Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A post in which I vent my frustrations. . .

There is very fundamental difference between men and women. It has plagued me so far three times in the past three days, and I am very annoyed. It seems that men rarely acknowledge someone's failure to do something as doing something failingly. Women on the other hand interpret failure to do something as deliberately doing something failingly.

Clearly there are failures that are mainly predicated on omission. For example, if I promise to do something and I fail to do it, I am wrong. If there are conventions that involve exchanges and I get something and then fail to give appropriately, I am guilty. But I am not talking about these normal transactional things.

Apparently there are many inactions that, for women, are open to be interpreted as actions. For example, and this is a big one, failure to call, is a sure sign that men have made some sort of conscience decision to dislike you. (The fact that women don't call is rarely interpreted this way, but that is a different story.)

Men do not think like this. Men believe that there is a fundamental distinction between active and passive. To express displeasure with someone you have to actively do something. Men believe that things will stay the same unless being acted upon, like in physics. Women seem not to have this distinction. You can both do something by doing something, and you can do something by failing to do something.

I find this very perplexing and irritating. Women constantly ascribe beliefs to me that I never imagined having. Do women think that they are so clever that they can figure out what I think by what I failed to do? That is an impressive feat. Men would never have that much hubris. Do women actually signify hate by failure to call? Am I that naive? What the heck is going on here? Don't people realize that I am a VERY busy person, and I do not always have time to call people on some weekly schedule? Do women not know how to call people to say "hello"?

I swear that I usually do not express my hatred of someone by failing to call in a very timely manner. Sometimes I just get too caught up in the other things in my life to call. I have problems too, you know. I have enormous responsibilities. I don't see people being too understanding about those. My problem often involves a very busy day. I wish people would be understanding about that.


Women: get past this. If I hate you, and I really never want to talk to you again, I will call you and inform you of this fact. I am articulate enough to do that. If I do not call you for a while, it is your obligation to call me and tell me that you are aware that I am busy, you have sympathy for me, and you wish you could alleviate my burden, and you will start by being understanding about my temporary forgetfulness and inability to call. That is one option you have. By failing to do that I hold you responsible for any breaking down of any friendships that may occur. It rarely occurs to men to "just call, just to say "hi". Men do not work that way. We can be trained to do that in the context of some sort of relationship, but that will not generally happen naturally, as a rule.

Even in cases where there is something pressing that I should have called about this does not apply. There could be a million reasons I do not call. Do not think that you are clever enough to guess which one applies. You are not.

So to all those female friends I have, call me some time. (You all know who you are.) Do not expect me to realize that I hate you after I have failed to call in a couple of weeks. I will not. Neither will most men.

Who trains you to think like this? Who makes the inference from "Karl failed to do X" to "Karl must believe Y". (Where X and Y are completely unrelated?) That is invalid. I teach logic. I know. That is not a rational way of thinking. If you are not rational, learn. Your irrationality is no excuse. This ought to be a fallacy written up in logic books. Oh, wait, it is. It is called the fallacy of ignorance. (i.e, because you do not have proof that X, you have proof that not X.)

(Sorry for going on. I have been dealing with this non-stop for a few days now, and I hate when people tell me what I think. I have given up.)


Josie said...

yeeeeeeouch! Sounds like you needed to vent so this is unlikely to help but I'll give it a try anyways. Most men don't like to go on and on about their feelings but chicks need verbal feedback so we train men to do this . Now when men are verbally demonstrative because women have trained them to be, they tend to be insincere-not to be manipulative, but because they're doing something they don't really want to be doing but feel obligated to do. Women sense the forced nature of what the men are saying and instead of making the natural connections, they think "I don't believe what he says, so he has to SHOW me how he feels." I'm the first to admit that this is ridiculous, but anyway, when a man hasn't called and a woman is relying on his actions to speak because his words are "insincere," women get mad and think "what an ass." Nevermind that lots of women don't call and nevermind that women created the whole mess in the first place. Now, any women who phones and yells at you for not calling instead of calmly poking around for a reason behind your silence is what we call a "whack-job" in Canada. But be fair. Women can actually be rational. Appeal to this. When a woman calls and gets aggressive about your silence say, "Gee, X, I've been so busy with life and the last week I've fell into bed completely exhausted every night and now I think I'm getting a cold from the overwork-I really thought you'd understand". No woman wants to be the bitch who's not understanding. Sometimes when you have expectations that people will be warm and understanding and you tell them that, they actually work to fill the shoes you've created for them. True story, I've seen this in action. Anyway, sorry everybody has been phoning and tearing your head off, giving women a bad name. Even worse than a woman who gets hysterical over silence is a man who gets hysterical over silence-and they do exist, somehow I manage to find these people.

30 something said...

Could someone start saying girls or chicks instead of women!! It’s clearly more appropriate in the context of this conversation.

Karl said...

I have also realized that girls who act all uppity when people don't call are often trying to stave off criticism that THEY didn't call.

Also, Josie, good advice. Thanks.