Monday, 4 November 2013

It's Not About the Nail - Men and women are different: very different

*

If you haven't watched the (brilliant, acute, witty) short video "It's Not About the Nail" - then watch it:

http://www.jasonheadley.com/INATN.html

*

The above video captures a truth about women, from the perspective of men; and beyond this is the idea that men and women may be a lot more different, psychologically, than is currently assumed.

*

In fact, the null hypothesis is currently assumed - that men and women are the same unless proven different.

In practice this means that there is never-enough-evidence to prove, for sure, and without any possibility of alternative explanations - that men and women are different.

But they are: we know this! It is inbuilt, spontaneous, common sense knowledge.

*

What would be interesting to know is more about these differences.

In other words we should assume (because it is true) that men and women really are psychologically different, and then explore the nature of these differences.

*

For instance, why could it make sense for women to have that attitude caricatured in 'It's not about the nail'?

The way I would summarize this attitude is accepting that things-are-the-way-they-are (not trying to 'fix' them) and therefore focusing upon how people feel about things. Indeed, just summarizing it like that makes clear that this is a rational attitude in many circumstances - because often/ usually things cannot be 'fixed' but we must just make the best of them.

Also, in the social world we humans inhabit, many of our most pressing problems are indeed social; therefore one of the best ways of 'fixing' a problem is to harmonize the peer group: to decide what we think about it.

*

Thus women will (I think) generally talk together to reach a consensus of the proper attitude to a situation; whether somebody (especially another woman) behaved well or badly - or perhaps whether they are a nice or nasty person; and will then create considerable social pressure to impose this collective view on other members of the group (especially other women).

If so, then this is an extremely important approach to social life, and a vital mechanism of behavioural regulation.

*

On the other hand; if things can be fixed, and need to be fixed...

When it is acknowledged that there are real differences, then a strength in one circumstance becomes a weakness in another - hence the (on average) functionality of complementarity.

*