As of Thursday, February 20, 2014
The Dalles To the editor:
(Edited for length.)
I consider myself blessed to be married to the same gorgeous woman for 61 years and having raised both sons and daughters, I have more than once been perplexed by the mysterious differences in the thought processes between males and females. Oh, yes! If you aren’t aware, I promise you that one day that light will dawn as you mumble in desperation wondering “What did I do wrong?” I like to picture myself the “white knight” riding to the rescue of my damsel in distress. But instead of appreciation, she often seems upset with me when I try to be helpful and I ask her, “Why are you angry?”
Life goes on and I gradually gained new insights into my puzzle.
For example, in the supermarket I noticed a young couple searching for a certain food item. As they shared thoughts about its probable whereabouts, the man strode off to distant parts of the store while the woman started down the nearest aisle. At first I admired what I took to be teamwork. But the man returned empty-handed and she asked, “Why did you go clear over there?”
At that precise moment came part of my answer: Different thought processes result from their different world views and perspectives. My wife’s viewpoint is that she is capable of dealing with the problem and all she wants from me is to listen to her. She takes my offer to help as the lack of confidence in her coping ability.
I recently read that human or humanoid footprints 800,000 years old were found in England embedded in concreted sandstone. Then I thought that over thousands of millenniums, men, as warriors and protectors, their perspectives were mainly distant on the horizon. Also over millenniums, female perspectives were close: the home, child-rearing and feeding.
I believe these different perspectives were essential for the survival of family and tribe, and this may likely be coded into our DNA.
Modern perspectives don’t require most men to constantly search the horizon for enemies. And most women today are free to expand their perspectives well beyond home and hearth. These changes may be progress, but may take a millennium or two for families to successfully adapt. Especially for our children, who learn most naturally from mimicking adult behaviors as their role models and learning examples.