OK, get some coffee..because I'm on my soap box again  

nietchze 43M
195 posts
9/16/2005 2:36 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

OK, get some coffee..because I'm on my soap box again

After spending one too many nights at the coffee counter at the local 24 hour diner observing action and reaction amongst my fellow man, I have formed many uneducated and uninformed opinions about many things. While I haven't a shred of scientific proof to prove or support these findings, that does not necessarily make them without merit I think. I am certain some of them are idealistic bullshit, at least one of them is worth consideration. One that I cannot decide is of any value or not is this.
Women as a general rule ( as a majority, this is not meant to encompass all females so don't flame me)are incapable, whether by design or instruction, of the same type of emotional extremes as their male counterparts under common circumstances. I do not say this or think this to be an insult or a compliment. Simply an observation of what I see in a vain attempt to try and explain the unpredictable behavior of men and women. Some of the things involving female behavior can be understood, not predicted by any means, but at least understood by learning about the uniqueness of their chemical makeup and their menstrual cycles. Something I should probably learn more about if my intentions to understand are sincere. But currently I will continue.
For the remainder, please accept this for simplicity of explanation. If you were to assign a numeric value to emotional severity, with 1 being a euphoric bliss, 10 being a hatred and loathing, and a 5 being an unfeeling stoic state. I liken it to the pH scale for acids and bases.
Using this scale, I would redefine my core statement as being Women as a general rule ( as a majority, this is not meant to encompass all females so don't flame me)are incapable, whether by design or instruction, of achieving a 1 or a 10 as their male counterparts under common circumstances. I do not say this or think this to be an insult or a compliment.
The irony in this is, again in my own unsupportable opinion, while capable of achieving a 1 or a 10 men DO NOT SEEK them. Rather men seek a 5, or a stoic unemotional state. I believe men to define their successes and failures, and ultimately their existence, by their ability to control their surroundings. While every man's surroundings are different, and therefore what they believe to be within their area of control is different, each man wants (or perhaps needs) to control and maintain stability over whatever they deem to be within their abilities.
Some seek only a stable household with a healthy family and food on the table. Others may perceive their abilities to be greater and hence their area of control. These men may want more than a simple home life and may seek to change their local, state or government laws to fit their vision. Or start their own business, become a CEO or whatever. Each man will expand his own area of control until his abilities are spent OR until he finds a comfort level of stability that allows him to achieve emotional neutrality, or a 5. Only when things within their comfort zone change without their consent or knowledge, or when extreme circumstances indirectly affect their area of control are they drawn away from a 5. These circumstances can further compound themselves in that I believe that men are less likely to make to make effective decisions while under emotional states than women, in whatever emotional state that may be. With training, men can make better judgments on how to come to effective decisions in normally emotionally stressful situations, but this training usually involves learning to detach from ones emotions completely. To flip a switch so to speak as it were. Almost all military training is aimed towards this goal, not towards making 'drones' or 'robots' as it would appear to outsiders, but to teach one to turn off emotions and think with programmed responses to violent (usually) situations. A man that is untrained and is forced to to try and control his surroundings while emotional is less apt to make effective decisions I believe, sometimes further worsening the situation. I can use this to explain for myself why suicide is higher among men than women. Not only are men more capable of reaching the emotional extreme to overcome the survival instinct, but also when a series of poor decisions are made under emotional distress, or when when sudden occurrences completely altar their area of control ( think black Thursday 1929) Men think that their embarrassment from failures to control, and furthermore their ability to find control, and the neutrality that comes with it, is gone. From this standpoint men could reach the conclusion that stability is unachievable, and only through death will they ever achieve a 5. Furthermore, suicide occurs mostly in the 18-25 year old male, right when we are to become "men". When we are expected to expand our areas of control and establish ourselves. This is the time when we are learning the extent of are abilities and honing them. Also when we are usually not as wise and experienced as is needed to use them effectively, or don't possess the training to make effective decisions when those abilities are exceeded.
While some of this comes from a society that expects to be head of the household and leaders in the community, I also believe this to be instinctive no other society that I am aware of are women as involved as ours swilled I still consider this a patriarchal society, most are even more male dominated if not completely. Moreover though, when I see a man who is emotional I see a man who has either exceeded his abilities or lacks the training and wisdom to control them.
Yet while men are drawn to and seek a 5,women I believe are drawn to the extremes, those being a 1 and 10, but yet do not actually achieve them. How many stories of violence involve women? Almost all involve a man who lost control of a situation and acted irrationally. Even women who are upset and angry aren't usually capable of the kind of aggressive violence men are. Stories Like Lorna Bobbit are sensationalized because or their rarity. In almost all cases involving such acts they are committed by men, and rarely warrant front page news. When a man is pulled from his comfort zone, or when circumstances shatter his control, Irrational and violent behavior usually occurs. Even at the other end of the spectrum. I have been to at least 7 weddings, and in all of them the groom was crying like a baby, and with one exception the bride simply smiled broadly. She was used to this type of emotional state, the groom wasn't. And when it came time to recite the vows, most men can't do it. They stutter and stammer, and mumble their way through it before blurting out 'I Love You' and cry even more. In this state a man can't even talk, much less make decisions effectively.
And this will be the difficult part, but I believe that in the same way a man judges his life by how he successfully maintains control of his area, I believe women, loosely, judge their existence by how they feel about their surroundings. Again alot of this has to do with their bio-chemical design. But even beyond that I have found that when a woman is at a 5 she seeks for something to push away from it. Sometimes simple things such as shopping for clothes. Most men's clothing are in "neutral" colors, while most women's clothing is brighter and more expressive. A woman would design a home to make some one "feel" welcome and cheerful. Most men would be satisfied with functionality.
Look at the choice of TV programming preferred. I read somewhere that the weather channel is 80% male viewers. Same with the history channel and network news, mostly male viewers. Not to much emotional content there. How many guys watch the Lifetime network? Or soap operas? Programs loaded with emotional content.
Even TV or movies that men do watch that contain emotion usually are stories that involve a man who has lost control of his surroundings, and then heroically and aggressively regains control, even if it means his death. Which makes it all the more heroic. Such choices of media and entertainment are meant to restore the emotional stated we seek. Whether that be to draw a man back to a 5, or to push a woman away from it.
The pity of all of this is that no man nor woman can ever fully control their surroundings or fully control their emotions. While a man could never fully control their comfort zones because of random occurrences, the will of another man looking to expand his area of control into his own, or the like. Women are also unable to find a comfort level within their own emotions even within an an environment they have designed, which could be an explanation why women are more likely to become disenchanted with a shirt they once found to be perfect. Or too want to redesign their kitchen every few years. Men simply want the kitchen to function, who cares what it looks like, right?
As men cannot control their environment, women cannot control their own internal chemical design that fluctuates monthly. This is not meant to be accusational or to elevate one sex above another. I simply think it to be accurate.
Men want to feel control their lives and those in it, so they might feel the calm and complacency that goes along with it. Women find this boring, and seek to push themselves from it.
At least this is what I think, so despite my requests to the contrary, feel free to flame on.

redmustang91 57M  
8599 posts
9/16/2005 3:53 pm

In my experience some women are very emotionally strong and some are easily upset. Men too. The more significant issue I think is how the person pulls himself together after a trauma or upset to deal with the situation. In some cases women do a better job of this then men, especially when they have kids and have to function.

pseudohippie 49F

9/16/2005 5:10 pm

Well, we've talked about this before, and I think you are onto something, but of course, there are exceptions to any rule, and circumstances may dictate certain behaviors, etc. What's important to understand about your theory is not so much the scale segment for each gender, but the individuals desired spot on the scale.

But I think what's even more important is that while some of this is probably bio-chemically gender-related (good picture for this post, btw), MUCH of it is related to what we've been taught, what we've experienced, etc. Gender roles are taught, so of course, if women are encouraged to be more free with their emotions, they are more practiced at a larger segment of the spectrum. If men are encouraged to be strong and not cry or show vulnerability, of course they will seek the easiest way to do that...#5. When we're taught to like something, we end up liking it, a heck of a lot of the time. Even with tv shows, or clothing colors, or whatever. (As a side note, I think age helps both genders learn to deal better with extreme emotional situations.)

So maybe it's not a gender difference that's related to gender, but more related to cultural issues. Maybe this idea only floats in westernized countries, or in ones where males dominate, I don't know.

Personally, I like hovering around the middle. Maybe that's why my soft-butch psychologist exgf thought I was the more "manly" emotionally between us. Maybe it's cause I've had a lot of disappointments in a row and couldn't handle LIVING at the extremes of the spectrum, so I a) strive for the middle, or b) shut off my emotions at either end, basically not permitting them to register in my heart. Dunno.

As for the wedding thing, I've notice that too. But I think it's because the bride is usually more responsible for making sure the wedding runs smoothy, she's worried about her $100 makeup running, she's figuring out how to deal with the family feud resurgence that is bound to happen at the reception. Who knows? (Support for redmustang's point, btw...women have to manage family issues, and weddings are such.)

The point is, both genders need to learn to control their emotions, effectively communicate during conflict, manage crises, etc. It's all part of being a "good" adult, I think.

parcher 57M
14 posts
9/21/2005 6:58 am

Too much coffee? How about too much coke. Brevity is clarity.

justsayhi2005 51F

9/22/2005 8:04 am

"my my you do go on"

nietchze 43M

9/22/2005 1:45 pm

ehhh....I think ofr this post I tried a wee bit too hard to be clear without offending people. Blame it on my fear of being misunderstood. Sorry.

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