Saturday, November 20, 2010

Mindless Martians

A regular female reader, Devie, explained why she assumed my gender wrong.

I guess I was misled primarily because 99% of the blogs I read are written by women and it was a quick generalization on my part since there was no mention of your gender.

Also, you're pretty considerate in letting others share their opinions and aren't overbearing with yours – a trait I've seen more frequently in women than men.

Coming from a truthful person, intelligent debater, strong analyst and someone with in-depth knowledge of worldly affairs; the second paragraph is a great compliment for a blogger.

However after a little introspection and analysis of some fellow men, appreciation turned into apprehension. Agreed being overbearing is relative but inventor of relativity theory Albert Einstein once wrote

When a man sits with a hot girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But if he sits on a hot stove, a minute is longer than an hour. That is relativity.

Do most men, if not all, are ‘hot stoves’ in debates?

Do most men, if not all, push a point to the extent of becoming overbearing?

Do you (men or women) find this remark disquieting?

Can we men take it as an honest feedback and attempt to change?

(Author’s Note: - Dear readers, usually your comments are better than my original posts; therefore I look forward to your comments. Keeping the sensitivity of the subject, consider posting comments as ‘Anonymous’ but tell your gender and most importantly be candid and frank.

Comment from Devie republished with her permission.)

37 comments:

Choco said...

I agree with Devie... On the considerate part.

But I feel that no one likes honest feedback. Also it depends on whom it is coming from. To me, men seem to fall for mindless flattery a lot more easily than women. Is it because they think highly of themselves?
That said. I do have guy friends who can take honest feedback. Honest, not brutal mind you.
And one more point not related to the post. People seem nicer… a lot nicer and wiser in their blogs. Something about the power of the written word perhaps! Cool post! :)

SG said...

Nice post. I did not find this remark disquieting. I have not had this experience. In my case, the opposite is true. I have seen quite a few women bloggers delete or never publish comments that are not agreeable to them. Some commenters even threaten to stop reading my posts if I allow comments that are not to their liking.

However, I allow all people to comment even if I don’t agree with them. I have just one rule. No name calling or vulgar words. Since you read my post regularly, I am sure you are aware of this.

Bedazzled said...

lol!! actually for a long time i assumed that you were a female blogger too !No,i dont think men are hot stoves when it comes to debates.. Nor do i think that women are cool cucumbers at debates..its just a matter of temperament.I dont agree with the other 2 statements as well and the 3rd remark doesn't disquiet me.I guess the men are from mars ,women are from Venus attitude just over generalizes things.

A said...

@Choco,

Yes. People are nicer on blogs. That is why I say 'Introspection'....I was happy with her comment but then I thought may I am different in real life.

@SG,

My main point is do you find the remark about 'men can be overbearing' disturbing? My point is not about comments on blog. Of course I know you are a good example of free speech.

@Bedazzled,

Now that makes you 5th person to think like. Devie was the first one to say it but there are three other people thought the same. Generalization are based on looking at big sample. Of course not every one is same but if 80% men stress the point to much then we can generalize. And say 20% females stress the point too much then we can say most women don't stress the point. I am going by 80-20 rules. Based on my sampling around 80% men stress too much and around 20% women are in same boat. But of course I can be wrong as it is not an exact science and that is the reason for this post to hear from all of you.

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Awesome topic and post and coming from a man- that is you, it is very commendable. Shows your intelligence and sensitivity.

Now coming back to your topic. Yes, you are one of the rare, few, unique, MAN blogger (note- I have not said men), that I enjoy reading.
Because as you have so very rightly said,"most men, if not all are like hot stoves", "most men, if not all, push the point to the point of being overbearing".

I have even come across very jerk, looser kind of men bloggers, who would go to the extent of commenting on their own blog posts, "anonymously", just to prove their point. This is the extent to which they can be "overbearing" and "hot stoves".

Huge applaud to you for writing such fabulous post.

Choco said...

:( I did not mean you. I am still new to this blog. And from what I have read so far. You ARE considerate, seem well read and immensely calm! Peace out :V

A said...

@Kiran,

Thanks. Really appreciate it.

@Choco,

Thanks for compliment. I know you did not mean to say 'me' in your first message. But I know myself and I think I am nicer on blog. On the same time, I am learning from blog to be always nice. When I read Devie comment, initially I was happy but then I thought maybe it is only on blogs..how about non blogging life and that faded my happiness and I started thinking maybe men are overbearing in discussion including myself.

Bikramjit said...

awwwwwwwwwww "A" can i have a moment to laugh it out please .. :) ok done

Blogging has taught a lot to me too.. and let me ask a question why should it matter is a blogger is a male or female , I thought the reason we go to blogs or read articles is for the material NOT WHO HAS written.. Its more like WHAT Is written in it ..

I got 108 followers and i am sure 90%+ are ladies so that doesnot make me how do i say lady like :) he he he

I Think as written in the article there are more female bloggers...

Coming to your question Men as hot stoves, I doubt that these days its the same, most ladies too are hot stoves, the reason is we as humans dont have patience..

Honest feedback well i am sure more of the people i write comments on would say that i do write what i think, take ur blog i have written what i think sometimes now what what you would have expected..

It doesnot bother me about what comments come to my article because everyone has there own opinion, Plus I do feel that if we write genuine and honest comments then that would make the writer a BETTER WRIter..

Dont know about overbearing, But yeah i got a problem in letting go.. :) i need answers to the questions thats for sure WHY WHAT HOW's ..

I hope this makes some sense .. I am a MALE by the way :)

dr.antony said...

The blogosphere is probably dominated by men. And I am not surprised they blog differently from women.There are inherent differences in the programming of male and female minds.I can quote some observations.

“Boys are programmed to move, make things move, watch things move. We now know that the motivation for movement is biologically wired into the male brain. A boy’s superior ability to track moving objects isn’t the result of being conditioned by his environment. It’s the result of having a male brain.”

“Studies show that from an early age, boys are interested in different activities than girls.”

“The male and female brains have access to the same circuits but, without intervention, use them differently,” writes Dr. Brizendin( The Male Brain.Dr Louann Brizendin.MD)

For me,form my limited blogging experience, I was able to differentiate male and female bloggers,even when they try to conceal identity.
They choose topics more humane and sensitive,and have a style which differs,and are more receptive when it comes to arguments.

R. Ramesh said...

like choco I ALSO feel that no one likes honest feedback...ya...a couple of posts can easily reveal male or female identity i think..maybe i am wrong...

Harman said...

Well well... Good job!! the content matters male or female doesn't...matter... but I have noticed one thing men generally loose track of mind in an good looking company :)

Aparna said...

Thanks for offering to help. I'm well ensconced now!
About the post..I've met both kinds of Men and Women. But I guess I've met more men of the kind you mention in your bullet points. Still, the important thing is to not assume that every man you meet is going to be like that.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Traveller said...

Well, I love the Einstein quote, though I don't know that I find men overbearing. At least, I'm sure there are at least as many overbearing women of my acquaintance as men.

I thought you were a woman for a while, mostly because you continued to come and visit my blog, which I would expect more from a woman. I was quite surprised to learn that both you and SG were men!

kavita said...

I think it's a 'personality thing'and has got nothing to do with the gender.Like Aristotle said-
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
I saw this trait in you in your many posts for example Mahatma Gandhi post.
One can only pretend for a certain time to be nicer in blogs but sooner or later you do see the kind of person behind those posts.
I think it is the right time to tell you that i love reading your blog .
Have a nice week A .

Ria said...

Yes most of the ppl dont like honest feedback eben though i beg to differ on this one, i would appreciate it if ppl were more honest in life.

Let me tell u this that i love reading ur blog.

Insignia said...

There are both kinds; in real life and in blogosphere. Just chill :)

A said...

@Bik,

I am glad I could make you laugh. Sure people read blogs for contents and that is exactly what Devie also said in her first comment. See her comment on ‘Fashion’. Are you not happy you have 108 followers..that is awesome. I am struggling in that area. But does not matter. Well some men and some women are hot stove but question here is ‘most’? Can we put ‘most’ with men or not. With regard to feedback, can we men (assuming we are hot stoves in discussion) take her feedback and try to change..assuming we need to. Yes, problem with ‘not letting go’ cost me a lot. Think about yourself as juggler. Do you think a juggler can juggle without letting go? Easier said than done…of course.

@Dr. Antony

Thanks for detailed description and quotes gender programming. I sincerely respect all scientist, doctors, engineers, medical professionals. I am an Engineer myself so can appreciate theories. With due respects, over the years theories have changed a lot. 200 years back, people really believed and theorized that blacks are inferior in thinking as compared to whites. But now scientists are saying (I read a book recently), that several animals have cognitive and mental abilities similar to humans. For years, we use the term ‘bird brain’ to indicate ‘completely useless brain’ but now scientists are saying birds have brain better than they thought. So I am not sure if ‘boys’ programming vs. ‘girls’ programming is something that I can completely and blindly follow. Parents unconsciously provide different kind of toys, different activities to boys and girls. May be it is upbringing that makes more boys aggressive and competitive. When I take my daughter to tennis lessons, I see parents pushing boys more to win and in turn more boys are aggressive. I hardly see any parent pushing a girl and in turn most girls play for the sake of playing. Where I see parents pushing girls to be aggressive, girls are aggressive. But of course this is mare observation….it is not a scientific research or theory. I assume ‘they’ in comment meant females.

@Ramesh,

I honestly like honest feedback. And people do give me honest feedback in emails. I accept it and move on. Some readers know that because I asked them and some of them were reasonably candid and critical.

@Harman,

Thanks Harman for saying good job. I could not stop smiling after I read your comment. It is really true and funny comment. I lost my mind track several times but I am ‘grown up’ now and I am used to good looking company.

@Aparna,

You are the second blogger I know in this area. The other blogger writes on cooking and I know her personally. She got me hooked to blogging. I have her link on my page. She is a perfect cook too. May be we can have party at her house. That is the impression I had about the number. Not everyone is same but I am going by 80% rule. If I take a sample of 30 men around me and roughly 24 men fall in that category …then maybe we can generalize. But your point is absolutely valid..don’t assume unless you figure it out.

A said...

@Emily,

Einstein’s quote is awesome. Before someone says ‘hey it is all relative and subjective’, I got the perfect quote for that. Okay got your point. Similar numbers for you. I started visiting your blog for pictures of Mexico. I have been to Mexico and liked it but did not have camera with me. Pictures of locations in your posts are awesome and it is like being there. Once your blog is in the list, I automatically go there. Also I don’t want to lose you as a reader. You provide very intelligent comments and a different (non Indian/Canadian/British/Mexican/Spanish) perspective.

@Kavita,

Thank you. That is a really really great compliment. I hope it does not go in my head. I can live with disagreements without an iota of impact on me. Agreed about personality trait and not gender. It is likely to be a good week for me. Today (Monday) is kind of last day for me of this week. All Tuesday I will be in plane. Wednesday to Sunday…I am off….it is a long weekend in the USA..Thursday to Sunday is off in the USA. It is Thanksgiving fun week in the USA.

@Ria,

I prefer honest feedback too like yourself. I appreciate your honest opinion about my blog. I am glad to know.

@Insignia,

Okay got your point well said in one like. Well…let me chill now. See my weekend response to Kavita. I am almost done with this week. 

NRIGirl said...

Gentleman A! I had no doubt from Day 1 on that!

Both men and women are different in explaining things even if it is very subtle at times.

Being overbearing has nothing to do with gender, it is a different make and model of human personality traits.

There are two extremes, Fault finders on one side, people pleasers on the other side, it is important to be true to oneself

~ NRIGirl

Devie said...

I agree with Kavita that this is primarily a personality thing and not a gender thing. I have met many women that are highly opinionated and don't take to discussions and criticism too well. But because I've met more men like that, I made a quick judgement (about your gender) using anecdotal evidence.

In Indian an American cultures, men are taught to be more aggressive and competitive than women. In fact it's common for a man to be called confident when he's asserts some power, while a women is sadly called derogatory names.

I feel this puts undue pressure on both genders, since there are men who don't want to live the "macho" stereotype, but have too. And women who are naturally more competitive/assertive who have to tone it down because of society.

@ Dr. Antony...I don't know how correct Dr. Brizendine's theories are, I haven't read her work and can't comment on the content. But I can't deny I find the quotes your posted very disconcerting. Of course it's that kind of theorizing that made me automatically assume you're male when I saw Dr. in front of your name.

suruchi said...

I agree with Devie but I do not agree with what you wrote in the author's note...
Comments are never better than the post...
The posts bring out good comments:-)

I also thought u were a woman, strangely so n now upon contemplation...I have absolutely no clue why...
I personally like non-anonymous bloggers for I have a face n name to relate the thoughts to...jhotha he sahi:-)
But then you've been super sweet to always make your presence felt on my page..
Thank you..

N as far as the questions go...
We have too many varieties available on the shelf now for any kinda generalization:-)
U stay as you are...whoever you are:-)

Stranger said...

99% men fall for flattery. May be true about women too but I dont have any idea about that.

Men and women are overbearing at times so generalization is not applicable. It is a personality thing.

I never mistook you for a woman because you have the writing style of a man. Stay the way you are since that is a nice way...

sujata said...

I have met extremely over bearing men and also the opposite. I guess its not just about the gender, its the nature of the person. I have met over bearing ladies as well..

sm said...

great topic
very difficult to answer, but i think everything changes as per culture and education.
simple thing a Hug will burn the cities in few nations.

Just saw your kiran test blog
whenever you want someone confirm your results
just let me know.
will do it happily.
Please enable name option in that.
thanks.

tanvii.com said...

I cannot say if its true or false ... all I can say if my experience has not been such with 'Male' Bloggers or Men in general in my life. I have come across all kinds of men - some are over bearing and while others are not so I cannot generalize this. Also, I think your posts are quite varied and interesting so your last sentence is not quite true! :)

hot girl said...

very nice

....Petty Witter said...

Funny the assumptions we make - I had you down as male when I saw your profile and the word technology.
A very interesting post with lots to think about with, I'm sure, a very real danger of falling into the trap of using generalisations/stereotypes when answering.
You know what I found unquieting about the whole piece? The words 'hot girls' - urgh. But then I would being a mere woman (lol)

Babli said...

Nice to read your wonderful post after a long time. I always like those people who are honest and speak truth. We all come across many people in our day to day life and cannot expect same type of nature. Infact I have observed that some people reply very diplomatically. Keep writing. I enjoy reading all your post. You are a very good writer.

Jyothi said...

The posts do say a lot about the person. I never thought u were a woman.Thanks for confirming it though. I generally like reading blogs that has the writers name and photo. But I like reading ur blog cause it's mature and calm. I guess when we write our true selves come out at some point. But you should write a post that details who you are. It will help confirm a lot more. :)

Grayquill said...

I can take the most brutally honest critisim only from one who I know loves me and genuinely wants my best. Great Post! Came from Choco's place.

Whirlwind said...

Very interesting post!! And a very straightforward one that too. Keep it going!

Aparna said...

I do not think all men are overbearing. Some women I know are in fact more insensitive. It is all in the personality and the way they have been brought up.
I have been blogging for more than 2 years and have 'met' wonderful people online, both men and women. Though I think the kind of posts I write, more women read my blog, men have been very supportive too.
It takes a mature person to accept a different point of view, never mind the gender.

Geeta said...

Its hard to generalize but I find it easier to argue with men than women. Some women tend to take it personally and get defensive when given a feedback.

Men on the other hand, might be fun to argue with, but most are overbearing in real life. We all know the 'alpha-male', ever heard of the 'alpha-female'?

Also, blogosphere is not all women, the finance and the management blogs are dominated by men. May be its the subject.

Nice subject!

Punam said...

Call me dumb or anything, A, but I missed the whole point here. :)

A said...

@Punam,

You are too smart. The only point is:- Are most men overbearing in discussions? If read in between the lines, it does not seem like you believe in that. But sometimes internet communication is not so clear.

Renu said...

In real life men are over bearing, but in blogosphere I feel that women are more like that, they cant tolerate dissent at all..I have a first hand experience:) because I am very different and dont write diplomatically neither the comments nor posts

Punam said...

A, what does being overbearing have to do with gender? I've seen both men and women trying to be that, and probably, it has more to do with attention seeking and more of being a not-so-good listener.
Did I get it right this time?