Let’s face it, we’ve all heard about a million and one explanations for how men and women think differently.
There’s the whole Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus camp. And there’s the Spaghetti brain versus the Filing Cabinet.
I get it. We need some way to make something so complex accessible, understandable.
But doesn’t the fact that we all (men and women) need to put things into categories – into language we can understand – belay the fact that maybe, just maybe, we all are a bit like a filing cabinet?
And doesn’t the fact that we all can think of multiple things (and the whole word association where we can say banana and it brings up some deep rooted childhood trauma) tell us that things are a bit interconnected in all of our minds?
Here lies the rub with me: when we try to explain how the human mind works, and we separate each other by sex or race or religion into nice, neat boxes, we miss the point.
We are all complex creatures, we all think differently, and there is no one way to figure out what someone is thinking without knowing that person.
To be honest with all of you out there, trying to throw all men or all women into one category fits all explanation is down right dangerous.
I’ve talked a bit about how we try and push men and women (or boys and girls) into nice, neat boxes way back in my post Tomboys, Pansies, and Biblical Gender Roles. On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be any problem. Boys play with boy cars and guns, girls play with baby dolls and toy cookware. Everything is nicely divided into pink and blue.
Life is good. Life is simple.
Except, life isn’t simple, but it can still be good.
There is a very famous book out there called Wild At Heart by John Eldredge. I read it. Tried to figure out who I am and what I’m supposed to be like.
Because I was told that men in the church were too effeminate. We needed to regain our manliness. We needed to roar and wrestle and shoot guns and do all sorts of manly Chris Pratt-esque things.
How do I know I’m a man? Because I beat the crap out of everyone around me and I kill things.
(Note: I’m not equating Chris Pratt to beating people up – just the overall mentality that men have to be tough and hit things to be a man).
I came away from reading that book with a lot of questions. I don’t think that way, I don’t find my joy and peace and manliness in the kill or in beating on other men.
(Note: I do enjoy wrestling with my kids. My daughter doesn’t enjoy it, so yes it is with my son. I also enjoy taking part in Martial Arts. This just reinforces my point).
Just what is my point, you’re probably asking right now?
Human beings do not fit into nice, neat boxes. I know men that are very spaghetti brained, and I know women that are very filing cabinet minded. There are men that would rather sit down with a good tea and book, while there are women who find there joy in boxing, kick-boxing, or wrestling.
We are all athletes, we are all artists, we are all musicians, we are all nerds and geeks.
We are feminine, we are masculine.
We won’t know what makes another human being tick until we get to know them.
And, if they don’t fit into that nice little cabinet drawer we try to place them, it doesn’t mean something’s wrong with them.
They are a unique person, made in the image of God, made to be who they are, made to be loved for who they are.
So, go ahead. Make your categories if you need to. If it helps you understand. Just be prepared when someone doesn’t quite fit that description, and embrace it.
You’ll be a lot happier if you do.
I had a lot of thoughts on what I was going to write for this Story Monday. Then, I listened to the radio. DJs and call-in listeners were trying to explain the world and how men and women are different. It’s the same story over and over again – and there is little wonder in why we keep visiting this subject. We want to know. We want to understand. But, we still have a problem in actually just asking each other – getting to know each other. Communication is still our greatest tool, and it is still the least used one.
What do you think? Am I way off-base? Are men and women so different that we can put each other into neat boxes?
I’d love to hear from you.
Need a good story? Join my New story Email Group and get my two Scifi short stories as a gift!
Or join my Developing Story Email Group and be in the know of new and developing stories.