Saturday, October 20, 2012

Of Men and Women

It's the weekend, so I needn't feel obliged to post kid pics. I have been thinking a little (I never think too deeply) about the differences between women and men. Um ... wait a minute ... I am not thinking about those differences, although they intrigue me to no end, but about social differences -- where women have so many if not all of the advantages over us guys.

For example: what do you see in this picture?

Well duh. Of course, it's two women hugging. Sue met a neighbour whilst we were taking the air with JJ the other day. So, they hugged. Mind you, Sue doesn't hug every woman that she meets, but still ... she, and women in general, enjoy a freedom that is denied to the non-estrogenic members of the human race.

I mean to say, could you imagine me running up to Al and hugging him when we encountered him and Molly a little bit later on the same outing?

No? I didn't think so. Although Molly and I have been known to become quite intimate.

I do find it difficult to resist blondes.

Women have a sisterhood that men don't. About the best that the brotherhood can muster is to get together over booze and swear, belch, and tell questionable jokes to each other. It just ain't the same. I know some local guys got together in a local pub to watch UFC together (perish the thought), but that didn't last very long.  don't think it exactly knit them into a tight group. Meanwhile, Sue and the ladies have been getting together for Friday coffee for years.

There's more to it though.

Women have the freedom to dress and act differently. Men are much more socially constrained and restrained. While I have always known this on some level, it really struck me on this past season's airing of So You Think You Can Dance. Both Cat Deely and Mary Murphy are free to be themselves in both dress and behaviour while the guys, by either nature or nurture are more conservative. If you watch the show, you'll know what I mean; if not, you can pretty well fill in the gaps.

Cat Deely

Meanwhile, let's have a wee gander at Nigel, the main male panelist/judge.

Nigel Lythgoe

He's wearing a suit and tie. This uniform has been man's only way of dressing up since time immemorial. It's how I dressed up sixty years ago and how men dressed up long before then. It doesn't change much.

Here's proof.

Me and my maternal grandfather circa 1950
My paternal great grandfather. Yes, I mean Great.

You see? Nothing much has changed. Ties widen and narrow, but they're still ties. Jacket lapels do the same. Buttons may be two or three depending on the era, and, which and how many you are supposed to leave undone changes, but there are still two or three buttons. I remember at one point in my youth feeling out-of-fashion because my jacket only had one vent at the back when two were the fashion, but the fundamental nature of the beast remains unchanged. Suits remain what they have been -- silly items of apparel and a symbol of the societal restraints put upon those of testosteronic persuasion.

I do know that women have their societal issues. They/you have been kept barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen in history, and, although the glass ceiling might have cracked, it still hasn't exactly shattered into a million pieces. But to a large degree, women are at least free to be themselves. We guys, on the other hand, are so inhibited that we probably don't even know who ourselves are.

So that's it for now. My brain hurts after thinking these, for me, incredibly deep thoughts, and kid pics will resume shortly at a time and place near you.


Bernie said...

OMG AC this is so true and I really enjoyed reading this post. Seriously men have always worn suits be it weddings, graduations or funerals. Now women our attire has changed from formal to suits to slacks and jeans. We can dress these outfits up to meet the queen by adding jewellry or a scarf if we have to and women can and do show their emotions. If they meet someone they like there is always the hug if we don't really care for them we just smile and say hello you know just like you men do. Do you guys really like each

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Good observations, AC, and women do hug more often than not, although I have known some men to also hug and pat each other on the back on occasion, including Grenville.

Diana said...

Hugging is the norm for me too, although I have seen men in my family hug. Does that count?
Love Di ♥

KGMom said...

My observation on men hugging--that quick, back-slapping kind of hug and then immediate separation. Can't do too much of that.
Of course, it is due to our cultural preconceptions. In other countries, men express physical greetings so much more--e.g. the double kissing on cheeks of European men.
As for clothing--you just need to go a little further back into history. How about the court of the Sun King in France--if it's fancy dress you want.

Mike said...

Nice post, got me thinking!
Will be checking out future posts. ;)

Mary Gilmour said...

A lot of women would love to adopt the suit and tie always correct uniform. (some have) It is easier for a woman, with a range of choices, to 'get it wrong'. Overdress, underdress, collect scorn from other women. Or so it used to be.
As for the hugs, I am finding the younger generation a lot more comfortable with greeting hugs, etc. My godson, age 19, hugs male and female alike, including me. Well, the males are relatives, mostly.
Good post, though. Generates lots of thoughts.
What I envy men is the comfort zone of walking at night without the caution women need to use.

Lorna said...

I like you when you're deep.

troutbirder said...

You've made a good point. Still, our faculty lounge was segregated by gender. The men discussed their golf game and football endlessly. I a tennis player and basketball coach found it endless boring so usually I ate lunch at the "women's" table. And no it wasn't all KKK Kirche, Kinder & Koche (excyse my long forgotten German spelling) Change is coming it's not all Mars and Venus anymore...:)