“Men are stupid.” These words are usually said after a member of the fair sex has stated something which, in her mind, is unmistakably clear. But the male recipient of her message not only misses the point, but the fact that she has communicated anything! However, to label men as stupid is both insulting and unfair. Saying “men have no clue” is closer to the truth, but not all of it.

Consider the title of John Grey’s book: Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. If beings from another planet couldn’t speak our language, would we be justified in labelling them stupid? (‘All those who have mastered interstellar travel, raise your hand.’) Ignorant perhaps – ‘ignorant’ is not necessarily perjorative – but stupid? Of course not: that would be bigotted.

It’s similar with communication between the sexes: female non-verbal communication is a complex art; a language that uses nouns, adjectives, adverbs and other nuances. For a woman, a look can be a thesis — or perhaps more accurately, a contract between her and the recipient of the look: with the terms of the relationship; its type, conditions, expectations and promises. While males also communicate non-verbally, for us it is almost entirely unconscious; and a message from a woman usually goes unnoticed. Male non-verbal communication has its own vocabulary and grammar. Silence usually doesn’t have any meaning: it doesn’t mean we’re thinking about our relationship; a grunt means “Yes, I hear you”, except when we’re watching TV, when it means “I can’t listen to you, I’m watching TV”.

Marge: “Homer, we need to talk.”
Homer: “But then I won’t be watching TV: you can see the bind I’m in.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a misogynist. In fact, I insist on being married to a woman; but only one, though, it’s not wise to make a habit of it.

Advertisements