Men and Women are from Earth
January 26, 2012 § 3 Comments
“Women are from venus. Men are from mars.” We have all heard that expression before but the essay “Men and Women are from Earth” by Barnett and Rivers allows us to dispel that coined phrase. Many people and books have stated that men and women communicate on completely different levels and are therefore incapable of having “good” conversations without the other sex learning certain guidelines that pertain to how a man or woman communicates. I can remember being told early on in life that men’s brains are wired a completely different way and I still hear similar expressions when discussing a man’s actions or behaviors. In some ways, this idea of considerable differences between the genders, seems to be an excuse that either women give to men for their behavior or vice versa. For example, if a husband “shuts down” in an important conversation with his wife, she may just continue to be upset, blame it on the “men are from mars” concept and neverl let the conflict be resolved beacause “his brain just isn’t wired to do so.” Similarly, a man can shrug off a woman if she is deeply hurt and emotional because “women are from venus.” This rationalization just doesn’t make sense to me and I see it as more of an easy out excuse. I can see how some people who have grown up with this idea just assume that they must act or communicate in these stereotypical gender-based ways. The essay states, “Either way, rigid sex stereotypes promote self-fulfilling prophecies.”
The essay “Men and Women are from Earth” cite several studies that have shown that “women and men are much more alike than different in how they listen to people, the ways they react to others who are in trouble, and their ability to be open and honest in communication.” The essay goes on to say that power is often the key in determining who will control the conversation, not gender. I think that if a lot of people were to understand the idea that men and women are much more alike than they think and that communication differences between the genders is not innate, then communication would significantly improve. By not assuming that you are automatically supposed to be a certain way, it allows you to define your own style of communication, dealing with issues, etc. based on your own experiences.