Men and women are from the same planet. We have to learn to accept this, and treat it as normal. They're not entirely different species. They are two sides of the same coin. They are two halves of the same apple.

Historians may go into the whole hunter gatherer thing. That back in the days of the caveman, men went out to beat up and kill things to win food for the family, and women stayed around the cave and gathered berries and edible roots and wood for the fire.* Maybe that's where it started, but it's more complex than that. Our society is built upon millenia of restrictions and misguided assumptions. It is a largely patriarchal society in which men dominate most every industry and vocation. Until less than a hundred years or so ago, women were told to stay barefoot and pregnant and shut the hell up. Some men STILL feel this way about women, and some women STILL put up with it. These people perpetuate the incredible truckload of myths and false beliefs that we're still struggling with even today.

The situation is this. Men Hear. Women Listen. It's that simple. Men need to listen and think more, and women need to act more and think less.

Men don't usually look before they leap. They act first and then suffer the consequences later, unless they can find some way to avoid the consequences. Men need to focus more on cause and effect. They need to realize that their actions do affect their surroundings, and those they love. Sometimes the best way to prove one's manhood is to tip a hat to maturity and NOT act foolishly or impulsively.

Women generally think so much they sometimes forget to act at all, or talk themselves out of actions that would have been perfectly fine to do. I think this point right here is what drives men up the freaking wall more than anything. Women ask "Why?" Men just go "Why Not?"

And since John Gray's book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus did absolutely nothing in the Big Picture to change the attitudes of the world's population, I don't suspect my little diatribe here's gonna make any difference. I mean, what the hell do I know? "Physician Heal Thyself" you might say. If I was right at all, theoretically I should be swimming in women, right?

But it's because I've given up trying. I used to think men just don't understand women. Nowadays I understand that I don't have to understand them. Men? For once, make them come to you. Okay? Stop this incessant stereotype where the guy has to ask the girl out. Just be yourself PLUS actually listen to what they have to say. Every now and then you'll find yourself on a date with a great babe and you won't even know how you got there. No muss no fuss.

Trust me. It's a lot more fun.

* - A point that has been fairly made by StrawberryFrog: "Berries and roots are food too (in fact most of the hunter/gatherer diet), and don't grow in caves. Any food around the cave will be used up quickly. Typical diet of hunter-gatherer is meat (ie male/hunt) once a week or so, and veg. the rest of the time, so the women would do a lot of roaming, maybe not as far as a hunt but more often." If I am not in error, I believe the point trying to be made here is that even in times of prehistory, women worked at least as hard as men and sometimes harder just to break even. Men would bring home a large beast once a week or so and pat themselves on the back, but would come home empty-handed more often than not, and expect the ladies to pick up the slack. Fair point and deserves notice here. My original intention in the actual wording of this node was to point out the obvious stereotypical response a chauvinistic male historian might try to say. I was not going for accuracy but to illustrate the original point further. Apologies if the intent was mistaken. =)

Men are not from Mars. Women are not from Venus. WE ARE FROM EARTH.

Men and women are different in a lotta ways, but let's face it, we're also 99% the same. People tend to make a REALLY BIG DEAL out of those differences, trying to make them into these fundamental principles that prevent us from understanding one another. What is that all about?

I don't pretend that there aren't some differences. I mean, it seems true that men think about sex more than women, women like to talk more than men (and are better at it), men are more aggressive and strong, women are more passive and good with relationships...we all know the stereotypes, and we all know there are exceptions as well as people who totally fit the bill.

But I do not come from another planet! I really, really hate being expected to act like "a woman" because I'm female; I don't like it when guys assume that since I'm a chick it means I must "play mind games" and that I must like sales and shopping and dressing up. There are definitely things I've been socialized to do because I'm a girl, and that's fine and good, I'm okay with being partially a product of my culture. But some guys expect that since I'm a girl I must think completely differently from them. That since I'm female I can't be "figured out" and that I do "illogical" things. If you'd ask me I'd tell you why I'm doing it! It's not because I'm biologically programmed to be confusing to men.

"What do chicks want?" "Hey, what does my girlfriend mean when she says this?" "What do you look for in a man?" These are all things I've been asked with the attitude that "You're a girl; you know this stuff." Well, I've got news for anyone who asks this sort of thing. "What do chicks want?" I'm sure that all "chicks" want different things. If you're talking about a specific one, you'll have to ask her. "Chicks" in general do not have a consensus on what they want. We're people. Ask us. And don't expect to be able to generalize our answers. If you ask ten of us you're liable to get ten different answers. "What does my girlfriend mean when she says this?" Unless I know your girlfriend very well I'm not qualified to answer that. Chances are if I *do* know her very well I might be able to answer if she's talked about it to me and not you. But I'm not going to be able to answer for her just because we're part of the same gender. "What do you look for in a man?" Same thing I look for in all people. Understanding. Humor. Someone I can get along with. Someone who shares my interests. Someone who'll listen and also contribute when we talk. Believe me, it's not your car, your money, or your muscles that attract me. If you think I'm you can shove it; that *really is* what I'd like to have in a friend. Guy or girl. But that last question is a bit moot since I don't "look for" people in general.

Okay, so if you still don't believe me that guys and girls aren't from different worlds, at least accept this: I'm an atypical girl. If you have to keep your little schemas for what's boyish and what's girlish, go ahead...just don't categorize me, 'cause I don't fit. And there's a *lot* of other guys and girls who don't fit either. Go to Venus and I'm sure you'll find some guys hanging out there. Mars has a sizable chick population as well. But there's a whole universe out there, plenty of planets with no particular god of old assigned to them yet. Soon as I claim one and name it, I'll let you know.

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