Coming to terms with being human.


I Don’t Have a Feminine Side…and Neither Do You

I just got back from a Sex and Relationships seminar. It’s a good thing to receive new perspectives, especially about marriage relationships. Marriage is the sort of thing that two people create out of whole cloth. Everything is new.
The thing is that the cloth we are using is called human psychology and everyone is using the same sheet (OK, I’m dropping the imagery now). Point being, the problems and joys of the marriage relationship are not new. Everyone deals with the same things, but we forget it. This fact, however, is not why I am writing.
The subject is “relationship” books. Entire shelves are devoted to recent pop-psychology wastes of time like “Men are from Mars…”. Most of these books boil down to a Yin/Yang dichotomy of football watching guys and Sex in the City-wannabe girls miscommunicating their true feelings. If perpetuating sex based stereotypes is the point of this market, then God bless ‘em cause it’s working.

Pandering to the Masses

Why is it working? Because they are right. At least, they are right more than fifty percent of the time. There are a lot of studies out there that confirm differences in the basic temperaments of individuals. You’ve seen the extroversion/introversion tests on sites like Emode. These tests are based on real science, even if they get twisted into “What breed of dog are you”. And the thing is, the American population is much more extroverted than introverted. The other either/or temperament indicators are also loaded in non-fifty-fifty relationships, and many of them follow gender lines.
So what happens is this. A half-wit author writes a book that is helpful, in part, for sixty percent of each sex. The other forty percent buy the book because it’s on the best sellers list. These people are wasting their time but since they can see the scenarios in the book play out in other people’s lives, they figure the book is worth while.
Then comes the feminine side. If men are supposed to be A, and women are B, then what are the poor readers who don’t fit their category. Maybe the introspective and compassionate male is just, “showing his feminine side”. That’s right, because women have the lock on feelings. That’s why they’re so good at shredding their friends like a pack of jackals in the teen years. No, feeling, much like rational thought, is spread among the whole of the human species. The compassionate man is showing his masculine side, because that’s the only side he has.

And a Plea

Could we please stop accepting this relationship porn? The comparison is just. These books are filled with air-brushed, silicon boosted, facsimiles of real human relationships. At least demand references to actual scientific studies. When, Men are Weeds, Women are Roses, uses, Women are Dreamers, Guys are Schemers, as its main source, well…that’s just pop-psych incest.

But Fearless Ranter, What Should We Do?

Create fake book covers. Think up the most inane or insensitive fake titles you can. Get your graphic artist friend (we all have one nowadays) to make professional looking covers. Go to Borders. Mayhem ensues.

OK, so this is a barely thought out argument written in ten minutes. Well, so is the Constitution and look were that got us. Rally my people. Rise!


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