04 Jun Are Women and Men different?
I have the opportunity to attend one of the last sessions in Madrid of the theatre comedy “El Cavernicola” (in English “Defending the Cavernman” ( See Wikepedia ). I was impressed by the excellent job done by Nacho Novo. It is not easy to keep all the audience fully connected during one hour and a half. This comedy is a monologue, which means that Nacho has not any opportunity to stop during the play time.
It is not my intention to talk about this comedy, but just to start discussion about a delicate subject that I would like to take with a lot of respect., trying not to create polemics and also not offending anybody. I mean, what differentiate men and women, if there is any, apart from the social learned patterns.I have to say that, having in mind that the author used 3 years to gather information and write this play, at some extent, I find it a bit trivial. Probably differences between women and men are more intrinsic than the ones coming from playing roles of farmers and hunters, as is used during the play as conductor wire. At the origin of the human been could be true, but this analyses can be much wider if we explore this subject from other perspectives. Which is clear is that in the play, the examples are very reach and shows clearly that, at least in our day to day behaviour, we are really different.
So let me use just some facts I observed in my life to try to open other perspectives which can allow us to see other basic reasons for differentiation. There is a clear fact that undoubtedly we can not neglect. Women can create life, in the sense that they can have our baby’s with them during nine months. Men can only assist, and of course the child born is an experience reserved for women. We can watch, and I have to say that this was probably the most wonderful moments of my life. But I can hardly imagine the experience it was for my wife. And finally is impresive the influence that women has in the education of the children in this early moments of our life. So big, that looking on how the woman are in a society or in a country, is not difficult to guess how are their individuals. But let me take education subject in another article.
If we take this as starting point, we can assume that man can look for other ways to fulfil his needs of feeding their creativeness. Many women see us a eternal child playing with our toys (as long as we mature, it means cars, computers, video games….). And I have to agree. I would suggest that men has a visceral need of creating things. We play more, we pursue to build material things, bridges, houses, …Do not take me wrong. I do not mean that women can not do this things as best as men do. But what I see is that women are more solid in term that are more capable to stay cool at the crucial moments of our life They put their feet on the ground and keep stable in difficult moments. I have the example of my mother, but this has happened probably in many others families. If we observe how a woman reacts facing the lost of some of her children, we realize that habitually they recover the control of the situation much quicker that the man. She takes the lead and keeps the family moving on. Specially if there are more children to take care off. I would say that women reacts in a more primary way when the situations are severe. Are much more prepared to prioritize and take the right decisions. At the same time, men use to use more secondary thinking: Analysis and try to go into the reasons for the disaster. And as consequence, we loose the focus and we are more exposed to be out of the scene. Again, this is general. I am just looking to the most common patterns. Of course we can find examples of the opposite. Is curious as we often see woman more emotional, looking for details, giving the false image of weaknesses. Probably because social learning of the expected role. Since the adolescence we expect that women has to take more care of the personal appearance, use make up, keep beauty. Also men is changing to this role, as socially we evolve in such direction. But let us keep on the basics. probably women externalize more the emotions, but thanks to it use better the relief valves of the stress, to be stronger in the most demanding situations. What we can think is a weaknesses, probably is the way they keep ready to step hard on the floor when real difficulties are coming.
Despite of today we consider women able to do any job, we still see few ones in some of them: many women paints, but we do not see many famous painters, as we see men. Also most of the recognized chefs are men, despite that at home still many women plays this role. Could be again because the creativity content of the jobs? Regarding to our performance at work, I have to say that my experience leading teams where we have a good balance of women and men, has been very successful. I do not see any differences, but a lot of complementarity’s that enhance the performance of the team. I would say that at work, women are more straight forward and goes directly to the results. Again, they take usually the role of focusing, and men can play more the creativity, or exploring part. This is why probably is a pity that we still have few women managers at high level in the companies. Many of them, depending of course on their preparation, can do an excellent job. A good gender balance is always better, because is easier to achieve a good complementarity of characters.
To finish, I have to realize that I am surprised with the sacrifice capacity and resilience of woman. They are much able to study and finish professional studies where is required a big studying effort. Men also of course, but we often think more on how to obtain the degree with the minimum effort. Again we tend to use the creative part of us to climb the mountain. But more often than women we give up. Or just we loose more time to go to the same place.