read both those articles that I linked to above, notice the rather confrontational statements in both articles.

I've been reading a lot about that recently. Men and women, blaming each other for their problems with relationships. There's blog posts out there where women say ALL men are scum and cannot be trusted and only after one thing and bla bla bla. And vice versa, ALL women are vapid and opportunistic and superficial and bla bla bla.

Generalising is bad but anyone who even exerts a tiny effort in thinking will know that, so no need to talk about it anymore.

What I will mention is what I smell when I see this kind of battle-of-the-sexes style confrontation and mud slinging. I could be wrong, but the whole thing smells like one huge big pile of misunderstanding.

That's the problem. And this problem is there because men and women don't talk to each other enough. Too many rules and too many social constructs prevent this. But that is such a long story, I'm not going to even try to discuss it.

But it's true isn't it?

Many men can't understand women because they don't have many female friends, or their female friends are very formal with them and thus, not very open to frank discussions. And vice versa, many women don't understand men because they don't have good male friends, or their male friends act "prim" and "proper" around them thus also not being very forthcoming.

How are we ever going to understand each other if we don't talk to each other, don't see each other as equals, never ask each other why this and why that. Or even if we do have friends who are the opposite gender, can we be straight with them? Be honest and frank? Be bold and up front and ask,"Why do guys/girls do [insert thing here]? and actually listen to the answer?

Ask yourself this question. Have you ever had an opinion or heard a "fact" about the opposite sex from your own group friends that later proved be untrue?

Odds are, you have. Oh, girls are materialistic, oh girls are soft and like flowers and romantic stuff, oh girls cannot do manly stuff because they are too [insert stereotype here], oh girls are like this and like that and etc etc.

Obviously, these things are not true for all women right? If I didn't hang out with women, I wouldn't know that, or would have found out the hard way.

And likewise for men, there are many "facts" about men that are in fact, not factual at all.

I'm not saying that I know women well, not at all. But at least I know that if I have a question about girls, I'd ask a girl friend instead of speculating with my possibly equally clueless guy friends. Chances are, I would get better feedback from women about other women.

So that's what I'm saying.

If men and women talked to each more and talk more openly, it'll save men and women a whole lot of heartache and frustration. They would know that even though they both want to be in a good relationship, they would also realize that they both look for slightly different things in that relationship.

Both man and woman would realize that while they are both different from each other, they are both not as different as they think they are.

Both man and woman would begin to see each other as people, not as different creatures from different worlds and not as oppressors or vultures or accessories or ornaments or toys or pieces of meat.

And perhaps, with better understanding of each other, both man and woman would know what they really want from each other and why they do what they do.

And perhaps, when that happens, they would eventually find each other.

If only it were that straightforward in real life eh?

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