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:
- More logical, less intuitive
- More linear, less circular
- More aggressive, less passive
- More simple, less complicated
- 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!