I am a male, I have always been that way and I only truly know that way; my wife, on the other hand, is a female and as far as I know she has always been that way. There are many areas to our every day life that cause confusion between us.We simply see everything differently.
I am convinced that doctors will one day identify a gender switch in our heads that makes colours appear different, makes you put keys three inches to the left of the key dish, and prevents you from tidying up your mess only to then go all out to clean. There must be something that’s different. My world just looks different to hers. FACT.
But, this also stretches to the type of books we are attracted to, and this makes me wonder whether men and women look fundamentally for something different in a story.
I love a book that can take me away from reality. I love PG Wodehouse because of his ability to create a world that seems real enough and nothing too serious ever happens within it. However, my wife would prefer to read something that can make her cry and remind her about how awful life is.
I don’t get this at all. I spend most of my time trying to control the emotional state I’m in and reinforce the feel-good hormones. She just loves a good cry. It used to make me upset when I saw her upset, but now I’m sure that she is in fact smiling on the inside as the tears protrude from the outer crust.
If you have read this blog before then you will appreciate that I am not a doctor, a scientist, a philosopher, a biologist or even remotely clever, but I have a theory. To explain this theory I will use general stereotypes and a guess for which book genres people read.
I will have two sample groups; Group A, the men, and Group B, the others. Group A tend to prefer reading action and adventure (Complete Fantasy), Crime Thrillers (Violent Fantasy), Biographies (Fantasising about someone else’s life) and possibly Horror (Scary Fantasy), oh and Fantasy. These genres are more concerned with the ‘what’ rather than the ‘how’.
Group B prefer the more genteel type of storytelling. Romantic Fiction (Similar emotions to themselves but from a fictional character), Erotica (extreme emotions), Historical Fiction (same shit, different time), Hard luck stories (disabilities, war torn families, loss, devastation, bleakness). All of these genres tend to dwell on the emotional response to extreme, but very real, circumstances.
The fact is that 80% of fiction is read by women (this number is in my head from somewhere so it must be true) Also, to get even more scientific, I think that most fiction authors are women because they find it easier to connect the reader to the appropriate emotions, however most screenplay writers are men because that is more concerned with the ‘what’. (There is absolutely no basis for this last opinion so please don’t tell anybody else)
So, to sum up all of these facts into a nutshell of a theory, I would claim that women like to read about the rawness of emotion whereas men prefer to read about twists and turns of events. Like all theories, you will be able to find exceptions within the rule but I think you’ll find most of this holds up.
If you disagree then you are either, a woman that has very manly tendencies (perhaps big hands?) or a man that dressed in his sister’s clothes as a young boy. I look forward to the comments that this post may provoke.