Men and women communicating

Men talk to men, and women talk to women, she said. She meant on facebook, but it is true IRL as well, with parties sometimes dividing between men’s groups and women’s groups. Of course it is not a hard and fast rule, but there are ways people communicate, illustrated there.

I tend to get far more Likes and comments from women than men. I asked for reassurance- “Am I charismatic?” The seven likes, and eight of the comments, were from women, all affirming. The man who commented challenged me: “Unusual Quaker enquiry,” he said, then changed the conversation- There used to be an Essex based religious movement called the Perculiar People. Maybe a case for revival. He refuses then blocks the reassurance I crave.

I shared, Too hot inside to sleep, so I went to recline outside and watch the stars come out. I think the two brightest were wandering stars. Then the Bear appeared. But I could not relax enough to sleep there, so came in. That got no response from men, seven likes and ten responses from women, including one tip- sleep in a wet sarong. Previously she had only had to do that in India.

I share on politics, and one on Brexit had more men commenting than women. Two men directly challenged me: You’ve just backed Brexit by campaigning and voting Labour; and, Does lack of seats, or more accurately your desire to be on a winning side interfere with your thinking in terms of right and wrong? I responded to this accusation of immoral behaviour circumspectly- I said I don’t think so, and have reasons for my decision. It might be masculine to just reject it as an insult. I find men more confrontational, women more co-operative.

I shared a puzzle: I want to make a three dimensional jigsaw of arrangements of 1cc cubes, which has two solutions: one solid cube, and one larger hollow cube with the faces each 1cm thick, with no 1cc cubes left over. Is this possible? This appealed more to men, following the stereotype: unusually, more men commented, though women got the answer. (I may reveal the answer and reason in the comments, if you attempt the puzzle.) They went quite deeply into the mathematics, and introduced me to Wolfram Alpha. Women got it right first, though.

One share on equal marriage had 24 cis folk liking, and only comments from trans women, but that might just mean that most of my queer fbfnds are trans.

A fbfnd from Texas shares a lot on US politics, from the Left. I am not doing research, this is mostly anecdotal, but she seems to have more female responses than male, and the confrontational responses are from men. A man from Corby who shares jokes and political stuff has both men and women commenting.

I feel you can tell the difference between men’s and women’s comments, though this could be because of nature or inculturation. Here is a test: I chose a way to find five comments from men on my posts and five from women, so that I did not choose any particular comment, as that might have biased the responses. I have randomised them. Can you identify which come from men, and which from women? I think you can tell the difference, even though some are quite difficult. What do you think? Comment below.

1. I like “who cares wins”!
2. this is us today, campaigning for Sophie Cook.
3. Was that through a letter box ?
4. Fantastic Abigail and thank you!!
5. Love it ( apart from hate tyrants…let’s learn to love everyone)….
6. Hate tyranny.
7. !
8. Yes, it will be very interesting to see what happens if Labour manages to win the majority. I can’t imagine that Corbyn wants to have anything to do with The Donald at all.
9. Dog must have seen red
10. Ouch xxx

Here am I, being charismatic. Three people hang on my every word. The exception is the radical feminist, who was alive to how men speak and women listen, and felt it still applied to me.

7 thoughts on “Men and women communicating

  1. Very interesting post. Over the past six months I’ve come out to about 100 people, face to face and via email (mostly to ex-colleagues) and noticed that women were much more likely to respond positively and sincerely.

    I love your photo. It says so much! I suspect that four people are listening to you carefully if you include the photographer whose empty seat we see. I wonder what you were talking about, why you were all there. It’s unusual to have that kind of chair outdoors. Pretty dress, by the way.

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  2. I suspect you’ve given us too many clues before asking the question and have made us self-conscious about commenting. Rebels are duty-bound to be contrary, so I have to be harsher in my reply and can’t say ‘great post’ for the life of me.

    I would only confidently hazard a guess at number 7 (m). According to the stereotypes outlined above, 1, 4, 5 and 10 are (f), which means I need to look for one more, and will plump for 6. But if I am right, I don’t want to be – my first instinct was to say that all comments could be just as easily be m as f.

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    • It would be clearer in context. After a dog bit me while I was leafleting for Labour, a male friend commented “Dog must have seen red” which I find unsympathetic, and a male friend commented “Ouch xxx”.

      You don’t tend to write “Great post!” comments. It seems to me you engage with the material. You do write sympathetic comments, though, often. How “feminine” you are I would not presume to express an opinion- not without trying to see what opinion would be welcome, anyway. However, you got six out of ten, including your confident guess; random would not be 5/10 in every case.

      And, unless you are confident about all your other answers, it does not necessarily make sense to say you need to look for one more f.

      I started thinking the sex of the commenter was recognisable, before I found a way of picking comments randomly. I had more answers when I posed this on facebook, and everyone got more than five right.

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      • I used think I thought like a man when I was younger (early twenties) but after working for many years in a man’s world, it is clear that I do not.

        I would be very happy to live in a world where this or that action or thought were neither male nor female, just human, but it’s a long way away, isn’t it?

        That’s one reason I read so many of your posts with interest, even if I do not comment or interact. Through your wrestling explorations you make it more likely we will get that bit closer to a world where it is OK for a man or a woman just to be themselves, without wondering about unhelpful concepts like womanly or manly.

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        • No-one got that 10 was a man, out of eight who attempted the test. I feel that if we can tell which is which, that is a matter of conditioning or culture rather than nature. I believe underlying nature conflicts with conditioning, and will burst out eventually; suppressing it only hurts the individual. Oestrogen and testosterone may have some effect. I am delighted to have you reading, because I respect you. When you comment I find it useful even if I have a different perspective. Thank you.

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      • In context, ‘Dog must have seen red’ was perhaps offered as a form of light-hearted bonding – a joke being an open expression of a connection the mind makes almost despite us, and takes pleasure in. He thought it was quite funny and hoped you might too. Whether it was sympathetic or not perhaps depends on the severity of the bite and how far along the recovery process you were when the joke was offered.

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