Men are risk takers, women are risk averse.

It’s generally quite accepted, even among the most ardent egalitarians, that men are risk takers and women are risk averse. It plays out everywhere, from women not asking for promotions right down to teenage boys dying more regularly from stunts gone wrong. There are all sorts of explanations as to how this comes about: hormone profiles, socialization, neural pathways and rewards. But there is an obvious reason why these behaviours are selected for, and knowing it benefits men women alike.

Make take the risks in society. They do this to surpass other men. Whether they’re starting their own business or doing a backflip off a tree into a pool, men want to become better than other men and be seen doing it. This is generally positioned by women as men wanting to show off and get social points. But the reality runs deeper.

The reason why men “peacock” like this, rather than by dressing in bright clothes or singing as they walk down the street, is because humans are brainy, social animals. And taking risks advances society. Why does the guy who starts his own business get rewarded with wealth and status? Because he provides a necessary service, a tribal environment, a product, employment, etc. He is actively creating wealth. Why does the guy who backflips off the tree get attention and praise? Because he is illustrating his physical prowess and confidence in his body, two valuable genetic traits. Both men are adding something of value to the world they live in, actively or passively.

The major disadvantage to this behaviour is quite obvious: death, resource depletion, ostracization, general failure. When a man takes a risk and it backfires, at best he is humiliated, at worst he is dead. A society of inefficient risk takers is a dead society. Therefore, as men mature and see the downsides of risks, their own risks become more calculated, preserving the older, more skilled men of the tribe to pass their wisdom down and ensure greater survival of the next generation.

On the other hand, women are naturally incredibly risk averse. We do this to survive. Women are the weaker sex, a necessity for the raising of children and socially dependent. We are unlikely to take any risks, even in our reckless teen years. Generally, men assume this is due to frailty or cowardice.

The reasons women avoid risks are also due to our brainy, social nature. Our babies need a very long time being protected and fed to grow their big brains and learn how to be adults. They need our care and attention. Possibly as a luxury given to us by men, possibly to encourage men to treat us kindly, we have got weaker from our primitive days and our bodies are gradually better and better adapted for nurturing, feeding and caring in general. This is not a flaw: by raising smart, healthy children in a safe environment we also add value to the world we live in.

The major disadvantage to this is less obvious, but is there: women’s low risk taking is a net loss. Look at how many great male inventors, leaders and artists there have been through history. Or, if you doubt the veracity of history, look at the great male explorers, inventors and investors, the risk takers of our generation. Imagine if the number of great women equalled that. Society would speed along over twice as fast from the sheer levels of innovation.

So men take risks, which is good because it pushes society forwards and bad because it endagers their lives and tribes. And women do not take risks, which is good because it provides care and safety and bad because it limits the progress of human society.

And therein lies a key compatibility.

Men’s strength lies in their ability to make calculated risks.

Women’s strength lies in our ability to accept calculated risks.

Any internal restriction on a man’s risk taking is a negative. If men always stopped at the safe line then society’s progress would be slow and staggered. But if men never knew when to stop or give in, or never paused for thought, then most men would be dead. Enter women: from his mother’s overbearing eyes during his childhood, to his scaredy cat girlfriends in his teens and twenties, to his wary wife in his thirties onwards, men have benefitted from the slightly paranoid voice of risk aversion. They will brush it off and often take the risk anyway, but always with a steadier foot, a more careful eye or an extra protective measure.

Any amount of spontaneous risk taking in women is also a negative. If women always toed the line of danger then society would be many mothers and babies short, drawing our growth to a halt. But if women never permitted a risk to be taken, then men would either become too weak to bring progress or exit society as a whole (reminds me of something, that…). Enter men: by making calculated risks and undertaking dangerous work on her behalf, the men in a woman’s life show her that risks can be taken in a relatively safe manner. Women will brush it off and still hide from danger, but always with a greater sense of security, that we can rely on men and trust their reason.

In a relationship, any relationship, be it parent-child, teacher-student, romantic, brother-sister or even work, we can make these facts play to our and everyone’s advantages.

Men:

  1. Take whatever risks you need to.
  2. Listen to women’s paranoias.
  3. Pause and assess which fears stem from a natural perspective.
  4. Ease her fears whenever possible.
  5. Take the risks she ought to take when her fear holds her back…
  6. …or at least make her feel safe and supported as she takes the risk herself.

Women:

  1. Make sure your life is safely guarded against unnecessary risks.
  2. Observe men’s risk taking.
  3. Urge caution and try and phrase advice so they will understand.
  4. Accept when he is going to do it anyway.
  5. Do not be afraid to demand comfort or exclusion from an activity if the risk bothers you.
  6. Reward successful risks, and do not blame or nag when the reward falls short.

After all, we want neither a society where women throw themselves blindly screaming into activities that terrify them, or feel pressured to take big risks to “look mature”, nor a society where men pussyfoot around their troubles and choke back the risks they want to take for fear of female retribution. We want a society where women calculate risks and men take them, with both considering the other’s perspective.

We are not broken, unequivalent or stupid. We do not need to be fixed. We are two perfectly compatible sexes and our roles serve a distinct purpose.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.
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3 Types Of Respect.

To say that respect is a hard to grasp concept is an understatement. Men view respect as acknowledging superiority, women view it as showing basic decency. Superiors view it as simple obedience, underlings as submission. In one culture it may imply to show deference, in another to show affection.

And this is not because respect is an elusive, undefined concept. But because we all have a rigid definition of what respect means to us, formed by the culture we are immersed in and reinforced by our peers.

However, all definitions of respect can be almost neatly divided into three categories. Understanding these three different categories can assist us in everyday social situations. They will help us to deduce which definition of respect a person is employing, to work out how to talk with them. They will help us to determine whether justice is being done or not. And they will make it easier to negotiate for better treatment from those around you.

1: Respect for your fellow man.

Commonly used by: women, children (who have learned it from their mothers and not yet altered the meaning), some EFL speakers from EU and African nations.

Meaning: “To show basic courtesy, decency. To not interfere with someone’s basic human rights. To not harm someone else’s property or make their lives uncomfortable.”

This definition is the most basic form of respect and, to many, does not mean respect at all. It is based on the concept of inclusion and exclusion and simply means that you will accept and treat the respected person as a part of your group, rather than as an outsider.

Example: “Everyone deserves to be treated with basic respect and kindness.”

How to display: Do not insult or attack anyone, be considerate of other’s feelings and ideas, give room for everyone, do not show undue preference.

2: Peer respect.

Or “voluntary respect”.

Commonly used by: blue collar men and women, between friends, fans.

Meaning: “To acknowledge a superior or equal trait or ability in someone whom you are not required to show admiration for.”

This definition  refers to the act of observing a peer’s greater ability at cooking, stronger morals or similar tastes. It is based on the concept of hard-earned reward and means that if you work hard, in some way you will be repaid, even if not in resources.

Example: “Respect is earned, not given or taken.”

How to display: Treat those who you like or admire (for whatever reason) as slightly closer friends than they are, vocally acknowledge their ability, defer to their superiority only when they are relevant.

3: Enforced respect.

Commonly used by: white collar workers, students, teenagers, religious adherents, EFL speakers from Latin-American and Asian nations.

Meaning: “To defer to and obey a person based on a culturally predetermined rank.”

This definition refers to the culturally, legally and personally enforced subordination to someone whom your culture has placed above you. It is based on the concept that rank earns certain rights (might makes right) and that you must follow your intellectual, moral, skilled or physical superiors.

Example: “You must show your boss respect at all times.”

How to display: Work out the group hierarchy, obey the highest individual, do not use bad language around them, or disagree with them openly.

When we put these three concepts together we end up with respect as a triangular diagram, with everyone’s definitions sitting somewhere between the three. But based on associated words, what we know about the person and the context in which they use the word, we can work out what they actually mean, rather than assume their meaning and ours is identical, or even similar.

What does respect mean to you?

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

 

For help starting out homemaking, check out The ESSENTIAL Beginner Homemaker’s Guide. For help budgeting all your everday and not-so-everyday essentials, from food to transport to clothes, check out On A Budget: The good homemaker’s guide to economizing.

Friends, Friendly and Friend-Zones.

Or “getting the job you want”.

The topic of friend-zones, or when a person (usually male) believes that they can build their way up from friendship into a relationship with another person (usually female) is always a bit of a hot topic. The core of the matter is that no matter how much people say it’s not a clever idea, so many others will still try it once, twice, a thousand times. And sometimes it will work. Sometimes a friendship really does develop into a long-lasting, meaningful or at least sexual relationship. Which feeds the millions where it doesn’t.

So, in an effort to shine some light on the actual interactions taking place, allow me to use an analogy: your life is a company. You are not usually the CEO of your company, but most people are pretty high up in management. Therefore most people you have relationships with, from acquaintances to husbands and wives, will end up being below you: your employees. We generally have a good handle of this and whenever someone tries to move into our lives we will evaluate  how good they are for the job before letting them in at one level or another, or cutting them out.

However, the same works in reverse. You are an employee in the life of everyone you have a relationship with. Which we’re not so good at working with. Everyone you still interact with, from your best friend to your coworker to your ex to your sister are all employing you in their lives and they have placed you in a certain job. Oftentimes we get no choice in this job, especially in work, friendships and family. There is very little that can be done to change your role short of quitting the job: cutting ties.

This is all well and good when it comes to forced socialization such as work and family or spontaneous relationships like friendships. But it’s dreadful when it comes to planned relationships. Which is why it’s a terrible option for trying to establish a romantic connection.

You see, on the “jobs” scale for non-relatives, we have several positions:

ENTRY LEVEL:

Colleague.

Acquaintance.

Helpful person.

NOVICE LEVEL.

Friend.

Close friend.

No-strings.

SOME EXPERIENCE OR QUALIFICATIONS.

Best friend.

Friend with benefits.

Multiple partner.

SOME EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS.

Long term relationship.

A LOT OF EXPERIENCE AND SOME QUALIFICATIONS OR VICE VERSA OR MORE.

Live-in partner.

Marriage partner.

Each step up requires an increase in “salary” provided by the other person. The salary? Their time, money, trust, attention and exclusivity. And you might notice that there is a massive jump from a helpful person to a friend or a multiple partner to a long term relationship. There are some very large gaps between these job positions in terms of how much the other person invests in you.

Which is why so many people stay in the friend-zone. You see, when you try and worm your way into someone’s heart by being helpful or friendly, you are putting in your resume for a job you don’t want. Then, when you get that job there is a lot of work you have to do to catch up. It would have been wiser to alter your resume to try and sound like a good prospect for a higher rank, at the very least a best friend or a no-strings, which has a smaller jump into romantic relationship territory.

Imagine there are 10 job positions in a company. X= job.

XXXXXXXXXX

You qualify for 4 of them, but would accept 2 and in particular want 1. R=rejection, N=no, M=maybe, Y=yes.

60% RRRRRR, 20% NN, 10% M, 10% Y

If you go to the interviews for the 6 you don’t qualify for you’ll be insta-rejected. R= rejection.

100% RRRRRR

If you go to the 2 you qualify for but don’t want, you could end up in them, which means you weren’t rejected, but you didn’t get what you want. NA= no, accepted; NR= no, rejected.

50% NA, 50% NR

If you go for the 2 you qualify for and would accept you’re placing a bet: either you get the one you really wanted, you get the one you’re comfortable with or you get rejected. M= maybe, Y = yes.

50% M, 50% Y

If you go for the 1 you really want, you either get it or get rejected. R= rejected, Y= yes.

50% R, 50% Y

When you go for friendship, you’re choosing to enter the company of them in a role you don’t really want, but where you know you won’t be rejected outright.  Thing is, not being rejected doesn’t mean being accepted. And not being rejected isn’t a foolproof way to climb to the job position you want. Maybe they will let you. But it’s far more likely that the position you really wanted, that Y, has been taken before you get there, that you would never qualify for it or that there is no internal promotion in their company.

There is no surefire way to make your decision. After all, it’s your time and investment, but avoid these mistakes:

1: Applying for a job you don’t want, but know you’ll get, and hope for promotion.

2: Applying for a job you want, but know you won’t get and wasting your time.

3: Applying for too many jobs and coming across as strange and desperate.

4: Applying for various options when you would only really be happy with one.

5: Accepting a demotion and continuing the relationship.

If you don’t avoid these and you end up stuck in a job you didn’t want watching some other person getting the job you wanted, then you have nobody to blame but yourself.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

7 Reasons You Should Just Tell Him.

Women are often cryptic in how we speak. Even a relatively masculine woman like myself can say something in “girl code”, brush a matter aside or drop a flimsy hint. And it will happen from time to time regardless of our efforts.

That said, we also often speak cryptically when we know we’re doing it and when we can prevent it. And here are six reasons why we shouldn’t.

1: He can’t read your mind.

Here’s the thing: men aren’t telepathic. They don’t have a wire that taps right into our brains.

Yes, humans engage in nonverbal communication. But male and female nonverbal communication is a little different and, even if it wasn’t, why are you relying on someone guessing every element about you? You wouldn’t ask an interviewer to guess why you want the role, so why would you expect your husband or boyfriend to guess where you want to go for dinner?

2: But he knows something is wrong.

Although nonverbal communication is different for men and women, one thing we absolutely share is the ability to detect distress, pain, anger and fear in others. Even psychopaths, who otherwise lack natural empathy, have this ability. We need it to survive.

So don’t assume that just because you haven’t said your head hurts or you’re angry, he won’t know. He will know and dismissing it doesn’t work.

3: He wants to help.

If he loves you and can sense that you are in any way distressed or upset, he wants to fix that. He wants to be your hero and beat up all the bad guys. So when you don’t tell him who or what is hurting you, he worries and could go into overdrive trying to fix your life until you’re happy.

4: He wants to know if he can’t help.

Sometimes there’s nothing he can do. Maybe you’re going through a period of existential depression, you hurt your foot or work is just very stressful lately. Guess what? He still knows you’re unhappy and he still wants to help. At least let him know when there’s something wrong and when you don’t want or need any help he can offer.

5: Stress builds up over unspoken matters.

Again, just because he knows you’re upset doesn’t mean he can read your mind and guess why you’re upset or who you’re upset at. He could decide that you’re angry at him, or feeling hurt by something he did. If you don’t say why you’re upset and he doesn’t confirm that he is or isn’t the source of the problem, then tension and stress may build between you.

6: Shared experiences are bonding experiences.

On the flipside, living life for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, together at all times, can really bring you together. By sharing your hardships and your pain you’re opening a very vulnerable part of yourself to him. Perhaps he will reciprocate and show his vulnerability and ask for your help. Perhaps he will strive to make your life easier until you’re back on track. Or perhaps it will just put his mind at ease about your suffering. However it works out, you will be drawn closer by sharing rather than hiding.

7: Honesty leads to better results.

Finally, we need to kill our expectations and selfishness in relationships, but that doesn’t mean we want nothing from them. After all, relationships are transactional. What does he do when he wants you to grab his coat, make him dinner, answer the door, get him something specific for his birthday or listen to him? He asks you. That way he either gets what he wants or gets a (hopefully good) reason for your not doing it. You need to try and do the same. Think he’s letting himself go? Say so before it gets out of hand. Want him to pass the salt? Ask. Have a specific idea of what you want for your birthday? Tell him what it is.

The worst he can do is say no.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

What situations have you been in or seen where noncommunication caused a problem? And where communication prevented a problem? I’d love to hear some anecdotes on the matter! 🙂

Happy Birthday Jon!

As you probably already know, Jon and I signed the wedding papers a month and a half ago, having been a couple for four and a half years and having lived together for almost two years. And as you may already know, despite my lifestyle I am practically the poster child for a Strong And Independent Woman™.

How so? Well, coming from an unusual and tough childhood and being already predisposed to not particularly caring for social mores, I have always sought to better myself. I prize independence because independence is safety and safety is happiness. I have seen some of the world, lived wholly on my own and done just fine.

I have learned various skills and can run a home entirely on my own if I chose to. I can fix taps and replace seals, unblock drains and fix ubends. I can weed the garden, mow the lawn and light a fire just fine on my own. I can do all the cooking and cleaning and have some knowledge of most of the feminine arts, such as sewing and crochet.

I have credits stored for when I want to finish my degree and a place almost guaranteed in a decent course for when the time comes, be it in a year or forty years.

I have my own business as a private tutor, writer and translator and bring home around £600 a month steadily, ignoring my dollars on the side or cash-in-hand payments. If I chose to I could probably boost this quite significantly as the demand is there.

I have also developed an amount of self-sufficiency. I don’t need to rely on anything or anyone if I don’t want to. I can grow, forage or snare my own food.

So I don’t really need any specific person. Do I need society? Of course I do. Everyone does. And, as Janet Bloomfield has already mentioned, men are kind of the absolute pillar of society. But I don’t need a butcher, a guardian, any single person I know could, theoretically, have never existed and I would have been dandy.

But despite how easy it would be for me to claim my absolute independence and be cheered on by every back-patting feels-troll feminist I’m not a Strong And Independent Woman Who Don’t Need No Man™. Because not only do I need, as we all need, the social support of men, I also need one specific man.

Again, theoretically, he doesn’t need any specific person.

He has always been independent and has never needed much in the way of human company. He sees his best and longest standing friends once every 3-6 months and that is the way it always has been for him. He has seen enough and heard enough to know that not all people want to care for him and to prepare himself accordingly.

Even before meeting me, whatever I may say of his diet when we joke around, he was feeding himself just fine. He was strong and fairly healthy. He knew how to make a healthy meal when he has to. He also knew how to budget and clean and tidy and live on his own.

He has his degree, several qualifications and many skills. He has work all but guaranteed in the most advanced to most degraded of societies. He understands where he can go for resources if he needs them and he can do most things on his own when he must, such as minor car repairs and growing his own food.

And in that, he enriches my life as I enrich his. We’re both strong and independent. We don’t really need any random person off the street. But he isn’t a random person off the street. He’s a massive addition to my life. He takes the burden off my shoulders when I’m carrying too much. He exchanges work when we could each do the other’s work better. He provides for me and I support him. Everything is better for having him here. And life would be possible without him, but it would, quite frankly, suck.

I’m a Strong And Independent Woman™ and I do need my man. Thank goodness I have him.

TTFN, I’m off to bake a cake.

Beauty and Sex-Appeal are in the Body.

Something I have noticed about how women react to men is that in the last few generations we have been operating on the assumption that men aren’t allowed to fancy you for your looks. No longer is only male love supposed to be disconnected from their natural, biological lust, but now their lust isn’t even supposed to be based on your looks.

A perfect example is fat acceptance girls and chubby chasers. FA girls hate chubby chasers. Why? Because chubby chasers like fat women. Now, in any sane world women would be pleased that there are men who like their looks. But in this world sex appeal is now supposed to be divorced from looks. The chubby chasers should, apparently, find large women attractive, but not because they’re large.

Another example is how if a man tells a woman that he finds her attractive and wants to have sex with her and says both these things too closely together, regardless of her relationship with him she will start to become averse to the idea of sex. Saying she’s attractive? That’s cool. Wanting sex? That’s cool too. Saying you want sex because she’s attractive? No, not allowed.

Men are supposed to apparently lust after women’s personalities.

This never used to be the case. Women always accepted that a part of male sexuality was wholly based on her looks and that we had to live with that and work with that to get the men we wanted.

And I don’t think anyone has stopped knowing this. Women still lose weight or do their hair in hopes that a certain guy will notice them. I think the difference is more subtle.

The past few generations have been raised on two messages that, together, create a false impression in a woman’s mind.

1: Men are mindless animals that are blinded by their desire for you and this makes them usable.

2: Only what’s on the inside counts in terms of love, everything else is impure and unfair.

And the impression they caused? That men’s true love is a pure, asexual thing, but men have a wild libido that they don’t even know about that makes it easy for women to control them.

Which is a ridiculous concept, but it’s a concept I have observed most other women of my generation operating on. They assume that sex can and should be used to get things, that men who want sex based on looks are broken, that men who love you truly will want sex regardless of looks. Which is why they let themselves go in relationships, date “bad boys” who upset them and wind up bemoaning how terrible men are.

But then along comes a man who directly associates her looks with her sex appeal with his love for her. Say, a chubby chaser. He, just by calling himself a chubby chaser, is directly saying “I like the way you look, that makes me attracted to you and this attraction makes you potential relationship material.” Or, turned around: “If I didn’t like the way you looked, I would not be attracted to you and you would therefore not be relationship material.”

Which leaves the girl with a dilemma. If men are, indeed, aware of their own libidos and do, in fact, feel sexual attraction as a part of love, then a woman is not special or unique or lovable just for being herself. She is replaceable. And she thought she had triple leverage in the relationship: her looks, her sex appeal and her love. But it turns out she only has one: her looks.

In past times this was balanced. Women knew that men wanted them to be pretty and women made themselves pretty for their men. Women also knew that there were plenty of other women who were also pretty, so they didn’t rely on looks. Instead, they developed charm, a touch of wit, various homemaking skills and a pleasant disposition. It was a way of adding more to a relationship, to keep a man around and keep him interested.

But in today’s world many women rely entirely on looks, sex and love. Which is why it hurts so much to realize that those three qualities are actually one single quality.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

10 Things To Love About Men.

Women as a gender get an awful lot of love from men and women alike. But rarely do men get to hear the voice of appreciation. I guess many men don’t really want it, or are indifferent to it. But, for those to whom it will make a difference, here are 10 things I love about men. They aren’t demands or my requirements, but things I have noticed about men in general that I really like.

1: Men are safe.

Starting with a big one. Whatever the media tries to tell you, men are safe. Yes, they are more powerful than you. But if a man attacks you, who is more likely to defend you? If you’re walking down the street at night with a friend, who do you feel safer around? Most men will not hurt you. In fact, most men will defend you and defend you well.

2: Men are generous.

Men are always eager to give to children and women. They will voluntarily take on children that are not biologically theirs, they will let you have the last tub of cream at the supermarket, they will hold the door for you, they will give you money for a bus home, all without expecting anything in return.

3: Men are calm.

They rarely if ever have emotional outbursts and when they do it’s usually very small compared to how bad the situation got. Men don’t break down and cry, get angry and shout or get excited and run around anywhere near as much as women do. And that’s refreshing.

4: Men are paternal.

Again, in the face of what the media says, men are generally amazing fathers. They are willing to go the extra mile for their kids, to welcome a child from a woman’s previous relationship, to protect and help children that are lost and scared. If it weren’t for how much paternal instinct is demonized and misrepresented, men would be as eager to protect and care for children as they are to protect and care for women.

5: Men are to the point.

From my observations, men hate to leave you hanging. They will be straight forward to you, say what they know, think and feel and will leave it at that or let you have your say. The only time they hold things back is when they believe it could harm a preexisting relationship more than it could help any parties.

6: Men are easygoing.

Men don’t take themselves or anything too seriously. They will engage in banter with each other and not at any point stop being friends. They will take an event that a woman may find mortifying and within seconds find the hilarity in it. They enjoy being relaxed and comfortable and will joke about anything once they’re sure they won’t be crucified for it.

7: Men are hardworking.

All animals are naturally lazy and the human male is no exception. But men prioritize completing a task rather than finishing the day or botching something. Men will work very hard to make sure something is complete to the best of their ability, rarely procrastinate and rarely if ever hide a badly done job.

8: Men are forgiving.

Men seem far less likely than women to hold onto past trespasses. Once the matter has been discussed and made right, men just let these things go and return to how they were before. They will never be brought up again.

9: Men are careful.

Back to the point of physical strength: men are amazingly strong. Women, pound for pound, can only recruit about 65% of the strength men can. Women are usually also lighter and less muscles than men, due to dieting and lower testosterone. Yet men very rarely hurt women. Even when a policeman is physically restraining a woman who is acting out or when hitting a woman was an appropriate response to a meltdown, men rarely cause women a quarter of the harm they are capable of. And, as point one states, generally they won’t even hit us to begin with.

10: Men are lovers.

Men love incredibly deeply and genuinely. They want the very best for everyone they love, from their children to their parents, from their lovers to their best friends. Men aren’t miserly with their love, they love freely, they love fully and if they love you they throw themselves into making your life better with as much energy as they have to spare.

And those are ten things I have observed about men (in general) that I love and think are brilliant.

TTFN and Happy Hunting.

What are some things you’ve observed about men or women that you enjoy seeing?