In just the past two days I've heard comments made by women I'm acquainted with regarding the nature of men. The first occurred in my writing group. As part of a writing prompt, we were asked to make a list of things people were afraid of. We read our lists out loud to one another, and of course the obvious fears were contained in many of our lists -- death, heights, flying, etc. One of the items I listed was commitment. This was also one of the items listed by a man in our group, who happened to read his list out loud before I read mine. When he came to this item on his list, one of the women in the group piped up "Only a man would come up with that fear." Most in the group laughed (and all but two members of the group are women), but I took issue with this (good-naturedly), because as I stated above, this item was also on my list. I don't think fear of commitment is unique to men; I have known both men and women who I could fairly say appeared to have a fear of commitment.
Then today I took a walk with a friend, who in the course of our discussion made the comment that men are "simple. They're basically beer and football." I took issue with this also. I know my own husband hates beer, and I can probably count on one hand the number of football games he's watched from start to finish. He's just not that kind of guy, and in fact, most of the guys I've ever been interested in weren't. Don't misunderstand. There's nothing wrong with a guy who likes beer and football, and indeed, I'm sure there are many who do and at the same time are quite complex men. My point is merely that there are many men out there who don't like these things, and I sometimes feel that women cause their own problems with men when they lump them all together into such categories. Just as I would hate for someone to assume all women like shopping and gossiping with their girlfriends, I don't think men appreciate being thought of as mere couch-potatoes.
I wonder if growing up with so many brothers has made me more sympathetic to men than the average women? It'd be neat to take a survey of the women who think like those I've mentioned above to see if they grew up with no brothers?
More mediating the battle of the sexes later. . .