Culture block

An American-born-and-raised Caucasian woman who’d been married to a Hong Kong-born-and-raised Asian man recently said to me, “There were some big cultural differences between us, but the biggest was gender.”

I’d never before thought of “how men act” or “what women think” as “men’s culture” and “women’s culture.” But it makes sense. It must, because the woman is working toward a Ph.D., so she’s clearly smart.

Cultural differences between men and women could explain a lot about how spouses of opposite genders treat each other.*

Women’s culture: Get together and talk about what’s going on in your life.
Men’s culture: Get together to watch a football game and call each other “dumbass.”

It works great, as long as the people involved know when to tuck their respective cultures into their respective back pockets. For example, when a woman is telling a man about what’s going on in her life, he has to remember not to call her “dumbass.”

No matter what.

But women have to understand that the way men commiserate is not meaningless. In context, at least. I don’t call every guy “dumbass.” Only my best buds. It’s shorthand for “There exists between us a tacit compact that neither of us shall aggress upon the other, for we are fast members of a tribe who will defend one another unto death.”

Or until the last beer is gone.

On the other hand, I believe that other aspects of culture—ethnic, generational, religious—also play a role in shaping how any man or woman treats a lover or spouse.

For example, I know a woman who was once told by an older woman, “You married an Italian man? Then you must have a drawer full of lingerie.” I happen to know for a fact that that is not a generational thing, but an ethnic thing. Speaking on behalf of my paisanos, I can tell you that any living Italian guy between the ages of thirteen and ninety-whatever likes to see a lady dressed in, well, as little as possible—but if she’s wearing something, it might as well be sexy.

Even here, though, intergender cultural issues arise. Because, maybe he likes to see her in a thong—but that’s one of the last things she wants to strap onto her body.

Which is exactly why a woman needs a whole drawer full of lingerie. You know: Options.

Wait—what was I talking about? Oh, yeah—male/female cultural differences. I’m no Ph.D., but here’s how I suggest a guy can close the gap: Tell her you like her ass. And that she’s not a dumb one.

* What about same-gender spouses? The woman I spoke with, who’s been single for a while, said, “I’ve talked with lesbians about this, and I believe the reason I complain about men is that I don’t date women.”

1 thought on “Culture block”

  1. ManWARrior Laurel Bragstad wanted me to pass along these comments:

    I still have a few questions. haha!

    I don't watch football, don't get it, etc. Some people in my family are pretty gung-ho about it (including a few women). I've seen bits and pieces of games during family get-togethers, but I just don't understand the brutality. I can sort of accept comparing a game of any kind to life and its uphill battles. But to me that just doesn't compare to putting colorful armor on and running full speed at another guy with the intention of knocking the crap out of him while fully aware that if you miscalculate, you might wind up on life support. (I assume the explanation is somewhat linked to a guy's definition of the word score.)

    Here are questions I still have:

    1) Why do some players have those little towel/hanky/diaper thingies hanging from their waists?

    2) What's with the raccoon eye makeup and crazy hair?

    3) How is the rule worded that says these full grown men have to pat each other's butts?

    4) Why is there SOOOO much football on TV? I mean, really. Wouldn't more NOVA be beneficial to citizens in general?

    5. Because I accidentally caught some sports coverage on TV, I do know who Tim Tebow is. Since he seemed a bit over the top, I checked out his website, which led me to his Facebook page, which is loaded with verses from the Bible. One in particular (Jeremiah 29:11) got a response from Shoaib Ahmad that simply says, "FU." Does that mean Shoaib and Timmy are on opposite teams?

    I guess I could acknowledge that football reinforces the lesson that not everyone is going to like you — and that a few of those people are praying for God to help them beat the crap out of you. At least, in a man's world.
    Am I getting it?

    Thanks for the fun post! Nice job! I mean it.

    First, thanks, Laurel! But I distinctly said the post contained all you NEED to know about football. Nonetheless, if you're interested in the finer points of the game, you came to the right place for answers.

    1. The little towels are for players who don't wear gloves to keep their hands dry. Mostly quarterbacks. Linemen don't wear gloves, but they're so tough, they can will their hands to stay dry.

    2. The raccoon makeup started in the glam-rock era when T. Rex and the New York Dolls were famous for dressing up in women's clothes on stage. Then it was discovered that a smear of black on the cheek also reduces glare from the sun and/or stadium lights. Again, you mostly see this on the weak positions–running backs, receivers and QBs. Linemen are so tough, they can will the sun not to shine on their cheeks.

    3. What other body part would you rather see them pat?

    4. NOVA's good, but the Man Writing a Romance prefers "Through the Wormhole" because Morgan Freeman is such a man's man. Clearly, he was an offensive lineman when he played football.

    5. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "I know the plans I have for you, god-loving Green Bay fans,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." It's obvious that Shoaib is a Bears fan.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: