Posted by Nacho on December 16, 2010
If you haven’t visited Nacho’s blog, please take the time to stop by and dig in his archives. His posts are always intelligent, funny, and with lots of very useful information, so you can have an eye opening experience, and mind blowing time.
Now, without further ado, I leave the stage for Nacho.
Fascination as a Container
I saw them the other day while I was having a short walk. They were sat on a bench, and he was talking about i-phone models, I think. As for her, she dazzled me: her eyes, her body language, something in the seriousness of her silence… all of her as a whole was the living image of receptivity. She was fascinated, receiving all of that as one who receives the rain.
I am a very enthusiastically kind of person, and I remember having received that kind of attention in several of my former girlfriends, now and then, generally in situations when I was rambling about books or music. And I hope that memory does not play tricks on me, but I think that, even while those moments were taking place, in spite of the ‘natural high’ that love always induces on you, I clearly perceived that the fascination I was granted with had very little to do with the particular contents I was producing. Instead of books, I could have been an obsessive stamp collector or a vegetarian die-hard fan for the case. What my girls liked, just like what that girl seemed to like in her i-phonic friend, was the spark of illusion, the beauty of fascination, the fact that something in this world of us can cause such a state in a human being.
So there was a clear distinction between the object that created fascination, and the fascination itself. The first element, in all the cases I’ve seen, seemed to have a secondary role. I have a theory for that.
I just cannot know, of course, but I’ve always had a feeling that men are more oriented to the ‘what’ of things, while women’s great specialty is the ‘how’. The easiest example at hand is their typical entertainments in popular culture for each of them:
Men – Sports
-”They won by (what?) 8 points yesterday’s match”
-”Among (what?) the five first teams in the league”
-”His average speed is (what?) 20% faster than its competitors”
(Additionally, the ‘how’ is very feeble: Question: how does the coach feels about winning the match? Answer: OBVIOUSLY, he feels very happy, because they have worked a lot and it puts them in a good situation to face the finals, etc. Which is a very primitive, secondary, and previsible, set of feelings).
Women – Gossip press
-”He later declared that he was (how?) very sorry for his remarks”
-”10 of the (how?) best/worst dressed celebrities”
(Additionally, the ‘what’ is usually quite insignificant (to the desperation of men!): the ‘celebrities’ who elaborate their disappointment, who tell everything about their wedding or the birth of their child, etc, are very often, if you think it, a not-so-famous singer, an actress who has not done something worthwhile in three decades or so, the former fiancée of a former tennis player, who something of the kind).
Of course, I don’t claim to be an expert on the issue of genders. As my theory is mostly a hunch, I’m sure you can allege a ton of counter-examples if you want to. To make things even harder, biologically, gender is not binary; we cannot simply create the ‘how’ and ‘what’ tribes because, hormonally, we all human beings have a male and a female part; there are no pure categories in nature, but a continuum. As soon as you abandon Sesame Street-like simplifications, the issue of gender can take you very far… far beyond, indeed, than what is intended in the dimensions of a blog post! But precisely because it is an issue with such a richness and complexity, I think it is necessary that we abandon clichés about it as soon as possible and start to explore and discuss it with more naturality. So this is my humble contribution to the matter, with my acknowledgement to Raul for allowing me to publish in his terrific blog.
What do you think?
Nacho Jordi is a polymath mostly (but not exclusively) focused on writing, music, psychology, spirituality beyond cliché and personal productivity. He works as a translator in Madrid (Spain). He is the author of the Zerebria blog, where he offers tips and hints for personal development and conscious living, besides all kind of contemporary musings.