It’s no secret that men and women are different – very different (And I’m not just talking about the extra dangling bits.) Okay, so perhaps men aren’t joyriding moon buggies on Mars and women aren’t baking space cakes on Venus, but there’s no denying that men and woman are different creatures, entirely, from seemingly different realms. Shooting back down to Earth, scientists have revealed that men and women’s brains are, indeed, wired differently, but perhaps not as different as one might assume. This is hard to believe when we find ourselves shaking our fists despairingly at the opposite sex, whilst struggling to understand the logic of their mysterious minds.
According to scientists, some of the more definite differences between the brains of men and women, include the size (It’s a fact, men have larger brains than us women!), genetics (The men have been hogging all the Y chromosomes!), location (It may astound you, but a male’s brain is located in a male skull and a female’s brain is located in the….you get my point!), pain sensation (Apparently, the male brain is better able to tolerate pain than the female one, which makes me wonder why us ladies are assigned the job of childbearing?) and last but not least, brain connections (The male brain is generally connected to the penis and the woman brain is generally connected to the … we’ve all done biology!)
If you haven’t been blown away by these outstanding research findings, then you’ll be able to see that the male and female brains really aren’t that different after all. Which leaves us scratching our heads even more so, wondering why the heck we are so different? Could it possibly be down to the fact that our preconceived notions about certain sexes or genders are just self-fulfilling clichés with no logical basis? Nah, surely not?
Let’s take a look at the evidence…
The difference between Man and Woman
Gender Cliché Number 1
“Women take longer to get ready in the morning!”
A man climbs out of bed resembling none other than a caveman whose best response is the occasional “Ugh”. He leaves a trail of mess behind him, from the unmade bedsheets to the bedclothes falling off his bare backside. He enters the bathroom, turns on the shower and jumps into the steaming hot stream. He whips out his toothbrush and gives his teeth a good clean, whilst urinating at the same time (Now, they say men can’t multitask, but this is simply untrue!) He grabs the first bar of soap he can get his hands on. The steam fills the room and all we can hear is whistling from behind the frosted glass of the shower cubical. Three minutes later, he climbs out of the shower, shakes himself off like a dog and then spends a further 5 minutes
doing the willy windmill
…shaving. From walking dead to fully dressed, it took the man only 10 minutes. Sure, he might be sporting odd socks and his tie might be askew, but he is out of the door and ready to start his day.
A woman gets out of bed and tidies the bedsheets immediately. Once she has them looking shipshape, she walks over to the bathroom and begins to rummage through her vanity shelves of beauty products. She spends 5 minutes deliberating whether she should go with Chamomile and Honey body lotion or a Cucumber and Green Tea sugar scrub. In the end, she chooses neither and, instead, opts for a Coconut salt scrub. Whilst a man will wash his hair with anything labelled ‘shampoo’, the woman will choose one on the basis of its smell, brand, effectiveness, quality, colour, popularity… the list goes on. After twenty minutes in the shower, the woman climbs out, ties a towel upon her head and spends a further 5 minutes covering her body in sweet-smelling goodness. She will then open up her jam-packed closet, sigh deeply and say….
Twenty minutes and several outfit changes later, and she
is ready to go walks over to her vanity mirror, where she does her hair and makeup and makes herself look beautiful. Several hours later, she looks a million dollars and is ready to go the supermarket. Wait a minute! The supermarket? Not an Awards ceremony? A wedding? A night on the town? Yes, a supermarket. Because a girl’s got to look her best… always!
Do women take longer to get ready in the morning?
According to Marie Claire, a whopping 91 hours a year (that’s 43 weeks of our lives!) are spent applying makeup, moisturiser and blow-drying our hair each day.
But wait a minute! Before you ladies topple up to the podium to take the trophy for most preened, you might want to take a seat and perhaps have a wet flannel to hand.
Believe it or not, research has shown that on average men spend 81 minutes a day on personal grooming, including cleansing, toning and moisturising, shaving, styling hair and choosing clothes. Whereas, women can get their hair, clothes and make-up done in just 75 minutes.
Surely this doesn’t mean… yes, it does…
Men spend more time getting ready to go out than women!
The research also found that on an average morning men spend 23 minutes in the shower, compared to 22 minutes for women. Perhaps men need that additional minute to moisturize their extra bits? Men then take 18 minutes on their shaving regime, while women – despite them having to trim legs, armpits and bikini lines – take only 14 minutes.
Taking these findings into consideration, it looks like our men have evolved. From hairy cavemen to more preened and plucked than the average women, our men have not only stolen our thunder, but they are also hogging the vanity mirror!
Gender Cliché Number 2
“Men suck at house work!”
Men seem to believe there is a little person with wings who flies around after them transferring clothes on the floor into laundry baskets and washing away hair explosions (AKA remnants of a morning shave) from the sink. Heaven forbid if this diligent little fairy packed up her wings and decided she’d quite like to go on a Caribbean cruise for…the rest of ETERNITY! If said little fairy did retire, what on earth would the male species do? Well, I guess they’d be wallowing in their own mess and dirt.
When a woman enters a room armed with a feather duster or vacuum cleaner – she means business! Typically, she won’t just say to the man “Oi you, get off your a*** and help me do some chores!” but rather, she will start to dust or vacuum around him, whilst leaving subtle hints that she would like a hand. Such as the deep sigh, the lifting of legs as she vacuums beneath him and the general complaining about the hassle.
NOTE TO MEN: If a woman is dusting…EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD BE DUSTING!
Unaware, the man just thinks, “Great! She hasn’t asked me to help. It’s obviously something that she wants to do and she’s doing it, so I’ll just lay back and put my feet up!”
But men aren’t as stupid as we think. No! Under their “What do I do with this sponge on a stick?” pretense, lies a cunning plan…
And so the wife finds herself mopping the floor once again, but yet, she doesn’t complain. Instead, she keeps her angst bottled up inside, ready to explode at any given minute. In fact, the last straw is drawn when she enters the bathroom and see’s that the toilet seat is…. DUN DUN DUN… up! How dare he? I mean, she had given him step-by-step instructions on how to put the toilet seat down, which she had strategically placed on the wall above the toilet at head level. And how could he miss this…?
Well, if he can miss a 13 x 14-inch toilet bowl, the chances are, he’ll miss all the necessary warning signs, too!
Do men suck at house work?
Men might be crap at aiming, but they deserve a gold star in avoiding chores. According to a new survey, 43% of men purposely don’t do house work well so us women get fed up and just do it ourselves. Now, why didn’t we think of that? Oh, that’s right. Because if we gave up washing the dishes, cleaning toilets, ironing, making beds and all those other mundane duties, we’d be knee high in filth and three deep inhales away from catching some nasty bacterial disease.
The study concluded that men spend about an hour less on chores than women each week, spending 2 hours and 31 minutes while women spend 3 hours and 37 minutes. Is there any wonder when the dishes come out of the sink looking dirtier than when they went in? But no! We aren’t falling for that anymore because we now know that men DON’T suck at house work, after all, they just pretend to. I’d better fetch my husband that ‘sponge on a stick’. I’ve got a floor that needs cleaning!
Gender Cliché Number 3
“Not only are men better drivers than women,
…but they can also read maps!”
The woman looks at the baffling book of colourful squiggles and lines with deep concentration. The man spots the woman and scoffs, “Women and maps!” He walks over and turns the book 360° to its rightful position (AKA not upside down!) “I can read a map, you know!”, the woman snaps.
Two hours later, and lost in a random field with no signal, the woman wonders why she didn’t bring her navigation system (Her husband) along with her. With all pride lost, she finds the closest phone box and rings her husband…
Husband: You got lost, didn’t you?
Wife: *Whispers quietly* Yessss.
Husband: I’ll be there in … erm… TWO HOURS!
The Battle Of The Drivers
Why is it that whenever we plan to go out for a day trip, my husband will quickly say “I’ll drive!”? It’s like an instinctive response. Does he not trust me behind the wheel?
You see, men like to think they are the better drivers. They drive around like they own the road, muttering, “Women drivers!” as they get stuck behind a snail pace of a car, only to drive pass and discover it was actually an OLD MAN! In reality, I’m not so sure. This ‘king of the road’ status doesn’t fool me. In fact, when I see an impatient boy racer driving up-my-arse in his father’s fancy sports car, I slow down a notch and, via my rare view mirror, watch the fumes transcend from his ears with a look of satisfaction across my face.
What’s with all the road rage? While women are driving around belting out 80’s power ballads into their imaginary microphones – oblivious to everyone else on the road – men are huffing and puffing at every given opportunity. And when the tough really gets going, they’ll HONK their horn like a badass, because, honking the horn is going to make that slow as a snail driver birth some turbo wheels and drive like a formula one racer! Hmm, okay. Perhaps not.
Whilst the male species act like unruly apes, beating their chests and honking their ‘frighteningly intimating’ horns. Women have more… let’s just say ‘superficial’ issues to deal with.
Like breaking a nail…
Driving in heels…
And fixing one’s makeup…
Are men better drivers and map readers than women?
“Male drivers are 50% more likely to commit a crime once a week or more often.”
It’s a fact, men take more risks. According to studies, men generally display less cautious behavior than women, such as driving at higher speeds and closer to other cars *Coughs* Boy racers! They are also more likely to not wear a seatbelt and drive while intoxicated. However, how someone drives does not necessarily equate to how well they drive. Men do seem to be more proficient at certain driving tasks than women, but ‘seeming’ and ‘being’ are two different things! Despite the research, psychologists claim that it’s difficult to determine whether men are truly innately better drivers than women or if they’re simply more confident in their driving because they are ‘perceived’ to be better and, therefore, show more proficiency. In the same way, the stereotype that women are weaker drivers may negatively impact their performance behind the wheel. I guess the battle of the best driver will always remain a mystery (Although men will always think they are king of the road!) map reading, however, is a male specialty! (Sorry, ladies!)
A dab hand at map-reading?
Dating back to when man first walked the earth, the male species began to develop the ability to picture in the mind the shape, dimensions, coordinates, proportions and movement of objects. In other words, they developed a good sense of spatial awareness, which just so happens to come in quite useful when reading a map! Whilst the cavewomen were in their caves, dusting rocks and making dresses out of tigers, the men were out in the wilderness, calculating the speed, movement and distance of prey (lunch) and working out how fast they would have to run in order to catch it. Fast food at it’s finest!
Funnily enough, scientists have also revealed that lunch wasn’t the only thing on cavemen’s minds. Research shows men evolved with a better sense of direction because it also helped them gallivant for miles in order to find women to have sex with. Scientists say that men may have wanted to breed with women in different regions so they could spread their genes further afield or reduce inbreeding. Consequently, they developed better spatial skills – such as navigation and direction – that are still evident today in the difference between male and female brains *Coughs* …and apparent in the way us ladies are a pro at getting lost in NO signal zones! (but at least our outfits look good, right?)
Gender Cliché Number 4
“Women love to shop and men would rather watch football/play video games!”
The shopping mall: A woman’s idea of heaven and a man’s idea of hell. Whilst we ladies like to take our time over choosing our purchases, men like to make it as quick (and painless) as possible…
That’s right, a quick in and out, with only a pair of jeans to show for it.
Four hours and 24 minutes later, the woman has finally finished her shopping spree. She walks through the door with shopping bags hanging from her arms, ears and nose and quickly sneaks upstairs to hide the evidence.
The man is totally unaware, as he is glued to the TV and very much in ‘sports’ mode.
NOTE TO WOMEN: Never disturb a man when he is in ‘sports mode’, the consequences can be deadly (especially when his favourite team is … dare I say it… losing!) Okay, I’m not talking about poison in your tea deadly, but a man enjoying his sports, should be left to enjoy his sports.
Imagine if we shouted at the TV, the way men do…
Yeah…that would NEVER happen!
Do women love to shop and would men rather watch football/play video games?
The crowded malls, the trying on clothes, the wandering around aimlessly and the indecisiveness of what to buy – these are just a few reasons why men tend to avoid shopping like the bubonic plague.
Generally, shopping is the ladies favourite pastime, however, times are fast changing and it has become common to see single men hitting the shops. But why the sudden interest in wandering the malls? Well, let’s just say it isn’t just the clothes the guys are eyeing up. That’s right, men have finally ‘clocked-on’ that the mall is where the ladies are at and perhaps if they are lucky, they will meet a women there? What a novel idea. Shopping for clothes whilst checking out women! Football, what football?
Gender Cliché Number 5
“Men THINK they know what women want!”
“A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction”
– Oscar Wilde.
It’s commonly known that men are simplistic creatures. Their brains generally look a bit like this…
As you can see from the diagram, a man is lacking in the ‘attentive skills’ department and predominantly has one thing on his mind. I’ll give you a clue… It begins with S and ends in X. When the male species aren’t thinking about sex… wait a minute! Is that possible? … they will most probably be chore-dodging or watching sports with their hands down their pants. With the listening skills of a hyperactive monkey, it’s easy to see why men struggle to understand the female race. What women ‘say’ and what men ‘hear’ are often two very different things…
Women, on the other hand, are a whole new kettle of fish. They are as complex as a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle.
What women lack in the navigation department, they make up for in listening skills and the ability to co-ordinate outfits with handbags.
Listen up, men! When a woman says she’s “FINE!”, she’s NOT fine, she needs a shoulder to cry on. When a woman says “Nothing, forgetting about it!”, she doesn’t mean ‘forget about it’, she means “You better figure out what you did wrong!”. When a woman says “Leave me alone!”, she doesn’t want you to hide in an upstairs room playing video games, she want’s you to stay with her. With different dictionaries altogether, is there any wonder why men haven’t got a clue when it comes to cooperating with their female companions?
Woman don’t want calorific cupcakes and garage-bought flowers. They don’t want scratchy lace briefs and crippling foot rubs…
They just want…
And men…they just want you to show up naked with a crate of beer!
Do Men know really what women want?
Many a man has questioned, “what do women want?” It’s a fact, men and woman operate on different wavelengths, especially when it comes to relationships. Men are logical creatures, whereas women are more in touch with their emotions. But perhaps it’s not entirely the man’s fault for his lack of emotional understanding? After all, society has taught them to keep their feelings hidden and, thus, they tend not to acknowledge their emotions in the way that way women do. This lack of acknowledgement for their own feelings often means that men find it even more difficult to read a women’s emotions, and, therefore, find it hard to understand her needs.
In general, women pay more attention to words. They also tend to read in between lines and can analyse body language and facial expressions in a much better way than men. Generally, men can make decisions without being emotionally affected all that much while women are more likely to take other emotion-related factors into consideration, that most men overlook. Whereas a man will happily accept ‘I’m fine’ as a valid response, a woman might find herself fruitlessly over-analysing his short reply, thinking there MUST be more to it. Perhaps he’s not fine? Is he angry at me? What have I done wrong? …the list goes on.
Sometimes it’s easier to accept those scratchy lace briefs and garage-bought flowers and let our men believe they know what we want, rather than needlessly entering another long-winded argument resulting in a round of make-up sex 3-day sulk.
Gender Cliché Number 6
“Women can’t take a compliment!”
A woman is as terrible at taking a compliment as a man is at giving one.
…And it started off so well!
NOTE TO MEN: Never tell a girl she resembles a cake …or any other food for that matter!
You’re beautiful, you look radiant, you are delightful…any of these would have been great, but a meringue?
Meringue or no meringue, women typically bat off any compliments flying their way. Unfortunately, for a man, it’s a lose-lose situation.
Man: Your dress looks nice.
Woman: What, this old thing? I only wear it to cover up my thunder thighs!
Man: Your hair looks pretty.
Woman: No, it doesn’t! It looks like a rat’s nest!
Man: You look beautiful, today.
Woman: I look beautiful today? And just what was wrong with me yesterday?
Man: Your eyes…
Woman: look awful, I know, it looks like I haven’t slept for a week!
Man: Okay…I give up.
Tell a man he is looking good and he will puff his chest out like a proud robin, and most probably wear the same outfit for the next 40 years!
Can women take a compliment?
Ladies, think about your last encounter with a man (or woman) who complimented you on your smile, outfit or laugh. Did you bat that compliment away faster than a speeding bullet? Did you avert eye contact and look at the ground with cheeks a brighter shade of pink? Or perhaps you pulled out a list as long as your arm full of excuses NOT to accept the compliment? The fact is, most women find it difficult to accept a compliment. But why? Compliments make us feel all warm inside, right?
Perhaps not. According to Psychologist, Susan Quilliam, “Most women’s knee-jerk reaction to a compliment is to think that the other person is just being nice or feeling sorry for them.” She continued, “The second reaction is: ‘What do they want?’ Most women become suspicious of compliments because they find it hard to believe the nice things people say to them. This ‘batting away’ of compliments is generally down to low self-esteem. Women tend to favour self-deprecation over self-assertion, and thus, find themselves unable to accept and/or believe the compliments given to them.
Gender Cliché Number 7
“Men handle break-up’s better than women!”
A woman breaks up with a man. She spends the following couple of days crying into the shirt he left behind, whilst listening to power ballads and spooning ice cream into her mouth between sobs. Her ex-boyfriend, on the other hand, is making the most of his new-found freedom…
Well, what else was he going to do with the £1500 engagement ring money?
One week later, the woman has burnt his every single belonging, as well as, everything he had ever bought her.
Meanwhile, the guy finds himself knee high in his own mess (That cleaning fairy had also done a disappearing act!) and eating his weight in Krispy Creme Donuts.
One month later, the woman has washed that man right out of her hair. She has also ditched the Ben & Jerry’s and Adele Cd’s for nights out with the girls.
The man. He is STILL knee high in his own mess and eating his weight in Krispy Creme Donuts.
Do men handle break up’s better than women?
Let’s face it: Some relationships aren’t meant to be.
While it is usually the women sobbing inconsolably into their pillow’s prior a breakup, it is, in fact, men, who find breakups more difficult to handle. Several studies have shown that men experience more depression, distress, and anxiety after breakups than women do. No, your eyes do not deceive you – men might come across as being tough as an overcooked steak, but in reality, they, too, are sobbing inconsolably into their pillows whilst listening to depressing music on a loop. Men are just able to mask their suffering better than women.
Women are more likely to ‘cry it out’ after the breakup, and subsequently, get it out of their systems much earlier than men do. Guys, on the other hand, tend to suppress their emotions, so that ‘grieving’ stage lingers. They are also less likely to confide in a friend in the way women do. Research indicates that men depend on romantic relationships for emotional intimacy and social support, whereas women are more likely to turn to family and female friends to fulfil those needs. So, where does this leave our men? Knee high in his own mess and eating his weight in Krispy Creme Donuts, I guess.
Gender Cliché Number 8
“Men can handle pain better than women!”
There’s a scream in the other room. The man quickly rushes over to his very distressed girlfriend who is clenching on to her hand in pain. “What’s happened?” The man asks, panic-stricken. The woman looks up at her boyfriend, with tears in her eyes and cries… “I’ve broken my nail!”
There’s a bang in the other room. The woman quickly rushes over to see what the loud sound was. A heavy object had fallen onto her boyfriend’s foot. He looks at her without a tear in his eye and says, “Don’t worry, it’s fine. I didn’t feel a thing!”. As it turned out, everything was NOT fine, he had broken every bone in his foot.
The following week, he gets a common cold (AKA man flu) …
Can men handle pain better than women?
The fact is, no one really knows for certain whether women and men perceive pain differently, let alone how they react to it. However, studies have shown that women appear to feel pain more intensely than men. This was proven during an experiment that subjected both women and men to the same painful situation (being exposed to gradually increasing heat) in which the women were typically the first to react. Yet, other studies show that women handle pain better than men do. It is thought that this might be because women have more experience coping with pain, such as during menstruation and childbirth, and, therefore, we know how to prepare for painful episodes.
I mean, popping an 8lb human being through a 10 cm cervix is no picnic in the park, but neither is being kicked in the testicles. I guess, we will forever have to battle it out until studies give us more solid evidence, however, one thing that does stand some ground, is the fact that…
Wait for it… wait for it…
MAN FLU IS REAL!
You have heard me correctly! A study has revealed that men may actually suffer more when they have influenza because high levels of testosterone can weaken immune response.
Gender Cliché Number 9
“Men have terrible memories!”
Men. They have a mind like a sieve. In fact, they generally only remember what they (think they) NEED to remember, which mostly consists of what time the sports is on that evening and the phone number for dominoes pizza delivery.
A woman, on the other hand, has a mind like executives planners. She knows every detail about her offspring, including dental appointments, after school clubs, friendship groups, romances, favourite foods and life ambitions. She knows every relatives birthday and how old they will be. And most importantly, she knows when you first met, your wedding anniversary and the dates of crucial moments in your relationship, you know, like that time you first held hands, kissed, went stargazing, went to the movies … *Snore*
And God forbid if a man was ever to….DUN DUN DUN….forget one of these very important dates. He’ll be paying for it for the rest of his living days.
Thank goodness for Facebook reminders…
Do men have terrible memories?
Men are frequently accused of forgetting birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and even something as simple as taking the bins out. But, are men genuinely more forgetful or are they trying to wriggle themselves out of a pickle or two?
Hold those pickles! Apparently men ARE more forgetful. Researchers have found some preliminary evidence that women are better at recalling memories than men, particularly autobiographical ones. Girls and women tend to recall these memories faster and with more specific details when compared to those of boys and men.
But why is this? It is suggested that this could come down to the way parents talk to their daughters, in comparison to how they talk with their sons. During early childhood children begin to learn how to form memories. Researchers believe this happens mostly through conversations with others, primarily our parents. However, studies have shown that mothers tend to introduce more snippets of new information in conversations with their young daughters than they do with their young sons. When a mother asks her child for more details about something that happened that day in school, for example, she is implicitly communicating that these extra details are essential parts to the story, which explains why those little details are so important to women and less so for men.
Okay, so perhaps we can let the odd bin-bag go, but there’s no excuse for a forgotten anniversary! Get working on that Sudoku, chaps!
Gender Cliché Number 10
“Women always pack waaay too much!”
Summer has come around and it’s time to pack for that annual holiday.
A woman will try to squeeze everything but the kitchen sink into her suitcase. You know, just in case she might need that trouser-press, exercise bike or foot spa. Over a 4 week period, she’ll add and subtract to said suitcase until she’s happy with its contents. She’ll even make an all-important checklist, to make sure that she doesn’t miss any essential goods. With enough clothes to stock a store, she lumbers not one, not two, but three cram-packed suitcases down the stairs and almost kills herself in the process.
A man will pack the bare essentials into his suitcase five minutes before departure, after the 25th “You still haven’t packed for the trip?” hint from his wife.
He will then get lumbered with his wife’s heavy suitcases and spend the best part of the holiday complaining about his back.
Do women pack more than men?
Men have always been puzzled by how many clothes their female partners cram into suitcases (and by cram, I mean – jumping up and down on it to get the damned thing closed – cram!) No study needs to tell us that women pack far more clothes than men do when they go on holiday. But why do women feel the need to pack so much?
According to a leading psychologist, ‘over-packing’ actually shows a women’s ability to plan for every eventuality. Because, you never know when you might need that trouser press or foot spa, right? And heaven forbid, if we forget something extremely important, like our undergarments!
Talking of undies, research – commissioned by travelsupermarket.com – found that on a typical 14-night summer break, the average woman packed 12 pairs of underwear and men just nine. In addition, a quarter of men packed just five pairs while nearly one in ten ladies took 20 or more. Although, this might come as no surprise considering a man’s inclination for the ‘front ways, backs ways, inside out’.
Men are from Earth and women are too!
It might be hard to believe, but biologically men and women really aren’t as different as one might believe. Sometimes it might seem like we are from completely different planets, but the truth is, our brains more or less function in the same way. However, there is no denying that men and women operate on different wavelengths. We only have to look above to see that we aren’t on the same page and, others time, even in the same book! But if our brains are near enough wired in the same way why do our books tell such a different story?
Rather than finger pointing to insufficient biological differences, perhaps civilisation itself is to blame? Has evolution written the rules of how male and women SHOULD be? Could it be that our perceptions of what is “natural” for the sexes is somewhat bias? The gender cliches – although very humorous – are not necessarily a true representation of how men and women really are. Sure, some men are bone-idol in the cleaning department, but others are domesticated Gods. And yes, some women shop until their arms pop from their shoulder sockets, but others rather stay home and watch the football. What I’m trying to say, is, perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to assume that there is a pertinent sex difference until one actually emerges from rock-solid evidence? Men better drivers! Tsk!
Rather than categorize men and women into societal boxes, maybe we should view them as individuals and embrace their distinct qualities and attributes, whether these fall into the ‘norm’ or not.
Let’s do away with the gender stereotypes and embrace the differences and similarities between men and women, because actually, it is those imperfections and quirks that make us all the more attracted to the opposite sex, right? …