XX Vs. XY

I’ve never described myself as a manly man, and I’m pretty certain that everyone who knows me would agree with that. As I have become a more-or-less responsible adult, however, I have begun to feel the pull of machismo. Part of this stems from the need to learn to fix things to save money. But it also seems to be a natural, inevitable process most guys seem to go through. And when I successfully fix something on the car, for example, it leads to a great sense of accomplishment.

Here’s a case in point. Down the street a ways, somebody is selling an old jeep. I don’t know exactly how old it is, how much they want for it, or even if it’s in running condition. And I certainly don’t need another car (although maybe it would end up more reliable than the ones we have, given our recent troubles). But something inside me is begging to call that number and find out. I’ve always wanted a jeep. I don’t know why. They aren’t very comfortable to ride in, and they probably get terrible gas mileage.

So here’s the question: Are we hard-wired with tendencies toward certain behavior? Do women feel an uncontrollable urge to put on makeup and impractical footwear?

Check out Wordsmith to explore the issue further.

8 comments:

Jar said...

My dad did just that. He bought an old, beat-up jeep to fix up. Several hundred dollars and 2 years later, it is still in our driveway.. It might run someday....

trb48 said...

My vote is a loud and definite yes. I have four older sisters and I have my fair share of "womanness." But it still doesn't seem to help. I just don't understand women. Why do they wear high heals? Why do they go to the bathroom in groups? If they want something done, why can't they just ask? How can they talk to each other without saying a word?

I am sure that there are dozens of more questions I should be asking, but I don't know I should.

Brooke said...

Let me answer all of Todd's questions.

1. High heels are elongating and make you look skinnier. They hurt and are uncomfortable, but I will still wear them on occasion.

2. We go to the bathroom in groups so we can talk about you.

3. We shouldn't have to ask--you should just know. :) (That's the stock answer, though I usually will ask if I want/need something done.)

4. Body language. Learn it, and you'll know half of our secrets.

Jen said...

I'm going to say a large resounding NO. I really hate gender generalizations.

Women wear high heels because men like them to and this has been shown for decades and decades. I highly doubt that if it weren't for that, women would one day just up and want to put thin tall pegs on the bottoms of their shoes. same goes for make up, i guess. we're taught that we should be pretty.

the going to the bathroom in packs... i'm not sure. I think that's more of a teenager thing.

Jen said...

i guess what i meant was 'stereotypes,' but it also irks me when people say, "all women are ______" and "all men do _______." i think it puts up barriers.

i think this is because my husband i are quite unstereotypical (a-stereotypical?) regarding our genders. Not in every way, but a lot.

trb48 said...

I think that some generalizations are okay, but I agree with you - some put up barriers. As people, we need a way to manage large amounts of information. To try and wrap our brains around the fact that everyone is different, has a unique past, and views the world in their own way is very difficult. But, if we say: "Most men do..." or "Women sometimes..." that helps. Our brains can do that.

It also helps that some characteristics can be shared by groups of people. I served my mission in Korea and I could see that most Americans reacted to certain situations in the same way, and Koreans reacted in an entirely separate way. It was generally the same and it could be traced solely on nationality.

Joel said...

Remember, Todd, that by "nationality" you mean the environment in which they were raised, not their ethnicity. A Korean raised in America would react the "American" way, after all.

Jen said...

yes, good points.

i have done zero research on this but i really do think high heels came about because men liked them. why? maybe they do make you look skinnier and longer but they hurt like heck too. no, men like(d) them because they make it so you stick out your rear end. it's totally true.