Today, Merlin Mann writes on what he knows about women. It’s seems like it’s all pretty sound advice, like:
Listen. Hear what she’s saying. Synthesize what you hear in your head, but be slow to offer advice or “solutions.” Women (like many men, including me) often think by talking — or, if you like, by being heard. Shut up and listen. Seriously. Shut the fuck up sometimes.
No woman wants to be your Mom. Give more than you get and be a grown-up about asking for sacrifices — especially if making that sacrifice goes against something she’s kinda unsure about, but which sticking to until she IS sure is making her feel stronger and more whole. Don’t be a dick.
Do things without being asked. Even things she maybe didn’t know she wanted you to do.
Be extremely clear in your own mind about the very very tiny number of things only you are allowed to ever be right about. Keep making that list smaller every month.
and he does preface it with
Yes, a lot of this goes both ways. Obviously. Give it a rest
But. When’s the last time you read something like this, but with the sexes reversed? Once in a while, some women’s blog might post a list of a few tips with ‘dealing with your Neanderthal’, which is pretty much the same advice in reverse, but usually with a lot of references to how men are stupid children, and with a comment thread with hundreds of posts about how all of this is wrong and that what’s really required is basically more emotional abuse.
And what little you get isn’t nearly as good as Merlin’s advice. You never see the corollary of the first advice-cule above, with women being encouraged to talk through their decisions bit by bit, because men think by talking and that this might help them understand what’s going on. Once in a while you might see women being advised to listen to men, but usually the goal there is for the woman just to better understand exactly how the man is wrong.
And you never, ever see women being told that they’re only allowed to be right about a small and ever-shrinking number of things, even though a whole lot of Advice For Men essentially amounts to ‘shut up and take it’.