What I'm writing: Chapter 16
Today, we'll look at some of the social differences between men and women. Again, these differences are based on physiological differences in the brain, but there are always going to be individual differences. There's a basic framework, but there are also individual modifications to the finished product. Think all those housing developments with virtually identical houses. Eventually, the owners put their own touches into their homes giving them some individuality. However, some of the broad, sweeping generalizations we make about men and women does have a basis in the differences in the way their brains work. If you haven't read posts 1 and 2, I suggest you scroll down and read them in chronological order.
In Social Situations:
Men are goal oriented.
Women are community builders.
Men are the lone hunters.
Women are communal.
Men are problem solvers.
Women are problem sharers.
A woman will come home from a day at work and complain about something that happened. To a women, sharing troubles is a friendship ritual. To a man, talking about a problem is asking for advice. Thus, the man will offer suggestions as to how to fix it. The woman really doesn't want his help, she just wants to vent. Men consider talking about a problem a step down in the hierarchy.
Men are likely to explore an idea through argument. Women will shut down, because they want to keep connections open.
Men define themselves by achievements.
Woman define themselves by relationships.
In the workplace, our hard-wired brains still see the differences between male and female behaviors. Perhaps the reason men don't see women as "equals" in the workplace is because they simply can't. They're perceived as too emotional to be authority figures. Their wiring does make them emotional. But that doesn't mean they can't make the necessary decisions. But a woman is more likely to say, "We're going to talk about "the" rules," which is ingrained in the nurturing wiring, whereas a man would say, "We're going to talk about "my" rules," which fits his hierarchical wiring. Women soften statements, men give orders.
The information in these posts comes from workshops by Eileen Dreyer from the RWA conference, and Tracy Montoya's presentation at the Southern Lights Conference.