Monday, January 26, 2015

What Women Want: To Talk It Over

Back in the dim mists of time some wag asked: "What do women want?" More formally, the German sociologist George Simmel predicted that in the 20th century women would begin to impress their views upon the culture. As I wrote back in 2008:
Simmel understood that in the short term the public sphere for women would be defined by the rules “created by men and for men” but that eventually women would transform the public square to suit “a more feminine sensibility.”
But what is a more feminine sensibility? I think we are now clearly finding out.

And what is it that we are now finding out? It is that women like to talk things over. In fact they demand to talk things over. You see it in the therapy culture. You see it in conservative women; you see it in liberal women.

You can see how it operates with liberals. The whole "rape culture" panic seems to be structured around a system for a college woman that hs had an unpleasant sexual experience to talk about it with a university bureaucrat. From my perusal of the literature, it appears that college girls that have been dumped want the opportunity to tell their dumper how badly he has treated them. And they like the idea of having a college bureaucrat, with whom they have discussed the whole matter, there by their side to impress upon the crude male dumper how mean and cruel he has been.

But the same thing applies with conservatives. Here is National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez writing about young women suffering crisis pregnancies. It's all about making sure that a woman never feels alone, that she always has someone to talk to.
Anne Koehl, a nurse who runs the Women’s Care Center in Fort Wayne, Ind., told me during a recent visit how when a woman seeking an abortion walks through the doors of her clinic, she listens and lets the woman make clear her needs, and she works to meet them. That’s her agenda — “the woman’s agenda.” It means loving the woman, letting her know she’s there to offer help, whether that help is diapers or mentoring — whatever she needs to make life go on.
This is obviously a world away from the male approach, which could probably be characterized by the bark of the drill instructor: "Get with the program, Jenkins!" To women, this is marvellous, as it was to the mother that described to me her amazement at the eagerness with which her son and his team-mates adapted to the discipline meted out by his Little League coach.

The great challenge to men in this modern age is that our male culture is not a culture of talk, it is a culture of action. We are facing the challenge that the more that women emerge into the public square the more they will change institutions from an action orientation to a discussion orientation.

No doubt there are many situations in this life that need discussion. There are others that need action. The challenge for our society is to let women dominate those areas that need discussion and for men to dominate those areas that need action.

No doubt, in the end, men and women will work all this out sensibly and instinctively, self-selecting into areas that suit their particular sensibilities.

Just don't look for any sense coming out of the political arena.

No comments:

Post a Comment