The Writer's Voice

The World's Favourite Literary Website

The Spirited Debate Between Men and Women


Ken Bushnell

The other day, while going through a checkout line, I waited while the woman in front of me and the female clerk had a delightful, engaging conversation. It was obvious from the content they weren't acquainted, yet they found all manner of depth to the topics they discussed. Then I, a male, came up to the counter and was greeted with short, curt replies designed to process me through as quickly as possible. The difference was like night and day. This clerk was a pro at the spirited debate between men and women.

Communication between the sexes should have been a more important issue over the last thirty years as we integrated the work force. Some of its most basic premises have been ignored. While the government mandated it, employers were forced to throw the sexes together, and we the people were left to iron out the differences. Not an easy task.

Men and women are different. Our inherited makeup is so powerful that it sways meaning and dignity in all our business and working communications. The rutting offensive by women on male superiority in the workplace, by no means unfounded, only contributes to inefficiency where we strive for increased productivity.

Our inherited roles are profound. The male of our species have been hunters and gatherers for ages. As the larger and often stronger of the two it has been his job to protect and hunt.

Abhorrent behavior may have generated aggressiveness toward other tribes or in establishing his hierarchy in his own tribe or village. The female too, has inherited behavior associated with her roles, duties and physical stature. She may have developed increased dexterity and communication skills as the minor in physical size and duties inclined towards home and the village. Protective instincts may have been reinforced while she was rearing and Ogg was hunting. As intellectual beings these roles have manifested themselves in our customs and cultures.

One intriguing difference that affects the workplace of modern day is how we communicate with members of our own sex. Men are combative by nature. They appreciate a spirited debate that allows bonding. Women communicate more openly and 'tell all' to coworkers at the slightest provocation. Put more handsomely by Deborah Blum in her book Sex on the Brain: "Women in general, cushion themselves with the company of others in a way that eludes men..." Citing another author she quotes: "Men love to build hierarchies... Any traditionally male-dominated organization - from military to the corporation - is based on a pecking order, a chain of command.  Rules accommodate competition, even confrontation. Picking a fight can actually be a way for men to relate to one another, check each other out, and take a first step toward friendship... and this kind of bonding is alien to women, who see confrontation as causing painful, hard to mend rifts in their feminine fabric of connection."

Hundreds if not thousands of generations have brought us to this point in time to throw us together in the workplace. Rather than deal with the differences, naturally we make rules, regulations and even laws in an attempt to control each other's behavior. We are successful, to a degree, in establishing productivity with tools such as time lines, brain storming, marketing plans, etc., to guide workers in their efforts together. Productivity suffers as women find male communication patterns disruptive and abrasive. Men are suspicious of women's ability to form bonds.

Critique this work

Click on the book to leave a comment about this work

All Authors (hi-speed)    All Authors (dialup)    Children    Columnists    Contact    Drama    Fiction    Grammar    Guest Book    Home    Humour    Links    Narratives    Novels    Poems    Published Authors    Reviews    September 11    Short Stories    Teen Writings    Submission Guidelines

Be sure to have a look at our Discussion Forum today to see what's
happening on The World's Favourite Literary Website.