Men are not morons. Women are not ineffable*.
Yet every single day, we’re all of us in America and — possibly — elsewhere bombarded with cliché after cliché that says otherwise. We hear that men can’t think their way out of a wet paper bag. We hear that women will forever be unknowable to a dude, that he will never actually understand why she does what she does.
It’s demonstrably not true and, yet, we let this prevarication continue ad infinitum.
Why? Why do we allow this? I think it’s because we’ve all run into someone who won’t bust the cliché. Some dude who really is a moron. Some woman who really does operate on a plane above the rest of us. Then we shrug and tell ourselves that the old cliché must be true and here’s the proof.
Really, though, I think those instances are not proof of the majority, but instances of a rarity.
The confusion and condescension occur not because of what we are, but what we say.
The problem is that we dudes won’t talk openly to you dudettes. And you dudettes won’t talk openly about your motivations to we men.
We all are expected to be mind readers. The problem is that telepathy doesn’t actually exist. We can’t read minds.
If men would explain that they, for instance, forgot their anniversary not because they were a moron, but because they were worried about whether they would miss out on the good office chairs and what that meant for their careers. They’d still be in trouble, mind you, but not because they were idiots.
The first woman who steps up and explains exactly why it’s important to her that when she goes to pick out furniture, she not only wants the man in her life to accompany her, but she wants him to want to go as well and if he doesn’t. . . Well, it’s going to be a long day. Explain that thinking and you’d be a national hero to at least slightly less than half the population of this country.
And, dudes, believe it or not, it’s even worse on the romance front.
Zig when she wants you to zag and you’re a moron. She’s angry because you just don’t understand her.
Again, it’s all down to communication. Actually talk out loud and tell your partner what you really want. Don’t hint. Don’t expect him or her to know it and be angry if she/he doesn’t? It can be as simple as that: Ask for what you want. You might not get it, but it’s better to understand desire and taste, than it is to wonder what went wrong.
Open lines of communication allow significant others to actually see what the other person wants, try to fit it in with what they want, and see if there is any way that the two (or however many) of you can get at least part of what you want.
Step out of the stereotype. Talk to each other and you’ll be amazed how good life can be.
Or you’ll find out you can’t stand one another, but then you at least you know it’s time to move on and start over, and that can’t be a bad thing.
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