Day 4: Think Like the Opposite Sex

When I was in college, I believed that men and women were exactly the same. I was certain that any differences between us were a result of socialization, not science. I even based my senior English thesis on the idea. Yet, despite countless hours of feminist research, I had a hard time finding evidence to back up my claim.

Now, as a mature adult, I am convinced that we are very different, and not just because we’re socialized that way. The scientific debate over our differences still rages, but it seems undeniable that we are wired differently. Side note: If you’ve got the time, there’s an interesting test that attempts to measure the sex of your brain.

So back to the inspiration behind today’s challenge. I was recently at a party, chatting with some male acquaintances. Earlier that day, I had volunteered at a sporting event and did a horrible job. They were joking around and giving me a hard time about my poor performance, and then one of the guys said, “It’s ok. I still want to see you without your shirt on.”

Somehow, the conversation then shifted to speculation about the type of underwear I was or wasn’t wearing and admissions that they’d been checking out my ass. Mind you, these guys are in relationships with women they care for deeply, and they were drunk.

I was a bit conflicted about how to react. Part of me was offended. I felt disrespected, objectified, demeaned. The other part of me, I’ll admit, was strangely flattered. Mostly, though, I was frustrated and confused about why the conversation took such a turn.

I swear to you, if I’m not feeling invisible to men, I’m feeling like all they want is my body. What about my mind, or more importantly, my heart? And what am I doing to attract this type of unwanted attention?

I was so confused and frustrated that I discussed it with my mother. She made a good point, “At least they were being honest about what they were thinking.” As our discussion continued, the idea for today’s challenge was born.

Of course, I now realize this challenge is virtually impossible. First of all, I don’t really know how men think. Secondly, I don’t really know how anyone else thinks. We’re all individuals with unique brains. But in order to complete today’s challenge, I came up with a few generalizations to help myself out. I decided the male mind is:

  1. More logical, less intuitive
  2. More linear, less circular
  3. More aggressive, less passive
  4. More simple, less complicated
  5. More sexual, less emotional

But even with these guidelines, as soon as the day started, I knew I  wouldn’t be able to think like a man any more than I can think in a foreign language. Instead I had to translate. Here’s how it went.

My thought: Do I have time to blow-dry my hair this morning?

Translation: Do I have time to masturbate this morning?

My thought: This shirt is too low-cut to wear to school.

Translation: No translation available.

My thought: Cute shoes!

Translation: Nice legs.

My thought: Ewww. There are fish tails in this soup. I don’t want to eat it, but everyone’s looking at me. Ugh. I gotta do this.

Translation: Hmmm. Tails. Whatever. I’m hungry. Haha. I’m eating tail.

My thought: The basket on my bicycle is not a trash can!!!

Translation: That’s what you get for having a bike with a basket.

My thought: I want chocolate.

Translation: I want a big fat steak and a beer.

So that’s how my day went. I can’t say I had any major epiphanies, but hopefully the idea will stay with me and come to the rescue the next time I’m baffled by male behavior.

How did you fare on Day 4? I would especially love to hear from the men on this one.

Tomorrow’s Challenge: Sing at the Top of Your Lungs!


13 thoughts on “Day 4: Think Like the Opposite Sex

  1. Hilarious!
    I thought I wouldn’t know where to begin to think like a man, but then I took that test, and it turns out my brain is right smack in the middle. Plus, your translations help. 🙂

  2. I guess I must be jaded based on past experiences, because if I was truly thinking like a man today I would stare at women’s chests, ask someone out to dinner, have a seemingly great date, try to have sex with them and never call them again. ha ha. I’m not very good at being a man, so I’ll stick to being a woman. 🙂

  3. Ha! This made me legitimately “LOL”. I find myself thinking more like a guy – ummm, I think – than a gal OFTEN when it comes to completing goals. My sensitivity chip tends to short out when I’m focused on achieving, and, I’ve been the one to say things which can come off as insensitive…WHICH is an epiphany I had while reading this today. So, thanks….I think? ha ha Seriously, great blog. xo

  4. In As Good as it Gets, Jack Nicholson is asked, “How do you write women so well?,” Nicholson responds, “I think of a man and I take away reason and accountability.” After a combined 44 years of marriage to two woman, I realize I don’t have a clue how women think, so I did not even try to meet this challenge. However, during my golf round, while I did not hit from the ladies’ tees, I certainly hit the ball like a woman beginner. I can’t claim I hit it “like a woman”, because we have an LPGA pro as a member, and she hits it way better than I can when I am at my peak.

  5. To think like the opposite sex: what a challenge! One is not likely to have a conscious awareness of what influences one’s own thoughts. Without that awareness, what chance is there of understanding the thoughts of the opposite sex? But not to give up on this venture is the key to forming incredible closeness, partnership, rapport or just simple connection in dialogue and clarity through seeing from another’s eyes. So I asked, and listened, and asked and LISTENED until we were both certain that we understood the thoughts of the other. How else can anyone begin to understand the thinking of another human being, be they the same sex or opposite sex? It is late and we are traveling. Will post a more stereotypical, but based on observation, comment later while singing at the top of my lungs in the shower. No peeking now!

  6. Such a great and relevant topic! And I’d love to give input; yet I’m finding it surprisingly difficult. Here I am, the guy always complaining about the banality that is so common to facebook (having lunch at Subway…just dropped the kids at daycare…heading to the grocery store) then my friend Angela posts another substantive piece and I feel totally constrained by the blog/reply format. It’s the kind of topic we should explore for hours over a pitcher of beer (and whatever you’re having!).

    There’s nature vs nurture, guys who only want one thing (or do they?), gold diggers, violence and the implied threat of violence, world view, brain chemistry, sex (of course!), and how we ever manage to exist on the same planet much less in the same house. And that’s just for starters.

    I will say, having raised a son and daughter into their teens, that I firmly believe fem./masc. traits are largely inborn. As, I think, are many – even most – of our basic personality traits. Most of what people notice about my kids now is what people noticed when they were five.

    And also – and this is the big one that always comes up – generally speaking, women find men who are giving them money, or the things it buys, more attractive. And men find women who are giving them sex, or implying that they will, more attractive. And neither understands how the other could possibly be so shallow. I’d suggest we could all stop interpreting this as a character flaw in the opposite sex and choose to view it as just one part of their emotional/psychological make-up. But then, I’m a big fan of both sex and money…

  7. Catching up on posting day 4’s thinking like the opposite sex. I suppose I, Walt, could begin by saying I was distracted from the task by some sales and was so excited that I couldn’t get back to this until now. Had to take everything back to the stores too. Asked my wife if the new outfits I bought made me look fat. And she (thinking like a man) told the truth…. My feelings were crushed, and I didn’t want the clothes any more (except for those great spiky high heels which I will use on him with vengeful intent next time we go dancing:).
    Anyway, we went on a trip that day and planned to come home for a romantic dinner I had planned. I drove, and thinking like a woman, even stopped to ask for directions over the strenuous objections of my wife. She, thinking like a man, insisted on figuring out the route by herself. Imagine that!
    As the day wore on, we both wore out and started the long drive home. She, thinking like a man, was driving. I, thinking like a woman, noticed a nice restaurant a short distance ahead and said: “Honey, look. There’s a nice restaurant!”. She just looked and said “Uh huh”, and kept on driving. Needless to say I was so infuriated. If she (thinking like a man) really loved me she would know that I was tired and would rather be taken out to dinner than have to prepare it at home. I shouldn’t have to say anything! Of course the lummox, thinking like a man, just continued down the road as if nothing had happened. And I just stewed.
    Well, we finally arrived at home. I, thinking like a woman, was too upset to fix dinner. She, thinking like a man, couldn’t figure out what was wrong. The chauvinist pig. She probably doesn’t know why she’ll be sleeping on the couch either.
    And to end the day, I, thinking like a woman, lost it all when I found the toilet seat UP!!! SCREAM…….

    Glad to get back to being myself at midnight. Whew, what a day!

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