TED Conversations

Ang Perrier


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How does gender affect formulation of opinion based on perception?

I'd like to kick-start this debate by asking for each person responding, to please describe their personal opinion of their ideal; a) Husband/boyfriend b) Wife/girlfriend.

I'm adding onto this now...

How different do you perceive males and females to be?

Are these differences something that can be phased out through gender neutralizing environments or are they engrained in our nature as a permanent fixture?

If there's a possibility of phasing out the differences would you choose to?
If there's not how do we address our Politically Correct world where we avoid any recognition of differences between genders?

The focus here is on the mental, emotional, and developmental differences, not so much the physical.


Closing Statement from Ang Perrier

Overall it seems as though we are able to accept and recognize that there are differences between males and females. What we are not ready to accept and recognize is that there are differences in the way we learn that should be addressed in early childhood development.

This doesn't mean the end result has to change as far as career capabilities. It means that we need to cater to these developmental differences and teach our boys the way they learn best and teach our girls the way they learn best in order for them to have the opportunity to achieve their desired goals in life.

Right now our education system is failing both genders equally and that is unfortunate. We can say that it's because we don't spend enough money on schooling, or we don't address the specific needs of each individual child. But I think that a reasonable attempt at adapting a school curriculum which incorporates certain gender differences into the lesson plan has proven to be effective and ought to be adopted by more schools and made available to anyone who thinks that their child would benefit from it.

I DO NOT mean that girls should be taught Home Ec. and boys should be taught Shop Class. I'm implying that girls and boys learn subjects such as math and science easier in 2 very different ways. Why not structure a class that is designed to teach girls/boys math the way their brains understand it best? It's not harmful for our society to look at what science can teach us about the brain and use that information in the most effective way possible.

I'd like to take this time to advocate to any parent out there reading this to do some research and decide for yourself if gender specific lesson plans could be a benefit for your child.

Start with Leonard Sax's book "Why Gender Matters" and see if you find yourself agreeing with the statements and research he's done over the past 25 years.

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    Apr 14 2014: ... that 'she' is always right!

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      Apr 14 2014: Which begs the question; "is she always right because she's right, she truly perceives herself to be right, or she knows she's wrong but continues to argue that she's right???"

      Is there a difference in the way a male is "right" and a female is "right"?
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        Apr 14 2014: There is a beautiful quote I learned from Ken Robinson, he quoted himself, which goes:

        'If a man speaks his mind in the forest, is he still wrong?'

        And to answer your questions ... they are all rendered totally irrelevant and insignificant by previous definition...

        We only have to accept reality ...


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          Apr 14 2014: Who's reality? Are you saying that woman imposes her reality on man? If that is the case how is it that we have always and continue to live in a predominantly male dominated world? If woman was right and man accepted that, she should have had a lot more control over her environment and been subject to far less adversity, abuse, and discrimination, right?
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        Apr 14 2014: 'Who's reality?'

        You are more reluctant than I expected ... ;o)

        Well then, let me ask you, what makes you think that we live in a 'male dominated world'? Because of the statistical numbers which gender is 'officially' in charge?

        'Presence' and 'Influence' to me is less a matter of visual appearance.

        History has had a multitude of stages in which genders cooperated more and less cooperatively and as much as I can see, since world dominating religions came into being, the natural fluctuations and balancing changes got out of sync and in favor for men. But if this truly marks a permanent change in power, remains to be seen.

        The actual trend in 'genderfication' appears suspicious to me in certain aspects, yet this would be a whole discussion just on its own.
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          Apr 14 2014: You were expecting me to be less reluctant based on what?

          "Genderfication"?? What's your definition of this?

          Male Dominated World

          Time Magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2013
          There are 34 women on that list
          10 of them are in Entertainment/Sports
          3 of them are listed in 1 spot together
          3 of them are listed in a spot along with a man

          100 Most Influential People in History
          2 women make the list, both were Queens
          1 made it to the runners-up list

          100 Most Influential Figures in American History
          7 women make the list

          Currently there are 362 men and 76 women in Congress

          Let me ask you this, what could influence me to think that we don't live in a male dominated world?
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        Apr 15 2014: 'You were expecting me to be less reluctant based on what? '


        '"Genderfication"?? What's your definition of this? '

        Equalization of genders beyond rights.

        All 'Most Influential People' you are referring to are those which are or have been in open limelight. If this truly reflects the structure of power in history and today, I doubt.

        Most careerist know, that to win the attention and affection of 'the boss' you have to win the attention and affection of his secretary first (not emotional or sexual). And although secretaries will never appear on any TOP something lists, because nobody knows them, 'behind the scenes' woman have always influenced male leaders in one way or the other.

        Influence of this sort is not directly measurable, as it takes deep inside knowledge of relationships and networks, which no outside reporter gets to find out bout easily, if ever.

        We already know that 'in general' woman seem to have the better talents for leadership, yet we also know that the 'best jobs' are not given to the best qualified people.

        Careerism on that level you mentioned is mainly driven by the 'call of power', the art of intrigue and recklessness, 'old boys network' and inheritance, which seem to thrive better on Testosterone, such as the violence it takes for 1st degree of murder.

        Big fish eats small fish. So to get on the top of the power food-chain, this hormone seems to kick it.

        Yet this hormone has a well known weakness, which, intelligently played, can make for true yet invisible influence.

        So yes, the limelight shows mostly man on the stage, yet we usually don't get to see the strings attached to them and by whom ...
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          Apr 15 2014: So when our children are learning about historical figures who had a great impact on life as we know it, do you think they're learning about an equal number of males and females?

          Do you think that they take away any opinions about gender roles in societal life after school?

          Does it appear to a young child in school that the world offers equal opportunity for both?

          How might this affect their outlook as they continue to grow into adulthood?

          Does this kind of information cause males to perceive the world differently than females?

          How differently does a female view the world compared to a male?

          Does this have any bearing on the way things are progressing for us?

          How do we rectify this and get our worlds more in sync with each other?

          We can't possibly answer any of these questions without first recognizing that there may be drastic differences in perception based on gender and then studying it.
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          Apr 15 2014: "Most careerist know, that to win the attention and affection of 'the boss' you have to win the attention and affection of his secretary first..."

          So, Lejan, you are appealing to the common wisdom that "behind every successful man is a good woman" - without whom he presumably would be less than successful?

          Yet, the woman is there at the pleasure - and often for the pleasure - of the man. And a woman can be easily replaced when it comes to men in powerful positions (which does not necessarily mean the man himself is powerful).
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        Apr 15 2014: 'So when our children are learning about historical figures who had a great impact on life as we know it, do you think they're learning about an equal number of males and females?'

        It depends what history and how you teach them about it. Popular history usually gets written and passed on by 'the winners', which naturally makes for a pretty biased, one sided picture about what really happened.

        The same goes for 'leading figures' and how children get to know about 'them'.

        Personally I have learned more about 'them' by Bertold Brecht than by any history class I ever had, because he inspired my way how to think about the so called authority.

        A truly democratic society may re-frame the context of how it presents and preserves what lays in the past to encourage their young to make up their own minds about it. To do so, skepticism about any form of 'personal cult' may help as well.

        Once there, I can only assume, that gender becomes irrelevant by what can be archived, but it would take an ongoing dialog within society, to keep peoples minds awake about it.

        I don't think that gender roles are entirely man-made, yet it is very difficult to distinguish what is from that what evolved naturally of it. Especially, when one is already influenced by ones own 'time'.

        If we see commercials from the 40's or the 50's and their role-model of woman at that time, we tend to simile today about its obvious nativity. But it is only obvious to us today, not then, and we may only see tomorrow, what we have now.

        Different than you propose, I don't see any reliably indicator, that the 'world offers equal opportunity' to anyone on this planet, regardless in what part of the world one lives in. The 'American Dream', that if your work hard you'll make it, is a carrot on a stick on peoples foreheads put there by others, who know better about the 'rules of the game'.
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        Apr 15 2014: And if we take a look on the current discussion about equal opportunities of genders, it isn't surprising to me, that its main focus is about business, Top Ten managers, etc, as if this was the only measure to describe what makes a society, to measure its success and what defines its values.

        To me this is giving false ideas to young generations, boys and girls, because it hinders both to grow their true talents in order to focus on career oriented skills.

        I am convinced that males perceive their world differently than woman do, just by the statistical fact, that men spend way more time to think about sex, how to get lots of it, and, preferably, with as many different woman than possible.

        And although I am no biologist or medical expert, the only way to make both genders more equal in perception was to equalize their hormone composition, as otherwise, they would divert again naturally.

        I think the most dominant force in gender roles is the way society cultivated sexuality and as long this doesn't change, roles will form around it in different, yet forming ways.

        Yet as the sexual drive is one of the strongest drives in humans, this task is going to be quite difficult to tackle.

        If in the future, genetic manipulation or hormone suppressive medication will become mandatory, I don't know, yet I hope I am not going to face this during my lifetime if it will.

        Alternatively, I can only think about education at and for its best, yet especially there are many pit-falls as well, because any educational system only reflect the ruling and dominating trends of its time and change is fragile and no guarantee for things to evolve for a better.

        In short: I have no recipe what would be best, because I am a victim of my time and experience myself ...
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          Apr 16 2014: Mandatory genetic manipulation or hormone suppressive medication hmmm...

          I already posted this on the conversation but I'll repost it here.

          I recently read a statistic; a study was conducted at a college where 35% of these educated men said they would rape a woman if they were assured to get away with it. In another study conducted at a different college over half of them said the same thing.

          Another piece of this is the study conducted on teenaged boys where they found that in rape fantasies there tends to be greater arousal if the victim has pain inflicted on them and in some cases the more pain the greater the arousal.

          These tendencies are non-existent in women.

          The part of the male brain connected with sexual arousal is also the part where aggression is concentrated. It's considered to be a primitive part of the brain not usually connected to a higher form of thinking.

          Not only are men thinking about sex all the time but they're associating it with aggression and there isn't much actual "thought" going into it.

          Segregating the schools and allowing boys and girls to mature separated during the years when their hormones are at their craziest may cause a positive shift in these thoughts and behaviors.
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          Apr 16 2014: Ang, what evidence do you have to support your statement that men are thinking about sex all the time?

          I know that I certainly do not. And I know plenty of other men who do not think of sex all the time, or even most of the time.

          I think this claim is a bit of "common knowledge" that's far from the truth.
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          Apr 21 2014: When a person spends their time studying math the areas of the brain that are connected to math problem solving will develop strong super highways of connections that allow the person to do math more efficiently.

          A young hormone driven male is aroused multiple times a day and finds himself sexually stimulated frequently. Is it safe to say that the areas of the brain connected to sexual thought would be over developed just like the mathematician's brain? That the more a young man develops those super highways in that area of the brain the more apt he is to be overly distracted by sexual thought throughout the rest of his life?

          A young man without the other mental stimulants to divert attention away and allow for developing growth in other areas may get bored with his sexual fantasies. Could this be a contributing factor in these fantasies taking on a sinister and masochistic quality that eventually has to be realized?
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        Apr 15 2014: @ Carl Karasti

        I came across this 'stereotype' many times.

        Less frequent in numbers yet uprising, couples in which both genders are career driven will simply buy the service necessary to run the basics of their household and for the upbringing of their children, in case they have any.

        Getting to the top without having the luxury to be borne there already, is time consuming. Anything from there is self-explanatory no matter how the individual solutions get arranged, as a day only has 24 hours.
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        Apr 16 2014: I totally agree with those statistics and that 'male sexuality' is highly influenced by aggression, yet I doubt that 'separation' at school will have a positive effect on how boys form their sexuality. Woman or girls don't have to be physically present to occupy the minds of males.

        It would be interesting to know, which I don't, if in indigenous tribes, in which nudity is part of the culture, the 'mental concept' of males sexuality forms differently by visual hebetation?

        I don't know.
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          Apr 16 2014: Sites, smells, and sounds are all influential in hormonal fluctuations.
          Alleviating some of that during the hours when these boys need to concentrate on something else, I can't imagine a scenario in which it wouldn't at least help.

          Also there are studies that suggest all male schools produce more young men with a desire to pursue activities that tend to be thought of as feminine interests such as art, music, theater, etc...

          These are all activities that generally promote and create a stronger connection to emotion which is something a lot of young men need to work on to suppress some of that aggression. Suppress the aggression, maybe the sexual urges, more specifically the violent sexual urges, get suppressed.

          Not saying this would solve all problems but could be considered an improvement on our current situation.
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        Apr 21 2014: On 'When a person spends their time studying math...'

        Fascination, in general, to me is no matter of conscious choice, and I further assume, that without sexual fascination our species would not have made it so far.

        A typical approach of nature is abundance and variation, wherever possible, to statistically increase chances for life to exist and to sustain. That an initial impulse for reproduction was not run on the same approach would actually be quite difficult to understand and to explain for me, which makes me quite lucky that it is as we have it.

        And although this impulse will form somewhat differently in each and any individual, I don't see any reason why the quantity of those impulses would have any relation to the sinister and masochistic quality you mention.

        It is the final use of strong and trained neural connections within a value system which determines the outcome, measured by the value systems of others, not the strength of that connection itself.

        According to some psychological schools it is even the suppression during sexual self-definition which forms 'abnormal' behavior, although I am personally not quite certain how a 'normal' behavior could be defined in sexuality.

        To give you an example, the only three reasons why I am not starring at major female attributes when those are around me are manners, respect and close distances, in which the focus points of my eyes remain detectable. The first two reasons are part of my 'value system' and never crossed unless invited; the last reason is pragmatism which does not compromise the other two.

        Within intimate relationships there is no reason why humans would not integrate and act upon their value system, thats why I think, it is this 'value system' which causes the 'sinister and masochistic quality' of interaction and not the quantity of sexual impulses.

        I also think that sexual 'masochism' is not negative in itself. It only gets negative when it is forced and/or not shared. It got to be mutual!
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          Apr 22 2014: Arousal for men is experienced in the primitive part of the brain where aggression also resides. There is far less higher thinking occurring in men who are aroused than in females.

          In men when there is an area of the brain that is significantly more active than another part, that section will actually spread and grow, seeming to take over other areas. If the primitive part of the brain is utilized far more than the other areas there is a chance that the individual will have a far more aggressive nature and since arousal and aggression are linked then their sexual tendencies may and tend to have strong ties to violence.

          I mentioned a study earlier in this conversation where teenaged boys reacted with stronger arousal when they viewed a rape victim experience an injury and more pain caused more arousal. I have to find a reasoning for this because once a reason has been identified it becomes slightly easier to avoid such behavior in future young boys by theorizing and implementing them while assessing the results.

          This is based on what I've read and my understanding of what I've read. That's not to say that new studies wont bring about new information or that my interpretation of the technical data may be off. My opinions are based off of this though and it makes sense to me.
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        Apr 22 2014: Although I think to understand your motivation 'to find a reasoning' in what influences male sexuality, I do not agree in defining violence exclusively in its physical representation.

        As a boy I was involved in many of those 'masculine games' with other boys, which made for quite some bruises and scratches by its plain physical violence. Nevertheless, the impact this form of violence had on me doesn't even come close to the violence I came to experience later with girls and woman.

        I came to learn that to many females it was of importance how many man they could get interested in them, and that it didn't matter if that interest was just sexual or based on deeper emotional motives, which we call love. Just in itself, this isn't a problem, as one has no say in who falls in love with one, yet to play this for vanity reasons is what I consider emotional violence, of which females are as well capable of.

        I also think, that many woman do use their sexual attractiveness they have on man intentionally and as one way of non-verbal communication. Without this, the whole industry of cosmetics and fashion would to large degrees be pointless in western societies.

        So if you aim for a more harmonic coexistence of both genders, those 'games on key stimuli' have to be considered and revised as well.

        It wouldn't make sense to me to separate boys from girls in school, to reduce the exposure time of femininity on those boys, when femininity then gets emphasized and underlined after school and from 'the other side'.

        And as I don't think, that woman are going to give up those 'triggers', I doubt that behavioral change in men against natural given instincts can ever be successful.

        And of course I am horribly generalizing here to make for loopholes. ;o)
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          Apr 22 2014: You do seem to be generalizing Lejan, and I think that generalizing is the only thing we can do when talking about gender issues?

          I agree that males and females may be equally capable of emotional violence, playing games for various reasons, and it seems that both some males and some females use sexual attractiveness to lure the opposite sex. Do you think/feel that cosmetics, fashion, and body building industries do not apply and appeal to both boys/men and girls/women?
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        Apr 22 2014: @Colleen:

        The cosmetics, fashion, and body building industries reflect our current ideals about physical appearance, and the absence of comparable consumer products for 'character shaping' may represent the dominating focus on 'external qualities'.

        During my lifetime I noticed a change in those industries to target males as potential customers and magazines, such as 'Men's Health' are promoting those 'new trends' to establish demand for those products.

        I may be mistaken, yet throughout history it seems, that woman tend to underline their sexual 'key stimuli' more provocative than man do, which to me makes perfect sense, just by the given differences in 'readiness' for sexual opportunities.
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          Apr 23 2014: Hi Lejan,
          I also have noticed an increased focus on men from these industries more recently. The industries have figured out just how much money can be made, so they want to draw EVERONE into the plan?

          If health is the focus, that is great for all of us. If the focus is simply changing our looks with the idea that everything will then be fine, I don't see it as particularly helpful to anyone. I agree with you, that there seems to be more of a focus on external qualities. In my perception, it always helps to seek balance:>)

          Perhaps you notice more women underlining sexual provocativeness because you are a man? I think I notice an increase in men focusing on sexual provocativeness....perhaps because I am a woman?
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        Apr 23 2014: @Colleen

        Personally I noticed this change in advertising in the early 90's and a bit after the advertising industry realized, that portraying attractive man in selling woman products seems to work.

        'Health' is one of the most misused terms in advertising, intensionally, because who could ever argue against that? Yet if health gets visually linked to a certain ideal of attractiveness, it manipulates our perception about it in no positive ways.

        On 'sexual provocativeness' I don't think it is a matter of gender to notice given trends, tendencies and quantities and to realize that the arsenal and the use of it is more numerous among woman that it is among men.

        In general public or on official occasions I am offered more often to have a deeper insight on certain parts of the female anatomy than I have on the anatomy of my fellow man. Beaches and sport events are of course excluded here. So just by statistics I should have seen by now as much variety on male chest hair that I came to see on female cleavages, which I haven't, and this regardless the fact, that the latter is my key-stimulus, I would have noticed the other as well.

        So do you really need me to give more examples to drive my point home on that? :o)
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          Apr 24 2014: Maybe you haven't noticed the vast array of different types of chest hair because cleavage happens to be more alluring to you. :)

          Big burly men changing the garbage and mopping the floor is an effective tool for advertising. But it's less about the level of attractiveness of the men and more about what they're doing. Women want men who don't feel as though household tasks are "below" them. A man who is willing to help out and split the chores 50/50 is the allure not their muscles. That's just a perk ;)
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          Apr 25 2014: Lejan,
          You say...."the arsenal and the use of it is more numerous among woman that it is among men."

          I don't have statistics to offer, so with simply my observation, I don't agree. I believe both men and women have various trends, tendencies, qualities at different quantities that may make up an "arsenal" with which they present sexual provocativeness.

          You say you noticed the change in marketing to men in the early 90s. I remember, as a kid in the early 50s, seeing advertisements in newspapers and magazines, with a scrawny little kid next to a big burley bodybuilder, with the caption something like......with this product or method, you can look like the big strong attractive guy, rather than the skinny unattractive guy!!!

          I believe the industries we are talking about intensified their marketing to BOTH men and women, in more recent times, and the idea has been with us (societies) for a very long time. Even in ancient times, both men and women wore makeup, cloths, jewelry and other adornments to enhance their looks for acceptance, to show their strength, sexual provocativeness, etc.

          I am not anticipating more examples to "drive" your point home. I thought we were simply having a conversation, and we already know that sometimes we agree, and sometimes not so much.....that is ok with me:>)
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        Apr 24 2014: 'Maybe you haven't noticed the vast array of different types of chest hair because cleavage happens to be more alluring to you. :)'

        This is why I added 'official occasions' intentionally and in hope to spare justifications on my given bias ... Apparently it didn't work ...;o)

        But thanks to let me in on the secret why so many men sweat in the gym. I didn't know that this was to pimp their 50/50 share for their sweethearts ... :o)
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          Apr 25 2014: Look at the statistics on who men really work out for.
          It's not as much to allure women as it is to make other men envious.

          Men work out because they are in competition with other men to be able to run the farthest, lift the most, do more squats, and have the biggest biceps.

          Women do not really respond to visuals the way men do. A six-pack etched into an annoying, superficial, D-Bag doesn't generally cause arousal for a woman. That's why the porn industry is generally focused on male consumers.
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        Apr 25 2014: If we take a look in the courtship of other animals, males there not only spend their time to impress the females, but also to dominate other males to become and/or remain first in line of spreading their genes. So to me, your observations 'who men really work out for' isn't really surprising, as is aligns to both intentions, domination and impression.

        'Women do not really respond to visuals the way men do.'

        Exactly, although there seem to be certain 'visuals' many woman seem to be influenced by. Size seems to be one of them. Tall men tend to attract woman stronger than short men. Also a certain shoulders/waist proportion, the V-shape, seem to be a visual attractor, as well as a 'crisp' butt.
        Also the shape of Hands seem to be of interest to many woman, although I am not certain about the source of this impulse. Is it taken as an indirect indicator for intellectual/artistic capabilities of a man, or for softness and tenderness, or both.

        I think many man wouldn't care much about a superficial female D-Bag, as long as she is sexy and easy to get for a night or two. So I agree on your statement about the main focus of the porn industry.

        But I also think many man have a different set of qualities they look for in a woman when it comes to long term partnership or to start a family and although 'visuals' still have part in it, it tends to be of less importance than if it was just about sex.
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          Apr 26 2014: There should be a significant dividing line between the qualities men look for in a woman they want for the short term and the long haul. The issue is that our modern youthful men are presenting is that they fail to make the distinction.

          Women are killing themselves to make sure they stay youthful and beautiful. Crazy diets, surgeries, make-up, salon fees, tanning beds, lotions, manicures, pedicures, laser hair removal, all in an effort to stay looking as young and beautiful as possible.

          Because men tend to be so visually stimulated, women feel as though they have to stay "on top" of their looks to keep the interest of men.
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          Apr 26 2014: Good point Lejan and Ang......
          There may be a distinction between a partner who is chosen for a short term sexual relationship and a life partner. I believe this to be true for both men and women.

          Do you think that people (both men and women) who go to the lengths you mention (crazy diets, surgeries, make-up, salon and gym fees, tanning beds etc.), are not totally aware of which kind of partner they are trying to attract? Could it be that they are following the stereotypical "role" as prescribed by society, without being fully aware of their underlying intent?

          If women are going to the extent you mention Ang, which I agree with, are they any more genuinely sure of the qualities they are looking for in men?
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        Apr 25 2014: @ Colleen

        'I thought we were simply having a conversation, and we already know that sometimes we agree, and sometimes not so much.....that is ok with me:>)'

        Good that this is ok with you, because it was meant as a joke referring to the other conversation we had.

        That you don't agree on me saying that '"the arsenal and the use of it (for sexual provocativeness) is more numerous among woman that it is among men." is not surprising to me, as most woman I spoke with about this topic are in complete and collective denial.

        My favorite personal experience and observations I made during winter in Russia.

        All Russian man dressed pragmatically to the outside temperature conditions which was -45° Celsius (-49 °F) in average when I was there. And pragmatically here means, a thick warm jacket, warm trousers, often turtleneck pullovers and strong winter boots with good and thick profile to have sufficient grip on ice and snow.

        Russian females however, at least those of younger age, dress for a complete different purpose than winter. Their choice for cloth was not bitter-cold temperatures, which would have made perfect sense, their choice was plain female attractiveness, which made for absurd situations I came to witness.

        Woman in high-heels!, mini-skirts + black Nylons wearing short jackets, often open to expose some see-through blouse or blouses of thin but elegant fabrics, slippering on ice and snow all over the place or rubbing themselves warm at bus-stops while waiting for the next ride to come.

        I have never seen something like that ever before, yet I was told by my Russian friends, that this is totally common there. Also I have never been exposed to so many female key-stimuli before in my entire life during winter, that as a man I had no other choice but to conclude, that Slavic woman tend to value their looks over their health and this for the sake of sexual attractiveness and nothing else, because at -45°C nothing else would make sense to explain this phenomena.
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          Apr 25 2014: Oh Lejan!!! I didn't get the joke at first....thanks for letting me know....now I can LOL!

          I would not say that I am part of the "collective denial".....I wrote...."I don't have statistics to offer, so with simply my observation, I don't agree". It is only my observation.

          I had a different experience observing people in Russia when I was there a few years ago in January. The women had beautiful warm furs....absolutely gorgeous...practical, attractive and very warm....also lovely big, warm boots. Perhaps we were in different places, and traveling among different crowds of people Lejan. I was staying in a 17th century Russian Orthodox monastery .....that may have had something to do with the difference in experiences:>)
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        Apr 25 2014: @ Ang

        'Look at the statistics on who men really work out for. It's not as much to allure women as it is to make other men envious.'

        Is there similar statistics which shows, that woman wearing push-up-bras do that to make other woman envious about the volume of their breasts? Or is the use of such 'fake-devices' addressed to the other gender, and if so, what was then the purpose, or informational content of this obviously false visual communication?

        Same question goes on breast implants, also that visual content holds up on close inspection.
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          Apr 26 2014: An average looking woman who wants something done and has to get a man to do it or make the arrangements for her.

          An attractive woman approaches the same man at the same time. She is flirtatious and utilizes her feminine qualities to persuade him.

          Which woman is he going to be more inclined to help first?

          Same scenario but add to the less attractive woman's arsenal a lot of money. How does this affect the man's decision on which woman to help first?

          The feeling that getting through life in this man's world is easier when you have money or good looks as a woman is not uncommon.
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        Apr 25 2014: @ Colleen

        I hoped for the little emoticon at the end of that particular comment to be a strong enough indicator for my 'difficult' humor to reveal itself. It failed, so will try to make use of footnotes more often ... *

        Of course you would not say that you are part of this 'collective denial', as this is how denial works. Like it is in therapy one got to get pass this instinctive response reaction to open up for healing self-reflection... **

        I don't think, that your experiences in Russia are influenced by the nearness of that monastery, because I also came across those woman you describe in a regular industrial town with no obviously strong religious influences. Also I did reference that my observations mainly apply for woman for 'at least those of younger age', which in biological terms and timing are usually closer to active 'choice of partner'.

        I don't know if you noticed, that those fur coats you mentioned are mainly worn by woman and barely seen on man? Why is that if not for 'visuals'? Fur on man cloth I only came to notice in Russia on hats and collars, but far less in number than on woman.

        Also I found, that most older and warmer dressed woman in Russia are wearing lots and lots of colorful facial cosmetics, compared to woman of the same age-group in my country at the same season. If there was no obvious difference, I think I would not have noticed it.

        Also when I talk to other man, there seems to be some sort of a common agreement, that in terms of attractiveness, Slavic females 'rank' among the top of the world, followed by Latin American woman at Carnival***

        When I was in Scandinavian states during winter times, which are as cold as Russia can be, I didn't notice anything alike in the female population as I did in Russia.

        * Joke ... :o)
        ** Another joke ...:o)
        *** Unofficial data, horribly shallow
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          Apr 26 2014: Well Lejan, if you want to insist that I am in "denial" about something, it is certainly your choice and your right. However, I suggest that I know myself better than you know me.

          One thing I find amusing, is when men try to tell me what I am feeling, or what I need, because that suggests that he really isn't listening to me, or considering what I know about myself. I have done quite a lot of self reflection throughout my life Lejan:>)

          I notice that you noted this as "Another joke" in your footnotes.....I wanted to clarify, because it is common for men to try to tell women what they/we may feel or need, and that is not a joke:>)

          I think the fact that I observed practically dressed women in Russia, may have been influenced by our activities.....visiting orphanages, elderly retired people, church leaders and representatives, etc. We also visited museums, theaters, etc, where we encountered the general public. No nightclubs, or wandering the streets where I suspect we might have seen more of the scantily dressed people you mention (younger, actively pursuing partners, as you say). My experience was both in the city (St. Petersburg), and in very rural towns. Actually, I observed many men wearing fur coats and hats....certainly not as many as women, but quite a few. I didn't notice much make-up.....again, perhaps because of the kinds of places we visited, and the people we interacted with.
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Ang on: 'An average looking woman who wants something done and has to get a man to do it or make the arrangements for her.'

        With a puzzled look and a smile out of confusion I am sitting here now and can't think of any 'something' which a modern woman in a modern society cant get done without the help of a man.

        Could you please give me a view examples on this, as the only situations I can think of usually don't need this form of sexual trickery, as the help needed is given by friends.

        One of those scenarios would be if a woman would move to another home or apartment and would not have the financial means to let professional services haul all her furniture and stuff from one place to the other. Yet in situations like this friends usually tend to help, man and woman, and none of my female friends need to look like a model for me to freely offer my help to them.

        On the contrary, as I would not consider myself a friend, if my intention to help was based on my hope for sex.

        Another situation I can think of would be renovation work of apartments or rooms, where again, friends usually help out if a woman doesn't have the skills or to little time to get in done alone within her lifetime... :o)

        So please fill me in for me to understand your argument, because the only thing I can see so far, was to trick men into help by playing them on their hope for sex, which I think does happen, yet which has no justification in my eyes whatsoever.
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          Apr 26 2014: Don't think of this situation involving modern men and women. This is a behavior that was learned in previous generations when women couldn't or weren't allowed to do certain things and were dependent upon men to do it for them.

          We're talking traits that go back as long as history.

          Does that help?
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Ang on: There should be a significant dividing line between the qualities men look for in a woman they want for the short term and the long haul. ...'

        I think there is quite a distinct dividing line between those qualities in many men. Long term qualities are the same as for short term qualities (she got to be hot), with the only expectation to split the chores 0/100 and in their favor and on the long run... :o) Its rather a matter of acceptance than of distinction ... ;o)

        I don't think that woman go through all this 'hell' you described for their boy-friends or husbands, because if 'looks' was the only decision for a man to stay by her girlfriend or wife, this race for 'attraction/attention' could never be won by no woman ever.

        My personal choice is actually the complete opposite and based on personal experience.
        Woman which focus very much on their visual appearance often turn out to be plain boring in their personalities for me. And looks alone never made me fall in love with any woman. On the contrary, as I prefer 'natural' qualities over faked ones, but this is just my personal preference, I guess and may not apply to large numbers of my own gender.
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Ang on: 'Does that help?'

        Nope! :o)

        It may well be that I totally miss your point, but I see no correlation nor reason why the use of 'key-stimuli' today should be legitimized by helpful behavioral pattern of the past.

        Even an 'just' average intelligent woman would neither degrade herself, her modern independence nor her intellect to play the 'girly girl' or 'vamp' to any man out of 'role-model' echoes from the past.

        If that was the case, modern man would not have any reason not to drag woman by their hair to places they wish them to have. Physically that could still be done in many cases, practically most man have evolved since.

        So sorry, especially in this modern and high paced times we live in and AFTER waves over waves of emancipation in western societies, this doesn't sound convincing to me to any degree.
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          Apr 26 2014: You did in fact miss the point but no worries.

          No matter how far women leap ahead in this game of life we are still living in a world that was designed by men with masculine traits in mind as the drivers for success.

          Imagine if women had been at the forefront of corporate structure organization. In the business world it's common to have a Pres., VP, CEO, CFO, upper level management, supervisors, lead workers, and front line workers or some combination of these. This structure is very masculine in it's design. Had a woman been the original architect of our corporate world this particular hierarchy would not exist.

          Our political systems would be vastly different along with our judicial and law enforcement departments.

          A world designed with equal contributions from masculine and feminine perspectives allowing for each gender's traits to act as drivers towards success would be the way in which we achieve true equality/equilibrium.

          In order to get that we would have to structurally break down how our society operates now and build it back up with men and women working as equals to redesign all aspects of, well, everything.
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Colleen

        I am sorry to hear that you came across so many men who were trying to tell you what you were feeling that it became common in your experience with that gender, that just by counting the words you spent on my joke, your clarification, those experiences must have been quite oppressive to you.

        Personally I recall only one occasion in which another man insisted to know better about what I was feeling and wouldn't even open up again for additional information from my side. That was strange but reason enough for me to dump him as a friend I assumed him to be.

        With some woman I experienced that they insisted to know how I was feeling, which could be located on the opposite side of annoyance, I suppose.

        I visited Russia twice so far. The first time during the cold war in Leningrad, also during winter, where I only observed woman in warm fur-coats or warm jackets of which only very view were using colorful cosmetics. I assume today, that cosmetics were probably scarce during the Soviet era. The second time in Russia was in 2012 in the Ural region visiting friends and the observations I described was not a snapshot at Saturday night in front of a night-club. Actually I didn't have the chance to go to a night-club, yet just by extrapolating from regular daily life situations, that may have saved my blood-pressure from collapsing instantly on me due to stimulus satiation ... :o)

        It was a large industrial town by which I assume I came across a large fraction of the Russian working class during all times of a day and in public and I only reported what I came to notice and which was so different to my former experiences by its sheer numbers.
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          Apr 26 2014: Thanks Lejan:>)

          I didn't say I "came across so many men" who were trying to tell me personally what I was feeling. I wrote...".....I wanted to clarify, because it is common for men to try to tell women what they/we may feel or need..."

          I volunteered in a shelter for women and children, so I've heard lots of real life stories from women fleeing abusive relationships. I also volunteered with the dept. of corrections facilitating programs with male offenders of domestic violence and abuse. So I've had quite a bit of interaction with quite a few men and women.

          So, no, it is not "oppressive" to me personally, and I believe it is oppressive to our societies in general.

          I'm glad your blood pressure was "saved" from collapsing with too much stimulus Lejan:>)
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Colleen

        I am glad too, but I almost died for the same reason during a classical concert and the only one saving me at that night was a young boy, probably around 8 years old, who has gotten so deep into the music, sitting at the edge of his seat, that he became an active musician himself but silently. He conducted, played air instruments and vibrated as a whole along the rhythms as if in trance. Thanks to him I was able to refocus on the music by him, which was an interesting situation and probably saved my health ... :o)

        On your views on oppression I only partly agree, as for extreme situations you are referring to it takes always two to make it happen, and, even worse, to sustain it.

        To me oppression is a dysfunctional social behavior which, as much as I know about it, people acquire in their childhood and at that time are victims themselves by the same kind or forwarding dysfunctional social behavior of their close surroundings.

        Oppression in relationships takes one to try, but two to allow it to happen again, which could be expressed as we do for fooling: 'Oppress me once, shame on you ... oppress me twice, shame on me.'

        As we life in times today, where divorce is no longer a branding on womans social status and at least in my country the social monetary support sufficient enough for woman without a job to have a life on their own, that I came to the conclusion, that female victims of male oppression are actually also suffering from a different form of dysfunctional social behavior, which is probably rooted in their childhood experiences as well.

        One of my closest female friends I came to meet while she was hiding from her husband in a women's refuge with her four children and although I am no psychologist, I found a certain set of behavioral pattern in her reports which I found in reports of other woman I spoke with who also spend, actually wasted, many years in relationships with highly dominating males.
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          Apr 27 2014: I wholeheartedly agree Lejan....it generally takes two to contribute to sustaining an oppressive relationship. Society also contributes with predetermined "roles"......as you insightfully say.....sometimes influenced by social behavior, and maybe rooted in childhood experiences.

          I also agree that those who have been oppressed tend to sometimes try to oppress others. I agree....there are some very common behavioral patterns:>)
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Colleen

        This pattern mainly consists out of hope to change the character of another person, excessive need for 'harmony', lack of consequent and self-determined action, self-abandonment, self-deception (I endure it for the kids, etc,) and, probably worst of all, resignation and stasis.

        I also found, that woman who managed to escape one dominant partner often tend to seek for similar types of man as if there was a wish to start all over again, like moths steering at candles.

        Such woman often find other types of man less appealing, sometimes even boring, which of course makes it difficult then to have a chance to make better experiences.

        This friend of mine is in a new relationship now and close to a new marriage. To me, this guy is a plain crook, and as a friend I told her so, because he already betrayed her with another woman and spends most of his time with his friends and only comes home for food and sex and to get his laundry done by her. He doesn't take his share in the household, he doesn't even repair a flat tire on her bicycle, which made me drive 86 miles to help her out, yet whatever he does she thinks he is her true love.

        I do not doubt her love, yet to me she is given the stage and allowance for this man to play and dominate her.
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          Apr 27 2014: Yes Lejan, you point out more common behaviors/beliefs....hope that things will change....being attracted to another abusive person.

          There are so many different dynamics (and some the same as well) to violence and abuse in relationships, that if a person does not do some serious exploration in him/herself, the dynamics continue, sometimes without awareness.

          Perhaps you are aware of the idea that both men and women are often attracted to someone like their opposite sex parent? If one is not aware of that, at the beginning of the relationship, we sometimes play out the roles of our parents. That is only one little piece....an important piece to be aware of. Our parents are our primary role models for relationship as we are growing up. If we are not aware of the dynamics in THEIR relationship, and we are attracted to similar people as partners, we may repeat some of the same behaviors.

          Considering your friends challenge......
          It is also common to think that once people are married, things will change, and the fact is, things usually get worse, rather than better. Love is blind?
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          Apr 27 2014: Psychological verbal abuse, telling a woman over and over again that she doesn't deserve anything better than what she's got and finding ways to manipulate the situation and make her truly believe it. That's how a woman can continue to return to a man and other men who share similar abusive traits.

          A man with deep seeded insecurity issues will find a way to isolate the woman by saying something as simple as "I don't think your friends/family like me". Those connections provide her with a grasp on her own version of reality. Viewing the reality that he provides for her through manipulation, isolation, and abuse completely changes who she is right down to her core. Many women hold onto some small piece of their former selves that continues to scream at them from a muffled place.

          That screaming voice gets tired, and quiet after a prolonged period of time with no trustworthy confidante to validate it for her.
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          Apr 28 2014: I agree Ang....telling a person s/he is no good....nobody else will love him/her.....things are going to change and be better, etc., are all part of the pattern of isolation, violence and abuse, and there are several different levels. A person who is trying to isolate someone will also try to cut off communications with family and friends who might be supportive to her.
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Ang on: 'You did in fact miss the point but no worries.'

        As we are coming from the topic of the 'use of female key-stimuli' I am having some troubles now to bridge the mental gap towards your last comment.

        I think I understand that you are not happy about the way society and corporate structures are organized right now, but so am I ... now what?

        Of course we can go on in circles and blame all men to have caused all of this, which in return will cause men to blame all woman to have their equal share in that mess.

        It is not my fault that your gender didn't manage in the past to refuse to be dominated by mine, and from my perspective we are in transient times right now, trying to break ourselves free from those behavioral patterns we may grew up with.

        But the most powerful person in my country happens to be a woman and I can not say, that since she is in command things have gotten better here. On the contrary, as far as I am concerned.

        Of course we can open another discussion now, that this doesn't count, because SHE has to play the mens-game, only better, yet on that I would have only agreed in her first legislative period, which she already extended.

        What I don't understand in this sort of discussion is the following. Throughout many centuries, woman were expected to run the family and to mainly race the children. Girls and boys. We also know, that childhood experiences are molding main parts of our character and value system while we grow up. So when men were not partaking that much during all this time in upbringing, how can it be then that woman didn't make use of their influence they had over their boys, to make them better people regarding the acceptance of their female counterparts?

        Honestly, I have no explanation on this.

        My father was one of those men who didn't care much about his kids, as this was not unusual at that time. So my mother became the most influential person to my brother and me and both of us tuned our moral compasses towards hers.
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        Apr 26 2014: And as she was both, highly intelligent and warm hearted, we came to learn about many aspects of equality and respect towards other people and this regardless of gender, race or whatever.

        She also was a confessing mom. She wanted to be a mother, which at that time meant to stay at home with the kids. She never regret not to have made a career in business, which she could have if she had insisted on it, but she simply didn't want to, consciously.

        Why other woman didn't manage to 'tame' their wild boys, and wild I certainly was, I don't know.

        But what I do know is, that generations of woman did miss their chances collectively if the result of the societies they indirectly co-created was repeatingly disappointing to them ...
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        Apr 27 2014: @ Colleen, on: 'Love is blind?'

        Love can be blind, often is, but it is on us to allow it. The latter takes effort and its consequences can be very painful.

        Mentally healthy people are capable to distinguish their likes from their dislikes and this 'evaluation module' also works when we are in love.

        When I wrote about this crook my friend is going to merry, I exclusively expressed her personal dislikes she shared with me about him. Personally, I barely know him. Yet my point is, that she herself has sufficient enough information about his character to make decision in her favor... or against. They are together since 6 years now and he moved in 5 years ago. To me, plenty enough time to realize whats going on. I also talked with her about the fact, that 'marriage' is no mystical game-changer of any sort for a better, and as she has been married before, she knows that all to good if I can trust her word on that.

        What makes her to marry that man, I don't know, especially as she it the type of woman who likes to have her partner around as often as possible.

        I am not going to talk her out of this, as this is none of my business, yet do give her my hones view on her situation when she complains about him. As a friend, thats all I can do.
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          Apr 28 2014: Lejan,
          I think you mentioned that you can see the love in your friend for her partner, and she cannot see the reality of the situation....that is why I suggest that love is blind.

          I agree that evaluation works when we are in love......IF.....we evaluate realistically! If a person does not want to consider some aspects of the relationship, they will not be evaluating those aspects. It is common for people to justify certain behaviors with the argument.....he does this, this and this, which is great......so I'll overlook this other behavior which is not so great.

          Your friend may have sufficient enough information about his character (in your perception), to make an informed decision. She may not want to use all the information, and that choice may be intentional....or not. She may not even be aware of how she may be justifying his behaviors or the relationship. SOMETHING is keeping her in the relationship....for whatever reason. Often, the victim of abuse and the abuser are equally insecure.

          Suggestion.....rather than give her your honest view on her situation when she complains about him, ask her how the behavior she is complaining about feels? How does she feel when he behaves in that way? Ask her if that is how she really wants to live her life....ask her if that is what she really wants with a partner....ask her questions that might cause her to ask herself some questions.

          When we impose our personal view on others (tell her what she "should" know, and probably DOES know in her heart), it sometimes causes her to defend the person we are speaking against....a person that she loves. So that behavior actually strengthens the relationship by causing her to feel closer (defending) the abuser.

          When we ask questions, in an attempt to genuinely understand with compassion, it sometimes encourages more introspection, which may support a person in making different decisions....or not....it is a choice she makes for herself.
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        Apr 27 2014: @ Ang, on: 'Psychological verbal abuse, telling a woman over and over again ...'

        The type of woman you describe here certainly exist, probably in large numbers, yet this doesn't change the fact, that those woman themselves have some serious insecurity problems and for whatever reason didn't manage to grow a self-determined personality.

        If a woman would try to deprive me from people I like, or even love, I would not allow her to do that and this regardless how tricky she was trying to talk me into that.

        A comment, such as 'I don't think your friends/family like me' I would certainly take seriously and would talk about this to find out about the underlaying reasons for such an impression, or even for such a reality, as this can certainly be true. Yet as long none of friends or family member would pro-actively attack my girlfriend or wife, there was no reason to break up with them. For anything else compromises can be found.

        The very first time my woman would seriously tell me that I wouldn't deserve something, she would have the next two hours nothing else to do but to explain to me, why she thinks that is. Regardless of her arguments and the situations she was in while saying this, there were exactly two more 'wild-cards' left on her side to not grant me something positive.

        The reason for this is simple, we all say something we don't mean and my idea for my partner is to know her well and to care for her. This is no option, this is a condition. A mutual condition.

        I also think, that a person who needs his/her friends or family to grasp his/her own version of reality, has no own version of any reality at all and never learned to make up their own mind and to make decisions for themselves.

        Nobody else but we ourselves can know about our reality!

        I am not saying, that humans are immune against the 'boiling frog phenomenon' or against 'high arts of manipulation', but I do know that self-determined and stable characters are less prone to get trapped by them.
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        Apr 27 2014: @ Ang, on: 'Psychological verbal abuse, telling a woman over and over again ...'

        I do not excuse 'oppressive' behavior of men (and woman) and those who show it need therapy offered to them to get out of those behavioral pattern. Unfortunately, those people usually don't realize that they suffer from psychological issues and therefore tend not to face and cure them.

        But also don't see victims of oppression as 'guiltless', as those themselves have allowed it.

        This last view of mine only applies to modern societies, in which there is an infrastructure for woman to find shelter and in which a single or divorced woman is fully accepted by society and financially supported if needed.

        In Germany, where I live, all of those conditions are given, yet I can imagine many regions on this planet where this isn't the case and where woman become victims every day.

        And even in modern societies we could and should improve our help to get woman out of unhealthy relationships, as so far, all given services for help are not pro-actively propagated.

        I would go even so far to have once or twice a day the message spread via radio or TV that whoever is gridlocked in unhealthy relationships can get help for free at any time of the day to get out of it.

        When I first heard about the existence of woman-shelters I was pretty old already, around 30, and I was totally surprised and also angry how that could have happened that I missed out on this one for so long and completely.

        We need to spread this message to any woman out there, in any language and we also have to offer psychological therapy free of charge and way beyond the time a woman managed to escape their dominant male partners.

        I also think this topic has to be repeatedly addressed in our schools. I actually don't know if it already is in my country at the moment, as I am not updated for quite some while, yet I am a bit in doubt as the cultural pessimist I am ...
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        Apr 28 2014: @ Colleen, on: 'I think you mentioned that you can see the love in your friend ...'

        Total agreement from my side and what I consider the propulsion of those vicious circle, you summed up perfectly in saying: 'Often, the victim of abuse and the abuser are equally insecure'. Only to me its not 'often', but 'always', and both are victims of one another and each victim of circumstances which made them that way.

        Your suggestions have become applied reality since 5.5 years already, as honest views only need to be stated once to get them across. They don't seem to spark the process of self-awareness to any degree. Not even when compared to similarities with her former husband, on which she reflected quite a lot in retrospect. To me it often seems that little improvements she made with her new partner outweigh disproportional the resemblance to the former situation.

        But I do not invade her private life by myself and only speak with her about this topic if she herself brings it up on her own. And as I am not her closest reference person and her family members who are hopelessly conservative and deeply entrenched in Christian family values, I am not certain if self-awareness is continuously fostered. She got even banned from her Church by her own father who is reverent of the local congregation because she divorced her former and abusive husband. So much about ... love your enemy!

        She is in her mid 30s now and I assume, that as a mother of four out of her first marriage, it may not be as easy to find a new life-partner who accept so many children, which may be on subconscious levels makes for more compromises than necessary and against her interest.

        When 'love is blind' was in itself not the problem as long as this blindness was mutual and directed towards each other. But as we all 'love' differently and also on different levels this can cause severe misalignments. But when love results in self-devaluation this can not be healthy to anyone and often 'invites' dominance.
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          May 5 2014: Lejan,
          You say your friend reflected on her last relationship, and doesn't seem to recognize the similarities in a new relationship. It is not uncommon for people to go from one abusive relationship to another because sometimes, the outward manifestations of characteristics look and feel different in different relationships. It sometimes takes a LOT of reflection and introspection to be able to evaluate the circumstances realistically, and there are many levels of reflection, introspection and evaluation.

          You say..."But when love results in self-devaluation this can not be healthy to anyone and often 'invites' dominance."

          I agree that it is not healthy, and I do not perceive it to be love, because love generally does not devalue people. I believe it is insecurity. You may be right about her compromising because she is afraid of not finding a partner.....again....insecurity. Your comment about inviting dominance may be on target too, although I say one might accept dominance and abuse when one is insecure.....not necessarily consciously inviting it.
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
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      Apr 16 2014: Carl -

      I'm not a man and so don't think like a man but most men are the ones who are self-proclaimed sex fantasy addicts.

      Studies conducted related to this exact topic have proven that men spend a lot more time thinking about sex than women on average.

      From a female perspective I can tell you that thinking about sex a lot more than I do is something I would consider as thinking about sex all the time. :)

      But that's just how my gender formulates opinion based on perception.
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        Apr 21 2014: 'I'm not a man and so don't think like a man ... '

        Now it becomes clear to me why 'You are more reluctant than I expected ... ;o)'

        I mistook 'Ang' for a male fist-name, my apologies!

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