Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Men & Women

I have this idea I'm trying to work through. As a man, I have a theory that if I can observe women in the correct way when they discuss men, I'll gain a new insight into what men are like. I'm so busy being one, I can't quite tell what we are like as a species.

What I figure is that there is a disparity between the way we imagine ourselves and the way in which the opposite sex imagines us.

Case in point, a woman as imagined by men:


and a woman as imagined by women:


Here we have boys as imagined by girls:


and men as imagined by men (at least a certain type of man):


None of these are necessarily errors in a perception, it's just that both genders bring out a different truth on the same subject.

What we really need is a third gender. A neutral, androgynous sex that can observe impartially without a background set of assumptions, expectations or biases.

Any volunteers?

2 comments:

Karen Burke said...

Kristin Scott Thomas is a Goddess, but that is actually a bad picture of her and not the image I have in mind when I hear her name without a visual accompaniment.

I would definitely say the image of boy beauty was realistic in my eyes so I guess I come close to your case in point on this.

But I don't understand the need for a third sex to solve issues of perception. There are loads of androgynous icons out there anyway.

Paul Taberham said...

Just that one can't look at a thing without the prism of your own set of assumptions and expectations that come with being the thing you are (in this case, male or female).

I'm working on the assumption that there is an implicit difference. But I just suspect there is. This comes in part from the anatomical difference between male and female brains, but also from the way we're encultured. We end up different.

Even if someone has the quality of being androgynous, I'm not sure that means their value systems will be completely 50/50 between values typical of men and values typical of women
(i know that's hopelessly vague, but it's the best i can do right now...)