Last week a man in my therapy group gave an example of a problem that men and women have communicating. He’d read it in some book. A women and a man are driving home and the woman says, “Would you like to have a beer?” And the man says, “No”. And he drives on.
There is, of course, a gross generalization in this. One of those Venus/Mars things. Not particularly useful.
When I heard it I thought about psychological theories about how man are socialized to experience their world with a sense of centrality.
Am I hungry?
And women are socialized with a sense of their relationship to others.
Are you hungry? (Coz I am.)
I think this stuff is overly simplified.
Suzanne was talking to me about something that she read for school in which the person wrote about men “standing in normalcy”. So, when they hear things from women they come from the sense of being “the norm.”
There are ways in which this is just so much mumbo jumbo but there are ways in which I experience it as a truth. When I’m trying to talk to men about some things I feel as if I’m begging. Or as if I’m working really, really hard. Because it means everything to me that they get it. And what does it mean to them?
Well, I wanna believe that it means a lot. Especially when it’s a man I like. None of us are free until all of us are free. But the problem with being …the norm …is that you have to summon up the will to look at things that you don’t necessarily need to look at.
It all gets really subtle.
And then it gets personal.
It all comes out of the realm of theory and pop psychology and people are trying so hard to explain their individual experiences.
I know a few transgender people. They kinda take the whole girl/boy thing and grind it into pulp. Many of them work office jobs, sell cappuccino at the corner café, pretty average stuff. Some times I wonder what it would be like to have the genitalia of one gender and the feeling that you are another. I don’t have that issue.
But I can’t wear high heels.
Who are we?
There are a million billion trillion answers to that question.
It all seems too fraught sometimes. We come to care about each other. We want to connect. And all we have is a stream of words. We talk too fast. We read too slow. How is going to work out?
I’m just going to keep trying.