Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Gender Gap--More Than Just Pay

Gender differences manifest themselves in diverse ways, including in preferences toward entertainment. I don't want to become the subject of criticism similar to that received by Larry Summers, so I'll not speculate on whether these differences are innate or the result of nurture. All I know for sure is that when I was growing up all the boys loved Larry, Curly, and Moe, and the girls couldn't stand them.

If women today were adventurous enough to pick up and read some of the books found on a man's bookshelf, they would react about the same as the girls of my youth did toward the Stooges. Ditto for the man brave enough to venture into the reading territory women have staked out for themselves. Whether it's books, TV shows, movies, or video games, women tend to prefer one genre and men another.

The books of Erica James and Chris Ryan exemplify the gender divide in pleasure reading. Ms. James' heroine, Harriet, lives her life in striking contrast to that of Mr. Ryan's hero, Matt:

Matt, generally to be found spraying the room with bullets, would not fit in well to the world of Love and Devotion; nor would Harriet cope impressively with the deadly assassins of The Increment, despite her cute beret. These worlds can never meet. Somehow their readers must, though, as they lie side by side on the beach. Or more likely back to back.

Yes, men and women must meet, and not just on the beach. And not back to back either. Shared values bring men and women together to raise children, work side-by-side, . . . to create civilization. If one sex brings pepper to the table at dinner time, then is the world worse off because the other brings salt?



At 5:36 AM, Blogger Dr. Tammy said...

I agree with your thoughts on "shared values" which is the key to lasting relationships.

When we view each other's differences as opportunities to view an issue from a different perspective, then we can learn and growth with each other. When we can learn to dialogue in relationships vs. debate, then we can learn to think and create together something we could have never have created alone.


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