Guest post by Laverne H. Bardy whose humorous, often irreverent, slant on life in general, and aging in particular, draws a large readership. She has been syndicated with Senior Wire News Service since 2004 and you can find her columns on the Huffington Post. Her book, How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old? was released in January, 2012, and is a compilation of the best of her columns.
Michael G. Conner, Clinical and Medical Psychologist, writes that men are built for physical confrontation, and their skulls are usually thicker than a woman’s. This, of course, comes as no surprise to women. What I didn’t know was men’s skulls are thick because they are “attracted to reckless behavior,”which explains their interest in slaying dragons, battling alligators, and any excuse for a slugfest. Dr. Conner says that “women have four times as many brain cells as men. While men rely on their left brain to solve one problem, one step at a time, women can more easily access both sides of their brain and focus on more than one problem at a time,” which often drives men to distraction.
Throughout centuries men have protected and provided for their families. In caveman days they gathered firewood, invented tools, killed wild animals, and spent excessive time butting heads with dinosaurs; a sport well suited for thick skulls. The little women stayed home, created murals on cave walls, sported rabbit skin originals, prepared tasty bison recipes, gave birth on dirt floors, and did their best to stay one step ahead of diaper-free toddlers.
In the 1800’s men left their families for months and drove cattle across long dangerous trails through mountains and valleys in harsh weather. Women stayed behind with the children. Their only responsibilities were to scrounge for food, and fight off wolves and Indians, from the comfort of their homes.
In the early 1900’s men did their best to cocoon women from the harsh realities of the world. They seemed to know, instinctively, that women were best suited for domestic work. But obstinate, unappreciative women bucked and defied men’s good intentions and insisted on battling for equality.
Men are often guarded when meeting other men. They intuitively know how much is safe to divulge. They discuss generic topics such as sports, politics, and the hot chick at the end of the bar. They mention the world-wide cruise they’re planning (even if they’re not), and the new Benz they’re thinking about buying (even though they’re not).
A woman will usually jump in and lead with her mouth. Within five minutes of meeting another women she’ll offer the name and number of her plastic surgeon and her shrink. She’ll reveal that her husband had an affair, her son has learning disabilities, and her teenage daughter is promiscuous. She’ll delight in discussing anything and everything about sex.
Up until the late 1970’s men’s and women’s roles were fairly well defined. Men grappled with difficult undertakings such as wars, unemployment, taxes, and finding affordable World Series tickets. Women dealt with daily menu selections, Big Bird and Ernie, diaper changes, and perfecting faux smiles that hid their true feelings.
Recent years show the line between male and female roles is becoming blurred. Men are taking a more active part in homemaking and child rearing, and women are thriving in the business world.
I was thinking about the television commercial Jets football star, Joe Namath, made back in 1973, where he struck a seductive pose while sporting a pair of Hanes’ pantyhose. He made that commercial in the middle of the sexual revolution. I don’t know how men felt about it but women loved that this handsome, brawny, quarterback had the courage to show his feminine, sensitive, side.
In my fantasy Namath, who had a huge following, could have gotten better mileage out of his celebrity by encouraging men to include pantyhose in their own wardrobes. Maybe, if he had done this, stereotypical male/female roles would have been obliterated by now. But, I suspect, that after enduring the constricted waistbands, and suffocating discomfort of pantyhose, Namath opted to shirk an opportunity to advance the sexual revolution and chose, instead, to return to smashing bodies and banging heads with other football titans. Personally, I think that Joe Namath dropped the ball.
Hey, it’s my fantasy and I’m stickin’ to it.
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